“..Long live scholar, long live Indonesia people!”
The jargon usually shouted by Indonesian students in the end of an oration when they held a protest toward some national issue. The orator usually shout it to burn the spirit of fellow demonstrant and heat up the situation. That time it was being shouted by a group of my campus student board representative. Also that time it was not a part of protest for some national issue. It was the 70 years commemoration of Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung Sea of Fire).
I joined my friend to help his group for participated in an oration contest that held by Dinas Pemuda dan Olahraga (Dispora) Kota Bandung (?). I personally thought it was somewhat bizarre to held such an oration contest that more likely a demonstration contest because they required us to do the oration in the street –in the determined intersection in Bandung– and the participants have to record it in video format. Just like a citizen journalism in news segment on the TV. That was why I was there because my friend ask me to help them did the documentation part so they could focus on the oration and theatrical part. For the sake of doing friend’s favor.
The group performed the oration in the Marta Negara intersection that connects Jl. Lodaya and Jl. Pelajar Pejuang 45 where usually the traffic could took an hour from you precious life just to get you out from that street. It was around 11.00 a.m. in a bright Thursday and all I ever wanted was a fresh orange juice mixed with coconut water in the living room while wearing your shorts and feel the breeze of air conditioner slips through the center of your legs. Yes, I regretted in a second have said yes to took part in this contest.
Luckily, the traffic was friendly when we got there so this left us a darker spotlight with less audience. So we quickly prepared all the equipment including university student board flag alongside with national flag and the propaganda posters containing the problem that faced by Bandung right now. The group consists only eight people excluding me. My friend who stepped in as a group coordinator began to divide our role. He did the oration while one of them read a poem about a hero who fights for the independence of our country and the two others did the theatrical show. The rest of them held the propaganda banner and the flag and me taking all the pictures and footage of them. The contest ran as smooth as it was planned.
After the oration contest, Badan Eksekutif Mahasiwa Universitas Padjadjaran (Universitas Padjadjaran’s student board) initated a rally that still related to 70 years commemoration of Bandung Sea of Fire and the number of people who joined this time were bigger than the contest because it was not like the usual march that usually conducted to protest government. Basically, it was a persuasive movement to recall and interpret what could we got from the Bandung Sea of Fire. What can we do as young citizen who lives in Bandung and surroundings continue the spirit of our fonding fathers who really loved the city by help solve problems that occure in the city within our daily life.
It was my first experience taking part in demonstration. Although I didn’t directly participate in it and it was not really a demonstration, I could feel the sensation of speaking ideas loudly in the street. Although we didn’t fight for something very important, I could imagine how people willingly march into the street just fight something that is deserve to fight that even risk their life for it.
In the past few days I read and heard the news about students from various universities march to presidency palace to protest againts national issue in general in commemoration of Hari Kebangkitan Nasional (National Awakening Day). Well, for me, I think when people march into the street, they never playing with what they fight for. A rally is a real story and what all those students did in May 20th yesterday, was just a part of ceremonial movement. A tribute for the young movement at that time by doing a movement.
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The oration contest.
The tribute to Bandung Sea of Fire.