Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Little Prince

"What is essential is invisible to the eye..."

"To be sure, an ordinary passer-by would believe that my very own rose looked just like you, but she is far more important than all of you because she is the one I have watered. And it is she that I have placed under a glass dome. And it is she that I have sheltered behind a screen. And it is for her that I have killed caterpillars (except for the two or three saved to become butterflies). And It is she I have listened to complaining or boasting or sometimes remaining silent. Because she is my rose."

-Le Petite Prince-

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Last 1/3 of 2016

My September feels like roller coaster
Oh October, please don't leave me faster
Well November... This time I will try harder
December, please make it my best moment of the year!

Thank You~

Even just one tiny act from you can makes me happy!

No, no, I mean,
I'm over the moon!

Thank youuuu~

Monday, October 10, 2016

Meaning of the Sea: From the Perspective of Bajaunese Children’s Drawing

All of us experiencing environment before we even can talk or write. Our understanding of space and architecture lies in our experience of our room, our home, our street, our homeland, our village, our landscape. We try to understand the surrounding since early life. Unconsciously, we learn about them and become one of the most important memory in our life. 

"The roots of our understanding of architecture lie in our childhood, in our youth: they lie in our biography" (Zumthor, Thinking Architecture)

That would be interesting if we tried to remember what kind of environment we live in when we were a child. Our understanding of landscape at that time reflecting our hopes, our stories, our daily life.

I’m so immersed when I have a chance visiting a sea tribe in Wakatobi, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Bajau or Sama, is name of sea people who lives in the middle of the sea. Sea become the most important thing in their life. Since their early life, they were taught that sea is reflection of their twins. If one of them were sick, then the other sibling would feel the pain. Sea becomes their guardian, their twins and their mother who keep them safe and sound.

I’m curious about what Bajau’s children thinking about their surroundings. The children are the future of Bajau’s tribe. I want to know what perspective the children have? How close their daily life with the sea? What kind of the future they are expecting?

Trying to understand from children’s perspective, I use drawing as a tool for them to communicate. For young children, drawing is the best means of conveying their fondest hopes and feelings. Before they was introduced to the words, they already processing images to their expressions. Even after they mastering language, they use doodle or painting to expressing something they can’t put into the words.

“Children's drawings have often been used to diagnose the developing personalities of their authors. But perhaps they may also serve one day as instruments for assessing the environment and help us to improve the quality of environmental planning both for children and adults.” (Krampen, 1991)

Everyday Life and Surrounding

From the day they were born, Bajaunese children are inseparable with water. They are mastering swimming even before they can walk. When I was playing with them, one of their favourite activities other than swimming is drawing. Their age varies from 5 to 13 years old.

Every time we drew, we always ended our session with presentation about their drawings. They shared some of things that makes me interested. Here is some of their drawing and their explanation:

Figure 1. Fish Drawing by Iwan and Boyo

Things that always they draws are fishes, boat and house. They can identified sea creatures precisely complete with coral reef, sea grass, sand, and lagoon. The size of fish they draw may varies, but they always draw fish bigger than other creatures, sometimes bigger than people. They explained that everytime they draw big fish it makes them excited and happy. They hope they could catch it when they grow up.

Figure 2. Marni’s Drawing: House

Besides fish and sea creatures, their scribbles about house is really interesting. Their house’ signature is a ladder which help them climb from boat to their house (Figure 2, no 3) and the columns which erected on the sand (Figure 2, no 5). In this picture, Marni (10 years old) draw her house complete with her self portrait, flowers, butterflies, and sea waves. Under her house (Figure 2, no 2) is how she describe sea waves with dots, represent of large anchovy school which always following her everytime she walks on the bridge. She drew flower and butterfly too. It turns out some part of their settlements stacked by dead coral and becoming a land where they could grew some plants and flowers.

Culture and Religion

Andi's drawing

Andi’s drawing containing more objects compared to his friend’s. He always draw landscape of hill and the sea with bigger proportion of under water views. When he explained his drawing, I caught some things more deeper about the culture and religion of Bajau’s people.

In Figure 3 no.2 and 9, he draw about how Bajau’s people diving. There are a people figure with stick on the circle part (head) and dots which potrays traditional breathing equipment. Somehow it help Bajau’s people to stay longer while diving. Meanwhile, in figure 3 no. 3 and 9 he draw sea creature called ‘Kuta’ in shape of octopus. Kuta was symbolized as a sacred animal because Bajau people believe that Kuta is incarnation of their god who protected sea and Bajau tribe. Being close with big Kuta is one of his dream. He also drew sea snake (figure 3 no 4) as an animal whom he avoided the most because of the dangerous poison.

While I ask about a thing in figure 3 no 6, he referred to a ‘pocong’. Pocong is  a term or shape when people died and being ready to bury. In tradition of Bajau, when people dead, their body will be convoyed to be buried in the closest land. Andi drew it completed with the gravestone in figure 3 no 5.

Andi said people figure in no 7 and 8 which have similar form of wings, is an athlete or tourist who did skydiving from the hill of Kaledupa. Andi draw this part as the most interesting thing he ever encountered.

Dream and Hope of Bajaunese Children

After seeing Bajaunese children's drawing, we can see that water and sea has the deep meaning in their life. They are seeing water as a connector which have unlimited potential. All of the children seeing their future as Bajau people who interact with the sea and living as great fisherman. That is why their ancestors put great efforts to keep stay on the water even though they are forced to stay on the land to obey strict authority. Currently, Bajau tribe encounters difficult times related to their main living as fisherman. They have limited resources since they are living in the area of Wakatobi National Park which make them obey the rules. Meanwhile, they lost to people who fishing with bombs or big trawl. Such a relieve to know these children still have hopes to mantain their culture and environment.

If we interpreted this children drawing further, we will see how close them with environment and it can be source ideas of future development. This could be one of approach to know their culture with much deeper understanding. If we concern about development of their settlement, we have to see from their perspective, not from our knowledge about big city. We can use the understanding of cultural diversity to enhance their potential and mantain sustainable environment.
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