Thursday, September 25, 2008


Isn't that twenty one enough in less than a month?

Less than two weeeks ago, we were shocked to learn that twenty one people died in their effort to claim twenty thousand Rupiah alm by one Islamic boarding school somewhere in Pasuruan East Java. This is not the first. We have often heard this thing, what is supposed to prolong life turned into death, and I have never been expecting what happened in Pasuruan would be the last. Today, the same activity turned to be the same disaster; this time it took place somewhere in Lombok.

That we are a nation of poor people is what we can not deny and being poor, it seems, is close to begging. If you walk the street, you would see more and more people doing this job (by the way, is begging a job?). In certain traffic lights you are very likely to see MORE beggars than passers-by.

However, apart from the unfavorable economic condition, I believe strongly that culture has its own share of responsibility for all this. Being poor is what you take,but what you are gonna do about it is what you choose.

Some people find themselves with no access to enjoy quality life and this is like, 'Hey, I deserve what you deserve and you gotta share it with me' and this is what happens; poverty they believe they are entitled to begging.
The other cultural reason is, it is not something to be ashamed of. I live in a community where there are many Arab descendants and they are constantly good givers on Friday (I learned that they believe they earn more pahala when they do on Friday). Having known that their Arab neighbors have this Friday rituals, 'poor' people just pop up out of nowhere, every Friday morning, swarming their houses begging money or whatever. I know these weekly beggars do not live under or on poverty line; they just exploit the situation without any sense of shame attached.

All said, is giving responsible too for this? Hmmm, iya kali ya..

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