“[Celebration] on the seventeenth of August was already festive. Not like it used to. In recent years I have felt free.”
Supiah is a housewife in Talangsari III Hamlet, East Lampung Regency. She has a simple dream for his village to no longer die. The bloody incident that occurred several years ago in February 1989 has a long impact of nearly three decades for its citizens. “I want my village not to become a dead village. There used to be no activities. There weren’t even celebration of independence day. To see things, you have to go to a neighboring village,” she said.
Dark incident that occurred nearly 30 years ago, leaving injuries and deep trauma. “Location people,” or known in Indonesian as “orang-orang lokasi”, is the name given to the survivors who returned to their original place in Talangsari III Hamlet – now Subing Putra III Hamlet – after being displaced. Supiah narrated the condition of the residents, “Ibu Rasemin has suffered trauma until now. Very reserved. If there is an event she will not come at all. Her child died, no one know where he/she was buried.”
In addition to the trauma, stigma and discrimination against “orang-orang lokasi” also led to social exclusion. They are not accepted by the community and then it makes them unable to enjoy public facilities and services in general.
“In 2005 I had a child, a young boy. At that time there was polio immunization. Then a friend told me, ‘Why was everyone asked to go there, why didn’t I? they said “orang lokasi” are not invited.’ Just like a step child,” Supiah recalled.
Since 2016, Supiah decided not to remain silent seeing the condition of her village with social relations that were damaged by past events. She has actively been gathering groups of mothers and forming groups to empower their economies. However, her efforts are not necessarily easy and smooth. Rejection and other rejections are often received. But her persistence paid off.
“I kept persuading Ibu Rasemin. I invited her to activities, I picked her up on a motorcycle. I invited her to pengajian (Islam group study, usually with koran recitation), and cooked together for tahlilan (common practice of worship ceremony for Javanese) and pengajian. Now she wants to unite and mingle with all the other mothers.”
Supiah proudly shares the changing conditions in her village.
Supiah invites“orang-orang lokasi” to come to pengajian activities and also the Development of Family Welfare (PKK) so that there is space for interaction and socializing with the community. Through these spaces and forums, the stigma and discrimination inherent to them lowly fade. Social relations are re-established.
To empower the economy of mothers, Supiah is also diligent in inviting her group to participate in bazaar activities, cooking what is in the village and what can be processed. “The potential that exists in our village such as cassava, bananas, taro. Yes that’s what we cook and process. No need to look for them in another hamlet. The results are sold at the bazaar. I invite mothers to cook for cassava chips, taro, and various other snacks,” she said. Supiah also has a bigger dream that she is working on. Building a co-operative is her goal so that mothers can save profits from the sales of the proceeded food and access loan assistance.
Health exercise is also seen by Supiah as an activity that can build community intimacy while slowly healing the wounds of survivors. This activity has just been initiated. Ideas, innovations, and spirits seemed to endlessly approach this figure of woman with two grandchildren. “I want my hamlet to be more advanced than other hamlet so that it will not be left behind by the others,” Supiah said.
Supiah is one of the thousands of Pandu Inklusi Nusantara (PINTAR) figures throughout Indonesia who are striving for social inclusion for marginalized and excluded groups. The momentum of Indonesia’s independence celebration is proof that Talangsari Hamlet is no longer dead. No need to go to the neighboring hamlets to see a lively annual celebration.
“Now we have our own program. Children can be crowded, happy, laughing, participating in competitions. The mothers also join in. Tug of war, cooking competition among RT, etc. [Celebration of] August seventeenth is already festive. Not like it used to. In recent years I have felt free, “said Supiah.
Supiah is one of the organic cadres of Program Peduli called Pandu Inklusi Nusantara (PINTAR). In November 2018, Supiah received an appreciation from Program Peduli at the PINTAR Appreciation Night event in Yogyakarta.