Jawa #1 Semeru

As explained to me in the 1990’s by President Wahid’s friend, the Sufi poet, Gus Mus, there are two geographically different cultures within Javanese culture.

There is budaya pesisir, an outward looking coastal culture, and budaya dalam, the culture of most of the people who live in awe of their island’s many magnificent mountains.

Mount Semeru, Java’s highest peak.

Geoff Fox, 8th March, 2023, Down Under

Sejarah #1 Ambon Tsunami And R A Kartini’s Approach

Tsunamis are both Acts Of God and geological phenomena.

On the 17th of February, 1674, a very severe Tsunami in the island of Ambon, in what was then known as the Spice Islands, saw the rush inland of ocean water water 100 meters high killing over 2,000 people.

Approximately two and a quarter centuries later, writing after the event about a local flooding disaster in Java in 1899, socially conscious women’s rights pioneer Javanese princess, Raden Ajeng Kartini, wrote of the plight of the people:

“If the “West Wind,” as now, causes the rising of the waters in the rivers, and the dikes break, the rulers do all that is possible to mitigate the distress. Last year a fishing village lay for a whole week under water; day and night Father remained at the scene of the disaster. Out of special funds that were at the disposal of the Government, the breaks in the dikes were restored for some kilometers. But who was to give back to the people what the water had taken away from them? And what of the fish in the rivers destroyed by the floods?” (12th January, 1900)

Words of R.A. Kartini from 1900 with an image from the aftermath of the Aceh tsunami of 2004.

Geoff Fox, 17th February, 2023, Down Under

Memorial Trees #2 An Aboriginal Reinvention Of The Dedication

When different cultures meet in a spirit of creative freedom, amazing things can happen.

In the following micro-movie made in his Wominjeka Garden earlier this week, Uncle Glenn Loughrey turned the soil for a memorial planting and found eight words which constitute brilliant insight into what the Australian tradition of memorial tree plantings can become.

Lest We Forget.

Bunjil watches over us.

Let Bunjil fly!

To resolve the differences between competing cultures, we must seek what’s good and keep away from what’s wrong. (Amar Makruf Nahi Mungkar)

Geoff Fox, 24th September, 2022, Naarm, Down Under

Memorial Trees #1 For Those Who Served And Suffered So We Could Be Free

Watch the hands of Aussie men in dancing dedication to commemorate the courage of those who kept us free.

This is not a very highly formalised planting and dedication of a Memorial Tree.

Its a relaxed meeting of friends in a small town in one woman’s front yard.

The way they go about this reflects the values of past heroes who served for their loved ones, for their country and for us. They often suffered terribly and were all ready to die for a good life together for everyone.

Lest We Forget

Geoff Fox, 8th September, 2022, Australia

Remembrance – Peringatan #7 A Green Freedom Park

Today on the 124th anniversary of the birth of Australia’s greatest ever cricketer, Sir Donald George Bradman, I call upon Australians and their leaders to strive for Bradmanesque excellence and turn a magnificent heritage site into a world class national park.

Geoff Fox, 27th August, 2022, Melbourne, Australia