School Exam and Kapuhunan
Diah Setiawaty | 19 May 2011

“Where have you been Saleha” I told her with such enthustiasm since she is one of my bright student

“My mom said I didn’t need to go to school, because the sixth grader doing those cooking stuff” she said innocently

“So what? You, Ikhsan, and Fitri weren’t coming all together, please tell me the real reason?”  I insist

“My mom said Wahid died because of that”

“Because of what? Sixth grader doing cooking stuff?”


Her eyes seemed terrified when she said it.

I took a deep breath, released a big O and told her that everything gonna be Ok..

Seriously I never thought this superticious could got that far... as far as the pole.

Kapuhunan is one of the superticious,concept of mystic believe  that people in Kalimantan have faith in. They believe if you see a food and you don’t taste it, even a little bite( nyantap is their term of taste a tiny bite of food,or somehow touching that food) something bad will happen to you( that is according to my observation and experienced, I'm sorry if my definition of Kapuhunan is maybe different from the text book u have red before). That is why people here has always been so nice to each other even to stranger by offering their food whatever they eat. It also make sense now when the sixthgrader forbid any other classes to enter and checked out their class since they are afraid any other child will go Kapuhunan. It’s so considered of them. Yes in the end everything make sense although it still not make sense to me somehow. But I guess I’ll just except it since it brings social justice somehow. It’s also the reason why the bound of solidarity between people here in the village kinda tight if you compared with peoples in the city, although here we also develop some independency since the distance between houses is scutter and quite far from each other.

For the past two days children in my school had been bringing food and display it. It’s a part of art and culture exam. And I was obligated to be one of the jury. It was fun, they bringing all the delicate food, we jury’s tasted it, and ended up by eating all together with the all the teachers and the sixth grader. I agree but the thing that concern me the most is the method of  this exam is it just put too much trouble and burdening the children of sixth grader since every one of them should brought and garnished one whole luch-packages. That include the appetizer, maincourse, and desert for three portions or more. That was too much and ofcourse creating gap between the rich and the poor.

The transportation also cost, children that lives across this island have to brought the food and dishes all together with boat. Some of their relative and parents also came to help them. Yes, some the exam cost Rp.200.000 or more. I know their parents don’t mind that but I also know their economical situation. Some parents really against all odds for the sake of their children, to make their children the best in all they do, to helped their children achieve the best mark. I’ve been there, experienced that unnecessary sacrifation. We all (the teacher) know that they don’t always eat that luxury every day. But the Principal thought that this is a tradition, so-called-farewell-party for the sixth grader.

I asked them to bring the food within a group consist of 4-5 peoples each. Most of the childrens agreed because it makes thing easier and cheaper but unfortunately the policy was cancelled by the principal. I really repent it. You can take a look some of the picture here, all the effort off sixthgraders. And how it turned out in the end

Yes they was having fun and childrens need it especially after all the final-exam- pressure of But still, am I the true realist here? Hope I’m not spoiled the party with my point of view.
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