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1st Flag Ceremony at SDN 002 and Our View on Progress

Patrya Pratama 9 Desember 2010
6th December 2010 was certainly one of my best day as SDN 002 Labuangkalo teacher. We held our first flag ceremony after more than two years. For most people or students in Indonesia’s big cities, flag ceremony might not have the most popularity from the things we do at school, but when you havent had one in years and found that barely any students have experienced it, it does matter a lot. It was like an oasis despite the whole problems this school faces. Flag ceremony is important not in itself, but it holds significant for the many things that come with it. A ceremony reflects the students’ dicipline to stand still, to listen, to lead, and to follow. It is also a good learning field for students that are not sure if they can perform in front of their friends and face mocking when they make mistakes. It is one of those moments where “virtual ghost/bears in the back of our mind that block our progress” get defeated or won for the rest of their lives. Escpecially because we havent done this for years, the expectation was quite low from fellow teachers and students. For me, my expectation was quite high as it would set the standard for future flag ceremony. Most importantly, it was a good moment for some dicipline showing among teachers themselves. Moreover, it shows that Indonesia indeed does still exist and given a damn by the kids at least. It was such a proud moment. We only practiced for three days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday prior the D-Day. They (teachers and students) did not have any memories at all on how flag ceremony would be conducted, it has been more than 2 years! The good thing was that everybody got excited to have it. Darn it, if you hates flag ceremony, you gotta see the faces of almost all kids here, you’d be ashamed. It was myself and Pak Wahyu that coached the kids (fyi, we are the only teachers available/present). We decided to omit “mengheningkan cipta” and “menyanyikan lagu wajib nasional” because the kids hadnt been able to sing the song properly.We’ll do both next week. We also did not care so much on the perfect “baris berbaris”. Just get the students know how to perform “sikap hormat”, basic “maju jalan”, and sing Indonesia Raya, and most important of all: get the red and white flag right! And everything was just completed as planned. Pak Wahyu and I were relieved. The whole petugas upacara, I, and Pak Wahyu gathered for a bit afterwards and I did not waste anytime in telling them that they can do it and have no reason to be feared of anything in the future. I hope the bears and ghost got defeated at that time and never come back. Now I know the feeling when teachers get really proud when their kids actually CAN do the feared, perform the least expected, and achieved the impossible. SDN 002 Labuangkalo finally had our first flag ceremony. Even after the ceremony, many of the kids, including the lower grades were playing as if they were pemimpin upacara and pembina upacara, doing the “laporan”, singing the Indonesia Raya, and performing the conducted of the aubade. If only kids were as enthusiastic as my SDN 002 regarding flag ceremony. Looking Indonesia, looking the ceremony I can relate a lot this experience of flag ceremony and our ways of looking at our country, Indonesia. When the flag ceremony was finally conducted, i dont think the students, the parents, or even the principal knew how big of a step that the school managed to complete at that day. They did not seem to appreciate the event any high. All I know, a lot were achieved that day. From the dicipline to come at school by 8am, to stand still and listen to our headmaster for the first time in years, to sing together the national anthem, and to defeat our fear to perform our duty in front of other’s eyes. Yet they seemed indifferent. Maybe they will never realize the leap forward they made that day. Indonesia is of the same story I think. Most of us still think that we are very underdeveloped. We dont dare to expect high to how our country can perform. We are full of doubt. We are overwhelmed by how our current situation and our past led us. Nevertheless, progress has been made. Democratic believer, good lawmaker, devoted teachers, NGO activists, honest businessmen, are found in many instances. We make them as if they were lone-ranger. They are not. We are just not there yet to realize our leap forward, just like my SDN 002 students, parents, and teachers who thought it was just another ceremony.

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