The Jakarta Post
Two state high school SMA 9 Malang students read critical poetry, including those by Wiji Thukul. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)
Students and teachers from state senior high school SMA 9 in Malang, East Java, orchestrated a musicalization of poetry event on Friday.
The poems read included some well-known Indonesian poets’ works such as Kesaksian (Testimony) by WS Rendra and Aku dan Diponegoro (Diponegoro and I) by Chairil Anwar.
Three critical poems portraying social reality from the still-missing writer and activist Wiji Thukul, Bunga dan Tembok (Flowers and the Wall), Di Bawah Selimut Kedamaian Palsu (Under the Blanket of Fake Peace) and Aku Lebih Suka Dagelan (I prefer Dagelan), were also performed.
The school’s Indonesian language and literature teacher Muhamad Sinwan said the aim of the event was to prepare the students to face the digitalized era’s reality through literature.
“These days, the more you try to hide the worse it actually is,” Sinwan told The Jakarta Post.
Sinwan added that literature should teach goodness through everyday phenomena, whether light or grim.
He himself performed his own piece titled Kehancuran Negeri Ini Dimulai Dari Bangku Sekolah, Waspadalah (This Nation’s Destruction Starts from School Benches, Beware), a poem telling the story of how students study day and night, yet still cheat during their exams.
Muhamad Sinwan reads his own poem criticizing the Indonesian education system. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)
Guest teachers and students from Bukit Mertajam High School, Penang, Malaysia, who were visiting on a student exchange program, also watched the performances.
“As common nations, I was very impressed with the poetry readings,” Bukit Mertajam High School’s headmaster Encik Mohammad Nazri Bin Bahri commented. (iru/kes)