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The fasting month of Ramadhan is the best time to share. While many
prefer to share food and money with the needy, others do something
different — offering food for the soul for free.
Different subjects, such as art, culture, design, film, literature, marketing and philosophy, are all out there for people to learn about, free of charge.
All you need is a little bit of effort, like browsing the Internet to learn about the latest programs. But most importantly, a strong will and the spirit to learn.
Obsat, which is short for Obrolan Langsat, is a discussion forum held in the parking space of the salingsilang.com office at Kebayoran Baru in South Jakarta.
Obsat has brought in various speakers, from business tycoon Aburizal Bakrie to Vice President Boediono, for those who are interested in listening and learning.
“We are happy to see that Obsat can penetrate various social classes and can enlighten those who join the discussions,” said the forum’s coordinator, Hedi Novianto. “We hold this forum based on the spirit of sharing.”
At Komunitas Salihara in Utan Kayu, East Jakarta, you can join in the free monthly discussions and lectures, featuring topics that range from religion, public policy and gender, to pop culture.
“We want to provide a forum for deep discussion and not merely comments. We want to be more critical,” says Mohamad Guntur Romli, the curator of the discussion and lecture.
Communication expert Ade
Armando found that knowledge sharing tends to happen within
the middle class in big cities, as they can afford to receive this knowledge and prefer to share it with
“Revolutionary changes in society are usually initiated by educated people,” he says.
In the commercial world where money rules, the middle class start movements to share things for free from sources such as Wikipedia, open sources and free e-books.
“These people express their resistance to commodities. They do not express it by rejecting capitalism, but by providing the room to share things to better people’s welfare,” Ade said.
An office worker, Yeni Setiowati, was one of many who enjoyed the sharing spirit.
All she had to do after joining Yoga Gembira (Fun Yoga) — which offers two-hour free yoga sessions at Menteng’s Suropati Park in Central Jakarta — was bring a yoga mat and say “Hello.”
“It’s so refreshing,” says Yeni, who has been a member for only a month, but claims she is already hooked. “I sweat a lot without
having to follow vigorous moves like when I’m doing aerobics. It’s fun, too.”