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Jakarta Post

Is it true that heaven is under a mother’s feet?

  • Indraswari


Bandung   /   Tue, July 28 2020   /  01:00 am
Indonesian Commuter Train (KCI) Officers provide education flyers to prevent sexual harassment to KRL passengers at Jakarta Kota Station, Jakarta, Friday (12/27/2019). The education campaign activity is to provide assistance in how to prevent or encourage the courage of victims and witnesses to act against the perpetrators. -(JP /Dhoni Setiawan)

Indonesians are familiar with a proverb that goes “surga di bawah telapak kaki ibu” (heaven is under a mother’s feet), which implies that a mother has a very high position in a family and in society and we should love, care and respect her. The narrative following the proverb usually relates to a woman’s biological role, such as a mother’s struggle during pregnancy and giving birth. Other roles immediately following after birth, such as breastfeeding, are sometimes quoted to further emphasize the importance of respecting a mother. Religious leaders, teachers and the media contribute to promoting this point, which is why the proverb and its underlying values are accepted almost without reservation, at least normatively. Yes, we should love, care for and respect the woman who gave birth to us. The question is, is a mother the only woman we should pay ...