Saturday, August 11, 2012

Iftar with OIA Family

The nuance of togetherness

DREaM Coordinator gave gifts to OIA staffs
Girls Power - Ibu-ibu Dharma Wanita

Here, I am Back

I once decided to quit. I was so bored and weary with my routines. It was a complex combination of disappointment, confrontation and denial. Too much political hassle and unnecessary drama. I needed to move on and experience the different pace. I thought, a wider opportunity and freedom were away open out there. In fact, it was not as easy as reversing our palm.  Moreover, time to resign was a sadder moment since it was almost my three-years experience. I treasured not only the preciousness of friendship but also valuable life-lesson. There had been ups and down, tears and laughter, cheers and jeer, victory and misery and so on. In brief, I grew up on that building, 2nd floor, South Wing. On this post, I wouldn't write a reflective story or related to retrospective note. Here is just my humble confirmation, where I am now and what I am doing recently.

Released from the cage when years spending inside of it is very pleasuring and exciting. That is what I felt aftermath of my resignation form the office. Living the days without responsibilities and duties was somehow very enjoyable. I spent the days keeping up with my personal targets. I jogged and exercised quite often. I frequently went and hang out out with friends, learned IELTS, visited my family and applied to my desirable jobs and schools. I found novelty in my life rhythm, and it felt so amazing. What I really appreciated the most was freedom. I owned the freedom to do what I love without time-constrain and restriction. 

Time was fleeting. Happiness and freedom-I enjoyed previously- did not stay longer because I missed one substantial thing, 'fulfillment'. At first and foremost, I wasn't able to fill my bank account. Very sad, that I keep spending without any income. It was also a shame for a graduate to still ask money to their parents. Second, freelance was not absolutely free. Being in a freelance status gave me freedom, but not stability and temporary security I needed at the time-being. Moreover, the productivity  turned to an abrupt task-trajectory. I was also intimidated when my parents call and wondered about my activities and how I got through the day. They did not mean to, it was a caring attention from them, I guess. Third, I missed the working pressures and peer zeal, from event, project, and daily tasks that follows.

Life does not always meet the expectations. It sometimes gives you no alternative options, beside opt one in-front-of-eyes-offering. As my good sister told me that life needs flexibility. Now, I understood that I should be flexible. I am very grateful that I pulled back my initial decision. It was a conscious decision after consulting with my trustworthy adviser, friend and also parent for sure. I was back now, a place where I tossed the coin. I learned again to be more patient and sincere. Forgetting about politics and drama, I will show my commitment to project a better working environment. 

It is different now. Although I occupy the same place, there had been many changes; from my working status, Rectorat management, staff composition and interior arrangement at the office. I am glad that I am surrounded by supportive and credible colleagues. I hope my presence will be beneficial for others and my assistance will make things better and in order. So far, I am happy and  don't mind to serve and help others. It is a pleasure to see other's happiness and accomplishment. All the more, when we are appreciated.

I hope, my happiness will accompanied by my fulfillment. I expect it will be a stepping stone to achieve my future targets. I just need to be patient and know the priority. The last one is quite hard to bid. But, I do not need to worries. My self-management will be improved and time will escort me, soon, InsyaAlloh.

AG 1549 I - BLT -YK-  I don't know who has this bike. I love it, esp. the plat number.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hijab in Intersection: between Fashion and Religion

The value of ‘hijab’ - scarf or veil covering Moslem woman’s hair and supposedly laying toward chest- has transformed over decades. Let us look at surrounding!  We maybe enchanted and surprised by numerous women, young and aged, wearing hijab in different style and fashion. They do not look odd anymore, even expressed themselves creatively and freely by experimenting of wearing hijab along with outfits which fit. Chic, modest and stylish can be the impression. 

Hijab, -originally derived from Islamic woman’s duty for the sake of modesty and obedience to God- has turned to be a pop culture in my society. On this post, I would not judge those who drowning on this trend, since me myself often fascinated and hauled by this rapid innovation. For me, it is very interesting to witness and examine the hijab transformation and estimate the positive and negative consequences in the society.

Back to previous decades, I have seen woman wearing hijab. The number was still limited compared to a recent year. They had various motives regarding the commitment to wear hijab which mostly came from their pure intention to become more modest and better as a believer. From their appearance, they looked similar and monotonous. The way they dressed was just faraway from the tag of fashion; rather odd and plain instead. From Syar’i perspective, it would be justified because women discourage to deliberately attract male’s attention since all part of their body is considered as ‘aurah’. 

Recently, I witnessed the vast development on hijab world. As a matter effect, hijab connotes differently nowadays, in which the initial meaning of religion obligation has shifted to the artificial appendix of fashion. The massive transformation can be seen from ‘hijaber’-person wearing hijab- who pay more attention on how they look. Hijab now correlates with fashion, style and industry.  Furthermore, it should thank to the contribution of globalization, mass media and Internet in particular, which play significant roles for the revolutionary changes.

 Internet has introduced us to numerous Moslem fashion bloggers who all of sudden become newly public figures. Let us name it one by one: Dian Pelangi, Ria Miranda, Jenahara, Hana Tajima, Ghaida, Shea Rasol, Jezmin Blossom, and many else who happen to be hijaber, fashion designer and own their fashion-line. They are stylish and trend-setter among hijabers in Indonesia and worldwide. 

In Indonesia, the community, namely ‘Hijabers Community’, emerged as a response to the hijab expansion. They gather and share the same vision, values and interest in accommodating events related to hijab and muslimah. ‘From fashion to Islamic studies, from hijab style to learning Islam,..’ (Quoted from  The spill-over effect yet diffuses in swift motion. The community has developed their branch in regional scope in immediate period. Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and other big cities in Indonesia claimed to have established the local office of Hijabers Community on their neighborhood. 

Positive effect: Contravening Stereotype
Moslem woman is often labeled as an object of oppression by Western perspective. Woman empowerment is an issue that Islam had been struggling for. We also can not deny that in another part of the world, woman is still victimized by male-dominated power. We are very fortunate to live in Indonesia, the country which the majority holding moderate Islam-understanding and woman is empowered here. Therefore, the rise of hijab fashion and Moslem bloggers will defect the stereotype that Islam oppresses woman. 

Profiling each Moslem bloggers with their accomplishment and principle will show to the world that woman, Islam, freedom and creativity can collide beautifully. It is a proof that Islam loves beauty. This perception will hinder the wrong conception about Islam and highlight the idea that Islam respects and values woman highly. Islam does not limit the freedom of woman, but regulating them in order to protect their dignity and humility. The massive trend of women wearing hijab in stylish and elegant fashion will also articulate the voice that Islam is dynamic and compatible with the modernity. Hence, it appreciates exquisiteness and modesty on the same shoes. 

Negative impact: Consumerism Alert
The positive side seems very constructive. However, I identified one major consequence of this hijab trend, which is consumerism. A large-scale industry grew within, from home industry to a well-known label. In hijab industry, like any other industry, opportunities are open for courageous and creative people. It becomes more profitable for those who owns higher capital and conquers technology and media, let say the digital marketing. I was alarmed then to welcome the consumerism waves which shadow thousands of Indonesian women.

The Moslem fashion blogger, -who happen to be designer and entrepreneur- regularly post their style and outfits in their blog. They also frequently launch their products, such as scarf, cloths, skirt, and blouse. Since they already become trend-setter and public figures, the customer will likely imitate their styles. They are inspired to dress and wear hijab as what they see in Internet or media and copy from their favorite blogger’s style.

Subsequently, I tried to observe the customer behavior trends by visiting several Moslem stores in my town. As I guessed previously, the display of the cloths and scarf are mostly replicate the trend of fashion blogger. And, predictably these sections are usually favored by many women.  As a result, hijaber behavior towards shopping is not based on necessity matters, but anchored in the line of fashion and style. They are prone to collect stuffs which are ‘happening’ and trendy instead of shopping what they really need. They do not mind to spend considerable amount of money to collect stuffs from different color and designs to fulfill their passion and interest in fashion.

This ongoing phenomenon is more than meet the eyes. Hijab in intersection, -between religion and fashion- there must be ‘traffic light’ and ‘traffic signs’. As long as it does not violate Islam rule, I am proud of Moslem's woman empowerment in fashion industry. However, to sum up, let us define necessity better and wiser. Beautifying our outward is not a sin, but it would be much better if we could beautify our inward more and foremost.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Resuming Life in Punctuation

We need a comma, to give a moment to remember and to reflect(,)  to take a deep breath and value the beatific life we had. We required exclamation mark, so (to) be strong and steady(!) We started to use question mark to wonder what we have been longing for, where we heading to and with whom we will stay true and faithful(?) Then, we should be enclosed with period, to stop wandering around and finished observing what's going on and what's on her/his mind(.) Thus, from now on, let us use capitalization to Celebrate Our Own Authentic Life. Celebrate with the utmost gratefulness and joy. 
Do not worry, be happy, because we live with passion and purpose!