Downfall of our Surau [Robohnya Surau Kami]

24 10 2009

IMG00169-20091020-1105Robohnya Surau Kami or the Downfall of our Surau is actually one of a compilation of short story of socio-religious by Ali Akbar Navis, a prominent Indonesian author in 1950’s. His excellent short novel is « Robohnya Surau Kami » stories about culture bankruptcy in Minangkabau that first published in 1956.

The novel is a satire of a religious man that dedicated his whole life to worship God and forget that God also required human being balancing the heavenly and worldly act. The novel then became a monumental works of Indonesia’s literature. IMG00163-20091020-1058

The novel is very contrast with the reality. After the earthquake, people of Minangkabau don’t just sit and wait for aid. They work on it! Many of them have even started to rebuild their house or emergency shelter out of the rubbles of their remaining house.

There are 3 affected areas, Padang district, Padang Pariaman district, and Agam district. The pattern of damage here are patchy, in some area would be 10% damages and the neighboring village could rise up to 60% damages. Agam district suffers from secondary disaster of earthquake generated landslide.

People are depending to the river for access to clean water, latrines, and washing. The problem in urban area is that the earthquake has damaged the main PDAM (state owned water company) water intake that leaves its customer without water supply from its pipeline.

Non Food Items (hygiene kits, mosquito nets) are still on going to be distributed whilst the distribution of tarpaulin is no longer need. Most people already start to build their emergency shelter without waiting from government helps out of the rubbles and remaining material of their house and tarpaulin distribution is way too late.

The moral of A.A. Navis novel is, God has been given a land (Indonesia) that is prosperous. So don’t let your family suffer and not doing anything. Life is all about struggle and although the Surau is falling apart, life and religious affair will continue here without further a due and come in a perfect harmony.

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