Friday, October 29, 2010

Behind The Eruption of Mount Merapi, Mbah Maridjan; Between Loyalty and Stupidity

    Maridjan, an old man who used to live on the slope of Mount Merapi finally demised in his fabulous loyalty and strong principle. Maridjan or more familiar being called as Mbah Maridjan(Mbah is a Javanese word for Grand father) started to gain his popularity after his “stupidity” being stubborn to keep staying on Merapi slope even though it was claimed about to erupt in 2006. at that time he stated his believe that Merapi was not going to erupt yet since according to him that was not yet the time for the mountain to erupt. And yes, it was true; the mountain did not erupt
though it vomited hot smoke.
    Mbah Maridjan was obliged to be the guardian of Mount Merapi by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, the previous king of Yogyakarta. In regards of this mandatory, Maridjan was so faithful to the responsibility given to him. At this point, some people might think of Maridjan’s stupidity for Maridjan seemed not to care with any logic reasons to leave the mountain because of the disaster Merapi would bring.
    After Maridjan’s controversial decision some time ago in 2006 to keep staying on the Mount Merapi slope even many scientists had claimed that Merapi was about to erupt, Maridjan became so famous. Maridjan’s bravery and fame led to the interest of an energy drink product to make Maridjan as one of the product’s icons. Bravery, and loyalty, that was Maridjan, despite the stupidity (may be for some people think this way). Even though Maridjan might have earned lots of money from the advertisement of the product; the old man seemed not to really care about this worldly temptation, money. As the information I got, Maridjan donated half of the money for the people in his surrounding.
    Well, after some years passing, mount Merapi was, again, claimed to erupt again. A few weeks ago, the mountain showed the symptoms of eruption. Maridjan, this old man was standing still, kept staying in his shelter at the Merapi slope. He was really so obedient to the mandatory obliged to him. As told before, he was obliged to be Merapi’s guardian by the king of Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, inherited the title his father had before. People and Maridjan’s family had actually had asked the old man to join the evacuation but he kept holding tight his principle and the trust given. He stated in a joke”Nek aku mudhun, mengko diguyu pitik”(Javanese sentence)”The chickens will laugh at me if I run away from this place”. Stupid, yes may be the reason and his obedience is a stupid thing for many people. For me, yes that’s stupid but I take a great salute to his loyalty and how he really valued the trust given. Can we find the sort of man in the current time??
    October 26th, 2010 afternoon, Maridjan was still busy fixing the fence in front of his house when the other people busy packing stuffs to be evacuated from mount Merapi. Even though he wanted to stay, he told the other inhabitants to find a safer place to dwell from the (might) erupting of Merapi. And then, yes it was true, Merapi puffed hot smoke at the night. The smoke crawled from the top of the mountain to the slope. It stricken Maridjan’s village, Kinahrejo village. Many people were found dead in the next day. They were found burnt by the hot smoke. And the headline was that Maridjan was also found dead in his house. Maridjan was found dead while he was (believed) praying (from his position when he was found). At last, the phenomenal man demised in his bravery and fabulous loyalty. Through this post, I would sincerely express my deepest salute to this old man, Mbah Maridjan. Mbah Maridjan, your stupid loyalty and perseverance of the given trust may inspire the youngsters. May you rest in peace, old man.

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