The task of poetry is to defeat the spectre of despair, in an age where people suffering deep inside are struggling to find the words that best describe their state of mind
It is said that the Vietnamese flag is designed with a five-point star to represent the farmers, workers, youth, intellectuals, and soliders of Vietnam. More than that, this yellow star reminds me of my friend Phuong. Today, the yellow star follows me, it follows me everywhere I go
“If you feel no shame for your country you cannot be a nationalist.”
The privilege of being a brown Southeast Asian in Indonesia is that you don’t elicit so much attention when you’re going around the country. In Malang or elsewhere, I haggle goods at the market, ask directions from people at the street without anyone getting a hint that saya bukan orang Indonesia. In many ways, it works to my advantage.
Apa yang membuat seseorang disebut sebagai orang Indonesia? Saya, Mick Basa, berasal dari Filipina, dan sekarang pindah ke Indonesia. Ini adalah sebuah keputusan yang diawali kisah dan penemuan pribadi yang sangat menyentuh, beberapa tahun yang lampau.
I like to think now that if one wants to be happy, he/she simply needs to define friendship and let go of those who don’t qualify in their own definition.
“Kakak (kuya), when are you coming back?” Rubertu asked. “I don’t know, ‘Po,” I told him.