Dedet - Background

Feeling as if in a dream … as if there was lightning in the dark of the night. Tonight is not like the night before. Hearing that the mountain has moved to the status of ‘beware’.
Worried … my mother calls my name waking me in my room. Scrambling .. I sprain my foot but feel nothing. Throwing anything that fits into bags. My tears fall without sobbing. I run towards Kamulan and take a pinch of soil. “I pray that the ancestors will bless us and come with us to the evacuation centre.”
The evacuation centre is very crowded … like a market but no-one is selling. Ibu Wayan who lives to the North of my house, the old woman from the other Western side of the road and Ibu Made who lives to the South are all sobbing. Overwhelmed with sorrow in the corner of the evacuation centre. Sitting next to each other regretting this situation …. which they could never have imagined.
Seeing that … I feel very happy. As if I am being sprinkled with tirta sanjiwani (holy water) is how happy I feel. “Why are you so happy when everyone else is crying?” snarled one of the women. I am happy to see everyone getting along. Ibu Made, it is said, performs magic and people are wary of approaching her. And now they are sitting with her side-by-side chatting. And the old woman and Ibu Wayan who never got along because they were jealous of each other’s possessions are sitting together.
I am so very happy to see all the people loving each other. This is God … coming amongst us … giving the gift of “goodwill in the face of disaster”.

by Desak Made Yunda Ariesta
English by Terry (with idiom assistance by Garrett Kam)