Tuesday, April 29, 2014 06: 05 Nurkhayati Aida

Talking about river and its surrounding community, my memory drifted on the role of an architect who is also a chaplain Yusuf Bilyarta ( YB ) Mangunwijaya. How did he do the social modification and conjure up the banks of the Code river to be livable, not only the those things, Romo Mangun he is usually accosted also provides an alternative learning for the children who live surrounding the river.

Exactly what does Romo Mangun do is a rebellion of the decent standard living which has been understood by most people. The river banks and the surrounding environment is often seen as the disturber beauty of the city layout. With some modifications to the existing buildings on the Code river banks, the settlements which will initially condemned by the Government of Yogyakarta succeed became the winner of the Aga Khan Award in 1992.

River and Chain of the Information.

The river which in its flow is water is one of the four basic elements of human needs, besides  wind, earth and fire. Like the three other siblings, water also has two characteristics that are  reassuring and destructive. Two basic characteristics that must be owned by earth, water, wind and fire is strongly influenced by how humans treat of the four elements. As basic of  human needs, water flows at the river followed the nature pattern of the soil structure which is passed. Water by its flow, flows naturally, from the top flowing out to the lower area. This is the first main point which must be internalized its existence, that water and the river flow will constantly go down on the lower places. At this point exactly, I want to convey is the term of “ flood submission “, the terminology used to describe water that flows out from top as if blame the water flow with its great volume . Then the water from the river from the top become the main cause of the flood. By using the term “ flood submissions”, partically, we had unconsciously “ blame ” the water which comes from the top.

Observing from the period of times, the rivers in Indonesia take important position, the rivers are not only considered as water flow out from the top to the bottom, which flows from upstream to downstream, or it is only considered as water travel path. River as the coffee shop in the previous period is a place where information was developed and broadcasted, the river more than just a place for washing and bathing. River is a chain of information source and even an education center.

During the modernity period has not been much affecting Indonesia or even when the country has not yet named as Indonesia, the parents and our ancestors used river as a place to socialize, an arena where information exchange and mutual appointment area, also with the wisdom. With no doubt the role of after period, river continuously experienced shift function. River isn’t considered comply the standards of modern society about health and clean. Slowly but sure, the people of Indonesia started to decide the river as a friend of daily fulfillment and the dissemination of information.

Be the Friend with The River

River is also considered as a part of the unique culture formation process which adorning an area. Looking at the rivers which functioned as a part of culture community, we could find  how the rivers are functioned as a land as well as at the junction of the Kuin river and Barito river in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, by functioning the rivers as floating market. River is not only meant as liquid element in the water as in general, but water is also meant as a source of livelihoods and the meeting of each commodities which originating from the coastal area ( water ) or mountain ( land ).

Rivers indeed are not only as a cause and effect of the main causes why water can flow and overflow from the river, and then we call it as flood. Rivers which are no longer treated like a friend, it is just a place to cast the garbage, which assume that in the rivers all kinds of garbage will be wasted. And we are now only able to see the river is just a place where the water flows without any dialectical sociological dynamics, where the role of community in the river bank are no longer enable to functionating the river properly.  

{} Aida Nurkhayati 


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