Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: FB

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘FB’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, as published in Bali Post, Sunday 18th April 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.


It is the first time for I Made Belog Nyodog (I Made Very Stupid): he comes late to the palm toddy warung today. His friends are playing Chinese cards when he comes.

“We have enough players to play, Dé, you may just watch us playing. If you have some extra money to donate, we would appreciate that,” says I Wayan Ngajet Ngaper (I Wayan Want Everything at Once).

Made makes no comment. Instead, he leaves from the warung, grabs his bike and brings it inside of the warung.

Everyone wonders what for. They see a laptop attached to Made’s bicycle rack.

“What is that, ? Why do you carry a television? Are you going to mortgage it?” asks Wayan. Wayan is a kind of silly person.

Madé grabs a tum nyawan (steamed bees with Balinese spices wrapped with Balinese leaves) and sips palm toddy. He takes a long breath.

“It is all because of my daughter,” says Madé.

He has only one daughter—her name is Ni Luh Ngerépét Célcél (Ni Luh Flirtatious). Her friends call her Cindy. She goes to Junior High School. She is in the eight grade.

Now they really pay attention to Madé. They stop playing Chinese cards.

When it comes to children issues, especially teenagers, it is considered as a very important topic by the parents; other issues such as ‘Gayus’ scandals (tax corruption), a dirty national police general whose side job is as a cinetron artist, the riot between civilians and security team (that just happens in Jakarta), or Anand Krishna the meditation guru who felt faint after a long interrogation process some days ago………, are less important.

In addition, news about FB date-rape of school children has increased anxiety among parents. They now get up earlier to be able to take their children to school. Everywhere they go they have a knife attached to their waists. They plan to stab the rapists/kidnappers if by any chance they meet them. They think that it will be useless to keep them alive and send them to the police or to court. Because they can be released any time, especially when they have somebody to defend them or have money to bribe.

“What happened to your Cindy, Dé?” asks Wayan.

Madé tells his story. He says that when his daughter at home, all she does is sit in front of her computer: she won’t help her mother cooking in the kitchen; she won’t sweep the yard; forgets to do offerings, and she even forgets to have her meals.

“She has become very addicted to Facebook. She tells me that she has a lot of new friends: I can’t understand what is special about having a lot of friends in ‘cyber space’; friends that you wouldn’t ever meet nor hang around with,” says Madé.

This morning Made was startled to see his daughter staring at her laptop and enjoyed porn sites of good-looking men. Some were half-naked, some even totally naked.

“I got very mad and I beat her. I took her laptop, so she wouldn’t be able to access Facebook. Now I am looking for a buyer to buy this laptop,” says Madé.

Everyone laughs. It’s the first time for them they hear of father ‘seizing’ his daughter’s laptop.

“Do you think that your daughter will not access Facebook or browse porn sites after you take her laptop? You know, your daughter will go to warnet (cyber café) instead, or do it on her mobile phone,” comments Wayan.

“I thought that the pictures of naked men are saved in the monitor! Aren’t they? My God, I get confused. What is internet actually? What is FB? Oh I’ve got a headache…”

Everyone laughs. If you don’t know anything about technology how will you teach your children how to deal with technology wisely?