Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: A Thousand (Siu) 

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Siu’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post,
Sunday 11
th July 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.

A Thousand (Siu)

The palm toddy warung is full of sekaa tuak (palm toddy association members). No seat available. They all sit ‘packed’. The situation is like people suffering from dengue having medical treatment along the hospital corridor as no more rooms available.

“It’s good time for us to get drunk,” says I Made Gentong Berondong (I Made Young at Heart).

He says that because his wife and his friends’ are at the meeting hall at the moment discussing about pornography. Hence the husbands have time to hang around at the palm toddy warung. At the meeting hall, their wives are suggested to turn their mobiles off when they make love. If necessary, all lights in the room should be turned off so nobody can’t see and record. However, when you get caught, what you need is just make a press conference and tell people that you are sorry without needing to admit what you did.

“From my point of view, Ariel, Luna Maya and Cut Tari are victims of what we call briuk siu (a thousand voices (lit.) – the majority wins). I mean, when many people ask the police to arrest them, they are soon to become ‘suspect’.”

Nobody really cares what I Made says. It seems they get bored of news about the porn video case. They think that it’s Ariel, Luna Maya and Cut Tari’s business as it’s them who enjoyed the ‘pleasure’ before’

“Why is it called briuk siu instead of briuk satak (two hundred voices), briuk samas (four hundred voices) or briuk satus tali (a hundred thousand voices)?” interrupts I Putu Asal Bunyi (I Putu Big Mouth But No Brain).

Everyone laughs. They are sure that I Putu will not be able to answer.

“You are such an idiot, Putu. Briuk siu means that the ‘majority oppresses the minority’. It always refers to negative meaning, as it is often the majority is wrong; where some people do not understand the situation but talk as if they do and act arrogantly.”

I Putu listens to I Made quietly.

“I do understand now what you say. I know that briuk siu similar to democracy,” says I Putu.

The standard practice of democracy is free general election. The winner is the one who gets the most votes. Given this, it happens that smart and honest contestant often loses against the one who have more friends, no matter how stupid and bad he is.

“Now I understand why a professor ‘loses’ against a criminal (in an election), and why a stupid regent remains in his power; why a corrupt high ranking officials are highly respected. That’s all because of our democracy is a procedural one, that is depend mainly on the majority votes.”

Now, it’s I Made who turns to be surprised. How come discussion about Cut Tari change to democracy?

“You both talk too much. You see, your tuak and brengkes were taken by other members while you were talking,” says the head of palm toddy association. He laughs loudly.

I Putu and I Made don’t dare to protest because they themselves are only two while the rest members are many. They are afraid of briuk siu which means that they have to ‘respect’ democracy.