I don’t know where I belong to; my parents were newcomers themselves. Mom was born & raised in Tanah Datar, Sumatra Barat while Dad was in Bandung, Jawa Barat himself. They met here & started a life here too. Me? Born and raised here, Banten. Been spending the whole 17 years here.

Years back then, I didn’t really like depicting myself as a Bantenese. Simply because I can’t speak their lingua franca nor understand theirs. That just (the language) was feeling so weird, looked so peasant-ish. Probably because it was majorly spoken by some unscholarly locals. Hehe shame on me, I know. Have no idea why I was acting like this.

Until I started to continue my study in another place. The university was located in somewhere I hardly know, somewhere new and strange to me. At first I didn’t really like to identify myself as a Bantenese since I didn’t even inherit their bloods. To me, Minang was felt more suitable. But what could I do? I wasn’t born there, living there or spend my study there. I only inherited half of Minang & Sundanese blood.

There I was, starting to join their community (let’s say it’s a community for students from Banten at our university), and trying to feel the likeness and unity since we came from the same place. I was trying to involve myself on their events. Like some gatherings and events, even my senior from high school back then involved me to their events.

So, today was my 3rd day “walking” aka roadshow around the town: visiting different schools with different social & financial backgrounds. “Babbling” around.

Well, honestly I am not a fan of doing this roadshow thing. I personally don’t like showing myself off of them, with this bright, yellowish alma mater jacket. I’d rather to stay clandestine, unnoticeable, working behind the stage than being spotted by people. I don’t really like being spotted. Yeah, things weren’t just ended-up being passers-by, they changed the other things too. So were my mind. It was changed. I’ve decided to join in.

We’ve visited some “fortunate” and “unfortunate” schools though they weren’t that plenty. We’ve spent the three days visiting five schools, and two schools by one day, with them alone, at the first day of roadshow.

Our babblings depend on the type of school. Sometimes we have to shorten our babblings, but sometimes we have to explain it a little bit longer because they have no idea what we’re actually talking about or even don’t know what we’re talking about is actually existed. Some students probably don’t know things such SBMPTN & SIMAK do exist (let’s say these two are the Indonesian version of SAT). Some students probably don’t know they can pay zero expenses on their college tuition fees to study at university. They only know the unreachable numbers of expenses they have to pay for the sake of studying at university. And so they choose to find a job and working as young labours to earn some money instead continue their study in university. Some of them really want to study at university but their parents can’t afford those expenses. Some of them don’t have any idea what they’re going to do.

Heartbreaking, indeed. We’re living on the same town but there’s a big gap of life that separates us. That’s only my town. How about the other regions? Bet there are tons of them facing the same problems like these high school students. I hope these students finally get the chance to continue their study at public university. Not just simply giving up their dreams. We definitely can’t simply let our life as it be.

Thank you, Tim Roadshow region Cilegon for these precious, last three days. So much fun. Although I am a newcomer myself from nowhere, it’s definitely our compulsory to change our beloved Banten, Cilegon in particular, to a better one. #RoadshowGakMilihMilih


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