The Culture Reflection by The Language Used

world_handsMorning light didn’t make me feel okay. Getting up with a heavy body, I was starting this day to spread a good energy. I would have an Indonesian course today without my coordinator. She was taking a vacation while her job is replaced by Mbak Endah, the accountant. Today is a national holiday. Some staff have taken a holiday for two days. However, two students have class with 4 different teachers.

Arriving at Realia, I saw Mbak Endah was sitting at the teacher table, alone. She seemed ready to a course coordinator. Two students did not arrive yet. There was Mas Richards who became the first teacher of Pak Ben while I would teach him for the second session. A new book would be started today but Richards, looked like not ready for his morning classroom because he didn’t update of what the last class happened.

I came to Pak Ben and Mas David when the time was exactly at 8 a.m. However, they were in a good conversation, like always. I asked him, “pagi Pak Ben?” “Pagi Wirda, apa kabar?” “Baik, apa kabar Pak Ben?” “Aku baik.” “Are you on the teacher list?” “Ya, saya guru Anda.”
Just like what I have talked to you yesterday, he is a student who tries to find a learning method based on his ways. He has much talks in the class and has few of practical Indonesian language. He tends to more compare using another language of his to make him noticeable about his new words.

In the middle of our conversation, he was talking about Indonesian people and language. “So, I can conclude that there are only two words I need to live in Indonesia; “habis” and “belum”. Cause when I ordered something in a restaurant, they would say, habis atau belum. Or they would say InsyaAllah. But for me, an InsyaAllah response doesn’t make sense that God will permit to let that happened; because, in fact, he could not provide four cigarettes at that day. What answer I would expect that is “Okay, I am the owner of this shop, so I would make sure that in three days, I would provide four cigarettes. Instead of they say, InshaAllah”.

What I could explain to him was, the word InsyaAllah has become our culture since Moslem is the majority religion in Indonesia. When I explain to him that actually, people would make an effort when they say insyaAllah, he didn’t believe it, because,  he didn’t find an effort to provide the cigarettes.

Oh, language reflects a culture. In fact, not only Moslem who use the word InsyaAllah for to promise but also non-Moslem is one of Indonesian culture through a language. However, the word InsyaAllah which is interpreted to the willingness and agreement has been misunderstood that it is a doubt response instead of yes.

About for two hours in the class with Pak Ben, seems not long for me. I didn’t feel anxious like my other classes before, just because I confuse what topic I would like to talk about. That makes me feel like okay to teach him. And he seems friendly with other people. So, let’s see today of my last class with him because next week, Martha doesn’t give me classes with him.

Yogyakarta, 5May 2016


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