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Kami dan Mereka

Kala itu, delapan tahun lalu, tujuh gadis berseragam putih biru duduk di depan ruang kelas mereka, bersantai sembari menunggu jam pelajaran tambahan untuk persiapan Ujian Nasional Sekolah Menengah Pertama dimulai. Salah satu dari mereka berujar, "Eh, kita kan bertujuh, gimana kalau kita kasih nama 'semes' untuk gang kita, mirip sama nama boyband yang lagi naik daun". Pertemanan yang akhirnya menyatukan enam orang Muslim, termasuk satu orang laki-laki yang kemudian bergabung dalam kelompok, dan dua orang Kristen, termasuk aku.
Lahir dari sebuah keluarga Kristen yang taat tidak lantas membatasiku berteman dengan teman-teman berkeyakinan lain. Orang tuaku bahkan mendorong aku masuk ke sekolah negeri, agar aku punya kesempatan untuk memahami dunia yang sangat beragam. Sayangnya, gejala gegar budaya di awal tahun ajaran mendorong aku untuk hanya berteman dengan orang-orang yang aku kenal dari kelompok persekutuan doa Kristen di sekolah. Aku tidak sama sekali antipati, namu…

Best Things to Do in Japan: Kanazawa and Shirakawa-go

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It was on a winter break that I finally have a little time (and willingness) to romanticize a trip I did to Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. I got a lot of blast because it was my first actual trip outside Kansai area after the whole semester studying abroad and my first decent snow experience which make me overly excited, since the city I lived wasn't snowing so much. I never dreamt about traveling with friends to a complete strange place which I only saw the pictures from Instagram. Never did I really plan about this trip which eventually became one of the best memories I made in Japan. Everything feels pretty surreal and magical. It was me and five other friends on the bus headed to Kanazawa. It took us 6 hours by a night bus from Osaka to Kanazawa station. Early in the morning we were welcomed by snow falling the whole day. I did expect the snow, but never really think how cold would it be to walk all day under the snow, and I figured out that I will not do it ever again, espec…

East Asia Student Encounter (Japan, Summer 2016)

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I know it's been two years after the program, but since I'm a hardcore procrastinator and I wanted to share the story before I write another (or some other) blogpost about Japan, here it is. 

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This post is dedicated to the 40th years celebration of East Asia Student Encounter (EASE) program, held annually by Satya Wacana Christian University (Salatiga, Indonesia) and Kwansei Gakuin University (Nishinomiya, Japan). I am very grateful to be able to join this program both in Indonesia and Japan. But before I jump to my story about what I did in Japan, I would like to give a brief explanation about what this program exactly is. So, as mentioned on the program name, EASE is a program that unite students from Indonesia and Japan. Members will stay together for two whole weeks and join some activities related to the establishment of good relationship between two countries, Japan and Indonesia. EASE will be held alternately every year, Indonesia for every odd years like in 2015 and …