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Sabtu, 17 April 2010

Akhirnya Blogger Indonesia Menang

Indonesian Children's Wish on Football
Agnes Davonar at Kompasiana


"The best part in life is reminiscing all the laughter during childhood ” Agnes Davonar

Everyday, towards late afternoon, whether it is rainy or hot, I always hear children's screams of delight when playing football. At first those noises were annoying, especially when I first moved into the house the past year. Gradually I become used to it. I was baffled watching them play as though there was nothing else that brought them joy but football.

Don't think of grassy fields and attractive goalposts. Those children play on a tennis court that suddenly turned into a football field. The area is quite large but the cement flooring is unfriendly as it would cause injuries when a child falls down. The children don't wear official football jerseys but they go shirtless and shoeless as well. The ball has no particular shape since it was bought used and never replaced. That field is entertaining for everyone, never remain unused by men or women.

I don't like football as I prefer tennis. Looking at the tennis court turning to a football field makes me feel sad. What can one do since that court is not usable anymore. It would be a pity to leave it unused so that's why people are using it for football. Sometimes I enjoyed their games when I went out for a walk, especially during the Independence Day celebrations. There were always festivities on that lot, my neighbor said. There was something else I was curious about and that was why they were so eager to play football. That afternoon, a soy milk vendor who was selling at the tennis court approached me to sell his merchandise. A boy kicked the ball outside the field. He shouted at me.

“Miss, can you kick the ball inside please?”

I kicked back while smiling, and I don't know whether it was due to the fact that I was not talented enough or I was being stupid, the ball didn't go back to the field, but it fell into the dirty gutter on the side of the field. I was heavy-hearted looking at the children's faces and I felt guilty. They had to struggle retrieving the ball from the wide gutter. I was immobile and watched as they got their ball back. They began playing again , leaving me feeling badly.

I approached the soy milk vendor and ordered a glass. I smiled and asked.

“ Miss, did you just move in?”

“ Yes.”

“ No wonder I'd never seen you before.”

“ Is that so? By the way, how long has this tennis court become a football field?”

“ It's been a long time, miss. Maybe some ten years ago.”

“ How did you know?”

“ I've been selling here for fifteen years. I know this place's history.”

“ Is that so? Where do these children come from?How come they are playing here?” I asked.

“ They live just behind this real estate. They are vendors' and laborers' children.”

“ Oh really...”

It was natural for me to ask the question because my residential area is a middle-class real estate, but it is next to a kampong. When I took a sip of the refreshing drink, five children ran towards the soy milk vendor and lined up to get their share. There was only one child who didn't do the same, as mentioned by his friends. It appeared that he didn't have the money to pay for a glass of soy milk that cost 1000 Rupiahs. I approached him and asked,

“ How old are you, little one? ”

“ 7 ”

“ Why don't you drink?” I asked and he shook his head in shame.

“ I don't have money, miss.”

I sighed and took him to line up and whispered to the vendor that I felt guilty for having kicked the ball into the dirty gutter. So today I was treating everyone to a soy milk. Hearing that, the children cheered including the boy who didn't have the money to buy. After finishing the thirst quenching drink, they thanked me.

Suddenly it crossed my mind to ask the children why they liked football so much. Didn't they choose to study at home and do their homework? All just smiled and in unison without hesitation they said,

“ We don't go to school anymore”

To me it was ironic hearing that because they were no older than 10 years old and yet all didn't go to school anymore. They said that their parents were just factory workers and market vendors who found it difficult to even buy food. They might have gone to school at one point but their situation had forced them to stop going to help their parents. In the morning, some went to the market with their parents to sell, there were others who stayed home to babysit their siblings until their parents came home. In the afternoon when they were already home, to wait for nighttime, the children would go to the tennis court to play football. I asked them again,

“ Why do you like playing football?”

One of the replies touched my heart.

“ I want to be like my idol, Bambang Pamungkas or Charis Yulianto, and become a football player. I heard that if you are a football player, you can live comfortably and people know you.”

“ Why do you want to be like them?”

“ Once you are like them, I can help my parents so they don't have to have a headache making money. It's our dream to join Persija or Persitara (two Jakarta football clubs) when we are older”.

“ So you guys will be playing here everyday?”

“ Yes miss. Did you know that Indonesia will become the host for the 2022 World Cup?”

“I heard that," I replied, ashamed that I didn't understand.

“ So, we promised each other to practice here everyday. Who knows we can be one of the national team players in 2022 ?”

“ How come you are so sure we will become the host in 2022?”

“ If Africa can do it, why can't we?” they replied spontaneously.

I smiled at their honest answers, their bid dreams even if they only practiced on a tennis court without a coach. Naturally I prayed that one day, one of them would become a national level player. If only my country will indeed become the host in 2022. Maybe I will never know why they are thinking the way they do. However, I was able to gather much thought from their stories. Football was not only part of their daily life, but it is a place to comfort themselves in the midst of life's difficulties, poverty. Football offered them laughter in search of happiness at this moment.

They are perhaps just some of the millions of Indonesian children who love football and wish to have a world cup held in their homeland. I am not a football fanatic who follows her favorite team everywhere to play on television. But those children would one day become as the ones I see on TV if their hearts love the game so much. Sometimes this makes me envious, looking at them who live a simple life but are able to have such big dreams.

The sun was setting and the children said their goodbyes. I pray that the wish of Indonesian children of a Great Indonesia in the future will come true as did the wishes of those South African children who will be hosting the 2010 World Cup. If that is the case, I feel that that enthusiasm and wishes of Indonesian children could never be less than that of other nationalities even when they are living a difficult life at the moment.

After waiting with uncertainty, it was announced that Indonesia failed to become host in 2022. I told them. They fell silent for a while, looking at each other and I was sure that their dreams had been crushed. One of them replied, when I asked them what they were thinking,”

No problem if we don't host in 2022, we still have our dreams and wish that one day Indonesia will become host, whenever that is. We are still looking forward to it.”

I sighed. I raised my hat to the innocent and magical dreams of Indonesian children.

(Submitted by Agnes Davonar from Indonesia)

1 komentar:

Terima Kasih atas Kunjungan nya !

Jangan Lupa di Komentar ya !

-SatSutPut-

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