Monday, January 30, 2017

Special Medicine against Trump-stings found in North Sumatran Kampung

Trump-stings are some of the worst in the world. There is much malice that is aggravating them at the moment.

I cannot help but feel terribly grateful for goodness and for the seeds of goodness that we can plant despite the ugly faces shown by politics. Specifically I am referring to gratifying new developments at the Simalungun Weaving Centre.

Not long ago the plan was conceived to offer seed money to young people in and around Lasma's village if they want to learn to weave. There are young women who have finished high school and have no future. There is no money to attend university, no jobs, and with the drought not even the possibility of working on the land. This is a recipe for human disaster: loss of hope, depression and desperation. These young women need a lifeline, an opportunity to build a future, a chance to make something of themselves.
One of the few remaining Simalungun houses. This is what cultural
drought looks like.
Lasma and I calculated how much money an aspiring weaver would need to purchase yarn and a loom and also to pay for a teacher willing to help her learn to weave. I polled everybody that I know who has expressed a benevolent interest in the Simalungun Weaving Centre and asked if any of them might be interested in purchasing the "first textile" (hiou parlobei) of aspiring young weavers for a price that would pay these initial start-up costs. Many responded immediately and I gave Lasma the green light.

Elderly teacher excited to be part of the
Simalungun Weaving Centre
Today I called her and was regaled of a long story about what this little spark of hope has done. I have never heard Lasma sound so excited and fulfilled. She has been crying tears of relief. One young woman named Nita has started to weave and she wants to involve some of her friends. Her new goal in life is to become a weaving teacher! An elderly weaver (in her 80s) is thrilled that she can begin to share her skills. Another elderly woman is going to ask a skilled friend to teach ikat techniques. Everybody wants to move to the Weaving Centre to live together and share stories! Chickens must not be counted before they hatch, but there seems to be enthusiasm to start a veritable weaving colony!

The elderly weaving teacher and Nita Damanik, her first pupil.
Ma Tika, Lasma's weaving teacher, has been weaving patterns from the antique textiles that I had photographed for them and she is selling her textiles with extra profit without the involvement of a middleman. She has a unique product and is working on developing her own clientele. She wants to move to the Weaving Centre, too! Such merriment.

I was finally able to transfer the donations for building Lasma's house which will serve as the Centre until we are able to erect the central building. Lasma will receive the money this week and wants to start building immediately.

Interestingly, what inspires the young women is being able to earn a living. They hope to be able to earn more by weaving than by working in the fields. They are gratified if they can achieve this while promoting their own culture.

I have started to think about building an education fund. It would be wonderful for the young women if, by becoming a member of the Simalungun Weaving Centre and learning to weave, they could also gain access to an education. That would truly stand them in good stead for the future.

Why is this Trump-sting medicine? Without going deeply into the nature of Trump-sting maladies, suffice it to say that they all have to do with the misery caused by thoughtless and uncaring greed and malice. Hope and opportunities in zones that have been made arid culturally, socially and economically are antidotes to poverty and bad seeds. It will keep people on their land and help them believe in and perpetuate the values taught by their culture. These are the people who will be able to nurture their children and create a warm and loving environment. This is the goal of the Pulang Kampung projects that are all aimed at replenishing the villages that have been milked and bilked to their deathbed.

The biggest thanks to those who have contributed to Lasma's house and the first textile weaving program. You have provided the medicine that is so desperately needed.

(All photos in this blog by Lasma Sitanggang.)

1 comment:

  1. Sandra, this is so hearterning and exciting for Lasma and the weavers. Continue to fight the good fight just as we will. -Marilyn Murphy