MJA Nashir and I are now in Medan. Pulang Kampung III has been launched and is now behind us. We are in the lovely home of Bintang Sitompul whose sweet mom, Marisi Sidjabat, insists on looking after our every need.
Preparing the launch was hectic. Too few hands, too much work. Many stresses and too little sleep. Nevertheless, many dreams came true.
A high point was the presence of Pak Sudi Silalahi, Minister of the Secretary of State. He launched our journey and blessed us at the end of the ceremony when he enshrouded each of us in an ulos. We have wanted to give him a copy of our work since 2011 when he kindly granted us an audience with him. Now we were finally able to hand over the newly produced cassette of book and film, I tried out the umpama that Tulang Panusunan Simanjuntak taught me:
Mardongan jarijari na sampulu
Hulehon hami tu hamuna,
Bapak Sudi Silalahi na burju,
Ulaula ni pingkiran dohot tangannami.
I had Nashir join me on stage for the presentations of our work because if ever a product was the result of collaboration, this was it. This was surely the culminating high point of the last 3 years. The Taman Mini stage became the focus of energies that were combined during the making of the film. The launch was whole and complete.
Suarasama was able to attend and was willing to perform. They played the Weaving Song, the theme song of the film, among several other pieces. The remarkable sphere that they created charmed everybody. As ever, I was deeply, deeply impressed by the quality of their work and counted myself so lucky to have had their participation in our film.
Ompu Okta boru (our weaving star) and Ompu Okta doli (our narrator) as well as Ompu Rido (who played the role of Si Boru Hasagian in our film) were able to attend. This sounds simple. But Pak Jerry’s role in all of this was heroic and he regaled us in quiet moments with the story of his heroism cutting through miscommunications and bad weather, managing on sleep deficit, and exercising his considerable powers of persuasion, to get the group to Jakarta. We were happy that they were among the first to receive the printed copy of our work.
Febrina Pakpahan, Lasma Sitanggang, Paul Manahara Tambun and Ojak Tampe Silaban, our four youth, were able to be present (another chapter in Pak Jerry’s saga) and help us celebrate ulos. They received the first copies of our work as a sign of the future of Batak culture that we hope they will always actively defend.
This is a clip of a well-done program about my work. The only shortcoming is its focus on me alone, whereas nothing has been done, and nothing could have been accomplished by me alone.