Thursday, September 13, 2007


My son attended a very colourful Daycare/Preschool, which allow him to interact with children from various backgrounds. Most of the kids had parents who studies here, the well-known UNSW. In fact, the Daycare itself is part of Uni.

One day, the teachers come up with the ideas to invite parents from different background to talks about their culture and their home country. It’s started about 4 weeks ago, with parent from British took the first turn, then India for the second shoot and Colombia. And me.

Since the very beginning, my son warned me not to disappoint him with my presentation –or my show, that how he’s calling it- because he done such a good presentation before in front of his friends. (Yes, they did their own presentation about everything, and they can bring their favourite object along to highlight their presentation). So, I am carefully preparing everything. The good thing is my husband even got chance to flew back to Indonesia beforehand, so he happy to brought me many postcards and pictures –even big Indonesia Map- to show.

And here comes the big day

I was wearing sarong and kebaya, and my son proudly wore his batik t-shirt & blangkon. The blangkon had caused a chaos when we arrived. All kids are very curious about it, and start to beg my son to let them borrow (and as expected, he said no, and gently explained his friend for wait for the occasion. Good job, son!)

The first 15 minutes went smoothly, all kids were happy with my story about Indonesia, the people, the culture, and the foods. They loved to se all of postcards and pictures. And it comes the time for them to try-on the Blangkon. One by one, they waited impatiently for their turn. Doesn’t really matter, boy or girl, they all seem have fun with blangkon over their head. And happily posed when teachers catch this momentum with their camera.

The funniest thing is not only Blangkon is suppose to wear only by a boy or a man so it’s kind of strange for me to see the blangkon on the girls head, but also because this blangkon was my son when he about 2-3years old. So it’s bit small now, for their big head. Only 1 boy could fit it on his head perfectly.

The last 10 minutes, was Q&A session. I never expected to get soooo much Q, even I kids asked like 2-3 question.
There is one boy who sat quietly during my presentation, asked me very interesting question.

Boy : Can you tell me, why this people doing this
(he pointed to 1 of my postcard, which pictured 3 becaks. Actually, 3 becak’s driver
stand on their upside down becak, tried to peek into the match on the stadium)

Me : Hmmmm (I did not expecting this Q)

Boy : It is dangerous to do that.

Me : Yes, I know.
What happened is, these 3 men want to watch the soccer match, inside the Stadium. But
they are too late, when they came in, stadium gate closed, they did not want to miss the
game, so they put their becak upside down so they can climbed it and watched the
game. (Good answer, Ayu! I praised myself for the answer. Of course I don’t want to tell them that these 3 men maybe cannot afford to buy the ticket. It will draw more and
more question about money, etc. These kids here are absolutely clever & critical, can’t
just gave them open answer)

Boy : But it is very dangerous standing like that. They could be falling. And getting injured.

Me : That is true. That is why do not do something like this at home or anywhere. This is not
very good example.

Other Boy : But if it’s not very good example, why you’ve brought this picture and show us?
Why didn’t you show us other picture with good example?

(I don’t want to loose my face though. Especially in front of my son who looked at me
patiently, waiting for me to spell out all of my answer.)
Ok, I did bring this postcard just to show you about becak. And I am sorry; I can’t find
another picture of becak but these two postcards. So, let’s continue…
Any other question?

From the corner of my eye, I can see the teachers smile. And I assumed they must laugh at me for my stupid answer. Or maybe I just had breakdown nerve and wrongfully translate their smiled.

After another couple of Q, one of the teachers helped me to wrap this show. All kids said thank you cheerily, but I still can see unsatisfied face from the boy who dragged me into this very hard conversation.

I have learned my lesson. Do not ever underestimated children for what they might though, or they think about things that you don’t count in your eyes. Most importantly, prepare and expect the unexpected. It could help to save the face in the end.

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