LETTER FROM BUJANG, CHILD OF TALANG ETHNIC GROUPS
My name is Bujang, I am child of Talang mamak ethnic groups. I live in Datai village, This village in centre of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. My Village surrounded by forest have many wild animal like tiger, tapir, elephant, monkey and wild pig. I don’t know exactly my old, aproximetly 13 year old, because my father said I was born when of rice harvest season, but they don’t know what year.
I am the first child and I have 4 young sister/brother. This is make me have big responsibility to help our parent. Since 10 years old, I often follow my father go to the market with canoe. When we want go to market for sale or buy something, we need 2 day for go and 2 day for come back. When the river overflowed we can’t use the river for come back, we must be walking about 2 days.
We are, Talang Mamak children since childhood we can swim, I think when we can walking same we can swimming. Beside row the canoe , the other children actifity in my village are dive and shoot the fish. Usually we go in small group, 2-5 children in one group. Every people bring the ‘gun’ and sun ‘sun glass’, both we make from wood or bamboo. When I still small, I only dive in river not to deep, but now I can dive and looking for fish in deep location of river.
Some time I follow my father go to the forest looking for jerenang. Jerenang is a rotan fruit, and we collect the blood of this fruit. Blood of jerenang fruit is exvensif and not difficult to sale because some people come to my village to buy jerenang.
My family live in Datai have been seen long time ago. This village have more than 50 family or about 250 people stay here. We can’t reading. Writing and counting but we know the money, now days more than 30 children can writing, reading and counting. In Datai village we learn in small school (non formal school) we call “Sanggar Belajar datai”. The school start 2 year ago by Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program (STCP). Permanent teacher only one person, his name Syafarudin, but we call Mr Tatung. We love our teacher and some time the student bring and give some fish when we get fish from river.
Beside teach about reading, writing and accounting, Mr Tatung give some information and open our brain/thinking about forest. He said the virgin forest only in Bukit Tigapuluh NP, where we live and we have to protect this forest, if we protect the forest its mean we protect our self. Skill of reading, writing and counting very important for us, because when the people from outside give some information we can check first the information. The people from outside want to cut the wood and sale, they said we can get the money if we sale the wood but where and how we live again if the forest gone. We need the forest , because we can get some food, we can animal hunting with traditional hunting or we can get the fish when we want eat fish. If forest gone, all our food gone and after that my ethnic gone.
Beside Mr Tatung, we have some people come to teach in school lie student from university or high school. Some time the big brother who with black uniform ang big bag carier teach too. This big brother are member of tiger protection, I think they very strong and brave.
We learn about 15-20 days/month, usually we start in the morning at 08.00-10.00 wib. Since the school start until now the children mostly in Datai Village are student, and now we have more than 80 student. However we don’t go to school every day, because we must be help our parent, like take care young brother or got to field of rice plantation for protection from animal like bird, monkey deer or wild pig. When the fruit rice mature until harvest season we stay I the field and we don’t go to school. I proud when I can writing, reading and counting because my father can’t.
Unfortunatelly, our school stop now. The building begin broken, when the rain water come in to school, and the grass or scrub growing in the school, I sad looking this. Mr Tatung, since a few month ago not come to my village and automatic the school stop, we miss him. We don’t know why? But we hope this school can start again.
In this week I meet with Mr Tatung when I go to market, he said the school will start again. This is good news for me. In the next week Mr Tatung will go to Datai village and begin to renovation our school. We hope next month the school will start again.
This is little information from us in Datai village centre of Bukit Tigapuluh NP. We live in forest but we want development like you are too. Some time I send informatioin again and see you.
Thank you for your support.
FUNNY STORY IN DATAI The other activity of Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program to community beside education program is healthy care activity. This is true story when I start in Datai Village.
The Doctor team and I go to the Talang Mamak ethnic in BTNP. Usually before the doctor checkup and give some medicine, we must write personal patient data like name and old. The first patient is old man, he come to me and I ask him about name and old. He said “my name mr A and I am 35 years old”. I didn’t believe this, because he is the oild man, I think about 50-60 years old, but he convinced he 35 years old and I write. After he finish, the second patient is young man, and I ask too, he said “ my name mr B and I am 35 years old”. I believe this man. Before I finish with this man, the first patient come to me again and explain the second patient is his son. The Doctor and I laught because funny and impossible father and son have same old.