Sep 23, 2017 Last Updated 1:04 PM, Sep 13, 2017

If I were Australia/ Kalau aku Australia

 Yacinta Kurniasih

 Translation by Stuart Robson

 

Tanya


Pernahkah kau bertanya kepada dirimu sendiri?
‘Siapakah sebenarnya aku?’
Dan jawabmu?


Aku merah putih
Aku biru berbintang-bintang
Aku garuda yang terbang melayang tak pernah bertengger
Aku kangguru yang terbelenggu dua tangan pendekku


Lalu beribu tanya menyerbu

Apakah merahku lebih putih dari putihku?
Apakah putihku lebih merah dari merahku?

Apakah bintang-bintangkku bersinar?
Mengapa tidak?!
Jika bersinar………..gemerlapkah sinar itu?
Jika tidak………mengapa harus?


Lalu garudaku?
Dimanakah seharusnya aku bertengger?
Ramahkah aku kepada bumi dan manusia-manusiaku?

Kalau tidak………haruskah aku?


Lalu tanya menjadi berjuta
Tanpa jeda……………………

(January, 2010)

 

Questions


Have you ever asked yourself,
‘Who am I really’?
And what was your answer?

I am the red-and-white
I am the star-spangled blue;
I am the Garuda that glides through the air without ever resting
I am the Kangaroo, my paws shackled

Then a thousand questions assail me

Is my red whiter than my white?
Is my white redder than my red?

Do my stars shine?
Why not?!
If they shine… do they twinkle?
If not… should they?

What about my Garuda?
Where should I come to rest?
Am I kind to the earth and my fellow human beings?
If not… should I be?

Then the questions turn into millions,
Never pausing for breath….

 

Kalau aku Australia


Kalau aku Australia
Akan kukatakan kepada Ratuku
‘Pulanglah kepada anak-anakmu dan cintailah mereka,
Sehingga mereka akan mengerti untuk menghormati tanah dimana mereka berpijak’

Kalau aku Australia
Akan kumohon kepada Ratuku
‘Biarkanlah aku berjalan dengan kakiku sendiri
Mendengar dengan telingaku sendiri
Menari dengan tangan-tanganku sendiri
Melihat dengan mataku sendiri
Berlari dengan peluh keringatku sendiri
Merasakan dengan nuraniku sendiri
Bersalah untuk menjadi benar
Jatuh untuk menyapa bangun
Sakit untuk mengharap sembuh
Takut untuk memburu berani

Kalau aku Australia
Akan kulambaikan selamat tinggal kepada Ratuku sambil kukakatan
‘Bukan istana yang kumau! Disini rumahku bukan dibayanganmu!’

(January, 2013)

 

If I were Australia


If I were Australia
I would say to my Queen,
‘Kindly return home to your offspring and love them,
So that they will know how to respect the land where they are’

If I were Australia
I would request my Queen,
‘Allow me to walk with my own feet
To hear with my own ears
To dance with my own hands
To see with my own eyes
To run with my own drops of sweat
To feel with my own conscience –
To be wrong for the sake of becoming right
To fall to know how to get up
To be sick in order to hope for recovery
To be scared in order to pursue courage

If I were Australia
I would wave goodbye to my Queen while saying,
‘It’s not a palace I want! My home is here, not in your shadow!’

 

Oi! Oi! Oi!


Oi! Oi! Oi!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Oi! Oi! Oi!

Suara babi????
Bukan!!!!
Itu suara kebanggaan!!!!
Betul????
Ya!!!!
Wah!!!!

(January, 2011)

 

Oi! Oi! Oi!


Oi! Oi! Oi!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Oi! Oi! Oi!

Is that the grunting of pigs????
No way!!!!
That is a cry of pride!!!!
Really????
Yep!!!!
Wow!!!!

 

Indostralia


The Goddess of Asia-Pacific summoned two of her children, Australia, the oldest and Indonesia, the youngest for an urgent meeting.

The Goddess: what is happening to you two?

Australia: You are noisy!
Indonesia: You are smelly!

Australia: You scream five times a day!
Indonesia: And you drink five times a day!

Australia: I hate you! You have too many friends!
Indonesia: I hate you! You have too many playgrounds!

Australia: You are messy!
Indonesia: You are grumpy!

Australia: I want your Bali!
Indonesia: I want your clean air and the gardens!

Australia: Stop throwing the firecrackers in my backyard! You terrified my puppies!
Indonesia: Stop littering my front yard with your beer bottles! That’s where my kids
play and pray!

Australia: Stop speaking in so many languages! You are too multilingually confusing!
Indonesia: Stop being lazy! You are too monolingually boring!

Australia: I hate you, but I love your tempe!
Indonesia: I hate you too, but I’m crazy about your lamb!

Australia: Stop being too friendly and sending your friends in my playground without
asking my permission!
Indonesia: Stop being so mean! My friends lost everything and I want to comfort
them!

Australia: Stop being too Javanese!!
Indonesia: Stop being too White!!

The Goddess: All right! All right! I love you two dearly but I want you to get along.
I am doing something about it. With the power of love that I have for
you, I am turning you two into one and from now on, I shall call you
INDOSTRALIA!

Australia and Indonesia looked at each with an opened mouth, in shock and before they knew it they were melting into ONE.

 

Yacinta Kurniasih (yacinta.kurniasih@monash.edu) teaches  Indonesian Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University.  Her latest publications include ‘To Whom It May Concern’ A Compilation of Poetry (YJP: Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan, 2015) and ‘Local activism versus recentralization: The case of Javanese in municipal offices in Central Java’ , Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies, Special Issue 162 on Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Eds: Goebel, Cole, Manns, April 2016).

Inside Indonesia 124: Apr-Jun 2016

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