I left the dorm, few weeks ago. I did some dormy activities. As it’s named ‘Rumah Kepemimpinan’ we were treat to be a real human with deep and comprehensive of humanity of Islam. What an ideology!
Besides the dorm, we had cultural activities every monday morning. After praying subuh and WBS (Waktu berkah subuh) or dzikr together we had to attend a little ceremonial procedure till 6.30 am by supervisors. Once a week. We could even skip it and get to permisson on unwellnes body. What an excuse! It called a mannerly customed disease of students.
Despite of all, two years spent in the dorm was taught me obviously to be always waking up and preparing the day. As I’d been trained implicitly by the home-supervisor, Mom. Let me explain how she coached me to be the boiled eggs. I said boiled because it has no oil, so it’s healthy. Although I ate fried egg already.
When the subuh praying was over and the sun hasn’t rise yet, I usually take this time as a prime time to get back to sleep. Didn’t you think so? While it didn’t happen as expected.
The curtains was opened roughly, the pan was washed severely, and water was flowing profusely. All those noises would automatically wake you up. As it felt, the home-supervisor was getting ready for cooking. Every morning cooking. Not just monday or friday, even birthday, it took all day. What a lounge Sunday!
Generally my mom would start with phrase “Check the rice-cooker and cook the rice!” Fortunately my unconcious brain was set to do those things many years ago. It started when I was 15 honestly, as the time my families didn’t use the maid.
Since the rice was already cooked, some vegetables was waiting to be cut. Then choping the spices up. While my mom would saute it as cool as chef. Meanwhile I’ll hand the laundry on. Washed all plates. Swept the floor, then mopped it.
As tired as it read. Yeah! Feeling exhausted but satisfied. How could? Everyday cooking made a space for me and mom to converse the diverse of everything. When I get older and the talk get harder, I mean deeper and more complex. Either heart or brain, we used both. I asked so many unquestionable questions, and she answerd me by pleasure.
Several times, my mom did tell me her life, how she overcome her childhood, what about to do with different cultures idea. As long as it didn’t harm your principles or disown your heart just keep going.
I like to tell her how I grew my ideas and characters, for these four years studying outside the city. How I met the different people, culture, idea, and even those horrible characters. I said horrible because I didn’t learn enough that time. Neither now.
Another important thing was I could upgrade my cooking skill, from rice to fried rice. From boiled egg to fried eggs with rice. Whatever was produced it would be my memories of home. We created it through everyday cooking. As I knew now, we’d got many similarities. Ofcourse, she is my mom. Either now. I learned much from everyday cooking home.
This pattern was used to get knowing the whole new persons in the dorm. We’ve got 62 persons include 2 supervisors. Unfortunately, we couldn’t say it as mommy and daddy. By the new occaasion I used to hold some of cooking party. We said Big Meal Sharing.
Rather than buying some ready foods, we prefered to cook ourself. Some ladies were helping by shopping the raw vegetables. While the men doing the proteins. The dish cooked in the men dorm while both prepared for the rice. We needed huge of it. Changed the plate by banana leaves. What a traditional!
We did enjoy. It was the ladies doing more cooking naturally. Didn’t take much time till we had bunch of sausages and meatballs grilled and also buckets of boiled vegetables, and full plate of sambal (traditional chili sauce). Wait for the rice cooked and we were ready to eat together. The cooking is followed by games and gathering activites, or just ideas debating. What a family! I miss them very much.
Even the research had prooven these. They said everyday cooking helped them to connect other, enable them to explore their own and other food cultures and become more independent for teens and ofcourse gave families control over their food supply.
Eating together is no longer a ceremonial of culture, neither meaningless exhausted gathering. It was great weapon to bond un-blood people. The fundamental tools to give space to deep communication between families, or even start a friendship.
Adibah Rasikhah Amanto _ Food Studies Enthusiast