Suara sandal jepit literally means the sound of the ordinary sandals, but what’s so special about it? We all wear ordinary sandals here in Bali, walk with it and keep on stepping with it. We never pay attention to it which is similar to how a lot of people act to marginalized people. They seemed to be ignored by the society moreover with the government that should’ve protected them. With that, the Bali based non-governmental environment and children aware community, Anak Alam, created this show that invites them to be the speakers and share their amazing stories that could inspire anyone in Bali as Pande Putu Setiawan, founder of the community, stated after the first ‘Suara Sandal Jepit’ edition, “Pekak Degeng: Turi Street’s Marginal General”, completed on Sunday, 17th February 2013.
First edition featured Pekak (grandpa) Degeng, who is a former cinema film rolls’ delivery man that changed profession as rubbish collector man during the early 90s up until now. Degeng, originated from Denpasar, really shows a reflection how the metropolitan city still has these kinds of people in its heart. Even though Degeng is 80 something now, he insist to do such work in the mornings and afternoons to fulfill his living cost, for his sick wife also to keep him from stress
Irony happened when Degeng got his house fixed by a government program. It was explained, instead of government helping him, cash was requested for Degeng to pay the government. This kind of situation also happened to Suara Sandal Jepit’s third guest speaker last Sunday (3/3) evening, Meme (mother) Kirem who lives at the beautiful Amed shores. This has been a huge question mark on how far the government actually cares and protects these people in poverty with their programs.
While on the second edition (24/2), the irony that artist Gede ‘Sayur’ Suanda faced was the lands that kept on being sold in Ubud, Gianyar. For that he created an installation that grasps a lot of attention called out the words in capital: ‘NOT FOR SALE’, which contrasts other ‘For Sale’ signs. With it, Sayur hoped people realised what they are doing and protect Ubud. It is worried that Ubud would change to South Bali with all its exploitations.
Meme Kirem is a single mother of two daughters who one of them, Wayan Sepi, won the Anne Frank photo contest in Holland with the help of a borrowed camera from a Dutch tourist that visited them a couple of years ago. Sepi, who accompanied her mother in the show, shared about the family’s hard life since the death of her father. It was told they got kicked out by Kirem’s parents in law after that which sadly in Bali such things happened within families. Kirem never gave up with life despite a lot of people are also jealous of her willingness to work and openness to the people passing by the shores of Amed.
It is such an inspiration to hear each of their stories and with 48 editions in total to come, that means more interesting stories to be heard. It is hoped that ‘Suara Sandal Jepit’ can be heard by the society: to be a ‘mirror’ for them to reflect on and to be thankful of the life that is given. It was stated, that the speakers of ‘Suara Sandal Jepit Show’ are the real people’s voice which is known to be God’s actual voice. Or as we know it: “Vox Populi Vox Dei”.(BTN/Savitri)