Sabtu, 24 November 2012

Tribe in the Middle of Transition

yang ingin baca edisi Bahasa Indonesia bisa gunakan fitur translator di bilah samping kanan

photos by Evan Tri Carla S. and Eri Gad Kindangen

"Human beings have the right to choose what's the best for their LIFE"

This might be my second best trip to shoot a documentary Ethnic Runaway, a tv program that exposes the life of traditional tribe in Indonesia. (Click here to watch my best of the best trip in Ethnic Runaway)

Yes, there are many critics to some episodes of the show which didn't create a good image of traditional tribes, laughed at them and sometimes disrespected their habits. And yes, I admit them as a fault. But episodes of Ethnic Runaway are made by many people (with different background & interest) in different teams. Although we had gathered and discussed in a meeting, trust me it was hard to tell others about this issue. 

What I can do is creating my episode of Ethnic Runaway as respectful as possible, giving an simple & different message behind it, and of course put a little adventure!

So earlier this year, my team and I went to Riau to document the life of Anak Dalam Tribe. We invite 2 adventurous celebrities, the first ever L-Men Indonesia Male Models Competition winner Framly Anin and Big Brother Indonesia 2nd runner up Renata Novomestska aka Rene. Together they journey 2 days 2 nights to enter the deep jungle of Bukit TigaPuluh National Park in Riau and another 2 days and 2 nights experience the nomadic life of Anak Dalam.

Framly and Rene were so excited to be on 4WD to conquer the severe and wet track into the woods.

Our destination is Sungai Jirat, a point in Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park that took 2 days from Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport in Pekanbaru. After one full day on a bumpy road, we finally had to spend a night at the village passed (actually it was a villager stall passed - what a trip!).

 My producer, a fellow camera person and I as the advanced team had gone 2 days earlier to reach Sungai Jirat and prepared everything for the shooting. And the journey didn't get easier for us, soaking wet along the road, running out of money, just having rice and eggs as our meals - these were why the trip was my second best trip ever.

 And finally the advanced team and the second team along with Framly and Rene met in Sungai Jirat. We didn't have much here; tarps for our shelter floor & roof, river for water supplies, feed, Trangia for cooking and of course video equipments for shooting. Because we're already in the middle of jungle it wasn't so difficult to find a nomadic family of Anak Dalam, near our camp, there was a group of Anak Dalam people with their leader, Pak Ali.

Some villagers outside the forest warned us to be careful with the Anak Dalam. Ones told us not to see Anak Dalam men straight to their eyes because they can hypnotize us to be one of them. I didn't mean to be impolite with the locals (villagers) but how can I build a good relationship with the Anak Dalam if I talk without seeing their eyes. So at the time I had just heard the warnings, in my head I directly decided to see their eyes once I meet them.

And that was what I had done when I met Pak Ali to explain our intention and ask his tribe support for our shooting. And I proved that Anak Dalam is a very friendly tribe, fun and cooperative people!

Framly and Rene had different interesting ideas to approach The Anak Dalam. They dressed like them and start to entertain the kids with balloons, and the result - kids loved them and their parents felt safe about us.

Anak Dalam is The Tribe in the Middle of Transition. They still run a nomadic life, hunt animals, wear loincloth and build shelter from nature but at the same time they also know the value of money, smoke modern cigarettes, wear T-Shirt or jackets and own motorcycles. Yes, they ride and bring their motorcycles across river to nearby village to sell Jernang , sap from kind of rattan trees that can be treated as fuel.

Then, why don't they leave the forest and start a modern life in the village? Ali said that Anak Dalam has to guard their patrimony forest, moreover they can't settle at one place. Once a member of their family or group pass away, they have to leave the place where they believe has been cursed and brings in another bad luck.

Is having a motorcycle while keeping the philosophy of nomadic life inconsequent? I don't think so. I still believe that "Human beings have the right to choose what's the best for their LIFE". Because I still could see Pak Ali as an Anak Dalam while he was riding his motorcycle. He keeps his identity as Anak Dalam Tribe well. 

So that was my story documenting another life in another part of my country, Indonesia. We got back to Pekanbaru, enjoyed the day-break with TV and beers! Cheers!
(A week after I had reached hometown Jakarta, I was diagnosed malaria and spent a week in hospital :D - no doubt Anak Dalam was my most memorable trip!)

Watch the full episode here.

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