Mesmerized by the Kung Fu Master’s Act

Picture by Ulfa.
Jason guides participants to make the right moves (left picture); Jason gives basic explanation of holding the sword.

Loganlea – All eyes are on Jason King. Everyone is trying their best to keep up with the movement of the double stick that spun very fast. As soon as Jason stopped the movement of the double stick, the tense faces that had been seriously paying attention began to loosen up. Some sighed were heard in the room.

When the children were still talking about the last act, Jason quickly began an act using a sword. Jason not only use one sword, but two swords. This act had mesmerized the children as all of the little pair of eyes did not blink.

Children and their parents enthusiastically followed Jason’s directions. They studied a number of basic kung fu movements during the Kung Fu Demo held at the Indonesian Muslim Community of Queensland (IMCQ) on Sunday, 7 October 2018. Some of the demos were held indoor in the main room and some were held outdoor at the yard.

Cruz (7) and his brother, Noah (5), were both very happy with the activity. “We had a great time,” they said. (Ulfa, translated by Dicky)

Let’s drink tea and let’s talk

Picture: Imam Mawardi
Police Chief Superintendent Brian Swan APM gave a speech to the community representatives in Queensland.

Cultural Leaders Morning Tea with the Queensland Police Service

Let’s drink tea and let’s talk. This was once a tagline of a tea product in Indonesia. Interestingly, this tagline is also used this morning by the Queensland Police. Speaking directly with the community representatives in Queensland can assist Queensland Police in obtaining the latest update from each community organisation, understand current issues and reduce any misunderstanding. This morning, a routine but important Cultural Leaders Morning Tea event was held at the McGuire Function Centre, Calamvale Hotel on Thursday, 11 October, 2018. Hamid Mawardi attended the event on behalf of IMCQ.

Several things were discussed on this occasion. One of the agreed terms is that a crime can most likely be solved, even prevented, with the cooperation between the police and the community. “This cooperation requires three important points, which are trust, respect and integrity,” Police Chief Superintendent Brian Swan APM said.

Brian hopes the community reports all forms of crime in their neighbourhood so the authorities can quickly investigate the issue and solve the problem. It is planned that this event will be held every year. (Imam Mawardi, translated by Dicky)

Deco Cupcakes and Brownies Demo Bring Smiles to Children

Foto: Ulfa. Kids practicing mixing ingredients for brownies.

Loganlea — Who says that IMCQ is prospering only through delivering Islamic lectures and arranging congregational prayer? The IMCQ Business Division, Dwi Ulfa and the team came up with a great idea to enliven IMCQ and continue to achieve success. One of them is by arranging various creative activities during children’s school holidays. Last September 29, 2018, the Deco Cupcakes and Demo Brownies event was held. The instructors for the Deco Cupcakes and Demo Brownies were Hana and Ari, both are experienced bakers.

“Alhamdulillah, the target audience is around 15 children, but the total participants were 10 people,” said Ulfa in Brisbane recently. She further explained that this event also became a place from anyone who has creative baking skills to share their knowledge to the IMCQ community.  Although the initial target has not been fulfilled, she is optimistic that in the future, this kind of activity will have more demand. “Insha Allah, we will hold it again. There are already some people who have asked for IMCQ to organise this activity in the next school holidays”.

Meanwhile, when asked for her opinion, Risha (11) felt that her holiday experience was more colorful this time. “It’s nice to know how to make brownies,” said the daughter of the Asri and Dicky. “It’s even more fun because I can also decorate cupcakes as desired and I can take it home to show it to my parents”. She would definitely participate if IMCQ holds another similar event. ”

Meanwhile, Aleena (7) and Fauzia (5), who are sisters, both had similar experiences. “My experience at the cupcake decorating and brownies workshop was excellent. I got to do the icing in whatever way I want. I like making the brownies because it was fun and yummm … ” said Aleena. “That was really fun and I want to do it again,” said Fauzia. Still from the participants, Eliya Arifin who is the mother of Alma (4) was also very impressed with this event. She hopes that this event can continue. “Consistency is a key to success … please arrange similar activities for the children during every school holidays period.” (Lutfi, translated by Dicky) 

Studying and sending kids to school (1)

To deepen their English language ability almost for free is another reason why Indonesian students bring their kids to study in Australia. The  bonus is self-development for parents that also free of charge.

By: Achmad Supardi, Translated by: Kevin Rappe

‘’Imagine, if I place my child in an International school near where I live in Ciputat,  it’s so expensive. The registration fee is Rp 200 Million, and the tuition fee is Rp 20 million per month.’’

“The cost is too much for me”, said Radies Purbo, Employee at the Director General of Financial Balance, Department of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia.

The same matter is also revealed by Agus, who is studying PhD in QUT (Queensland University of Technology).

‘’In Indonesia, to gain the ability to learn  English, the parents must pay a huge fees. By bringing them to Australia, they can naturally learn English.’’ Agus stated.

‘’Childrens have an amazing comprehension ability. In a flash, they can speak English fluently,’’ Radies said. His daughter currently  inKindergarten (TK), Khayra, has already communicate in English fluently. ‘’She studies from YouTube with her older siblings.’’, It’s not only that their memory absorption power is high, but another factor is that there is a facility in school for children’s whose mother tongue’s is not English.

‘’In my children’s school, they are given an extra English class (English as Second Language, ESL). They are given a buddy at school to teach them to communicate in English,’’ Agus said, who is a lecturer at the University of Pesantren Darul Ulum (Unipdu), Jombang.

‘’And if any student faces any difficulties or problems such as bullying, schools have a special communication line.

Photo: Radies Purbo
Kids joining the manasik exercise in IMCQ. There are many Islamic learning activities in Queensland.

The facts that revealed by Agus and Radies, relieving Rivan, especially after seeing what happened to his own children.  At first, he was afraid his son would have difficulty adapting and understanding the lessons delivered in English, as in Indonesia his children used to communicate in Bahasa Indonesian to family or friends. Now they must speak English not only in class, but also in many activities with their friends.

“Thankfully the school has a way to educate children who need help in English. “My child is given an additional class of English for non-native speakers,” Rivan said.

Additional classes labelled English Learning Development are fairly intensive, 3 hours a day except Friday. It can be imagined how much money Rivan has to spend for intensive English language course to his son in Bandung. “It’s free here,” he said.


Respecting others

Another thing that looks obvious is courageous and willingness to respect others. “Inferiority does not exist in here. They are dare and are used to dealing with other people, “Radies said.

Agus also saw his child learn a lot about character building such as independence, respect for others, cleanliness, rational, and discipline.

He realises that Indonesian type of etiquette has lack of place in here but he is not too worry. For him, respecting others is more important. “Children in here give more respect to others despite having slightly less manners according to Indonesian cultures,” said Agus.

This matter is also what relieves Renata. Currently her daughter, Aqila,   studies at the Ironside State School in Preparation class. There is a point-based system in here, unlike academic achievements, but to develop their soft skills such as when a child cares for his/her friends, listens to the teacher, helping in class, and other aspects that are basically focusing on character development.

“Courteous such as to say please and thank you being a priority.’’ Children also learn to be responsible and independent,” said Renata, whose husband is taking S3 at The University of Queensland from Australian Awards scholarship.

Renata is very happy to see her daughter to grow into a lenient person. She once bought 35 puddings to an event that had more that 50 kids. Renata then said to Aqila that there might be a chance that she might not get the pudding because there were more kids than puddings. “It’s ok Mummy. You get what you get and you don’t get upset,” Aqila replied.

“I am mesmerized enough with the answer that we won’t always get what are we want in life. And if we don’t get what we want, we shouldn’t be upset nor sad. When I ask from where she know that, Aqila says it from the teacher in school, “Renata said.

Not just concentrating in character building, school also cares about the students need, including things related to their religion. Halal food are provided for the student who asked for it. Radies’ children can return earlier on  Friday to be able to do the Friday prayer, same as in Agus’ children school. During Christianity religion class , children are allowed to move to the laboratory accompanied by another teacher.

‘’The school also gives Islamic studies once a week which is taught by a voluntary university Muslim student,’’ Agus stated.

Despite missing in few things, such as the sound of the Athan, there are other things to substitute it. “In here maybe we miss the sound of the Athan, however  every morning we are awakened by chirping birds from dawn to sunrise,” Renata said.

To make sure that his children don’t forget the memorization of the Quran, Rusanto also has to disciplined himself. After every Fajr prayer he makes sure to have the kids to present the memorise of the Quran. Even it doesn’t increase the amount of the Juz memorized, it’s expected that they are not forgotten. Before they came to Australia, the eldest daughter memorized 15 juzes, his son memorized 7 juzes while his youngest daughter memorized 1 juz.

“To awaken his children for Fajr prayer is not easy. As parents we must get up far earlier because waking them up can take up to 30 mins,” he said.


Hajj and Job Opportunity.

For Radies, bringing his family to Australia is not an additional burden, in fact it actually brings sustenance. He received his first work as a cleaner in Spotless in the same day that he pick up his family in the Brisbane Airport. “I’m more convinced that family sustenance has been covered by Allah SWT,’’ he said.

Recently Radies is also working at Sullivan, as cleaner in the laboratory complex.  From 2 am to 5 am is working at Sullivan, then until around at 10 am he is working at Spotless on the campus area of The University of Queensland. “I am not working at 2 places because of greediness or something. I want to go to Hajj and preferably ONH Plus because the queue for ONH is very long.  I’m afraid i won’t be able performing Hajj due to passed away. When I established my intention to go to Hajj in that morning, I got a phone call from a friend of mine in the afternoon to give news that there is a spot to work in this second place. Our intention is really heard by Allah SWT,” he added.

It’s not just working, there is also a bonus for being a university student including their family in Australia: there are many channels for self-developments. Students spouse in the University of Queensland (UQ) has a free facility to study English Even Renata is active in the ‘’Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) that is implemented by the Queensland State Government. Triple P is a parenting program that is set from research by UQ in the last 30 years. “Parents can attend a free online program, seminar, also group and personal counseling in parenting. Alhamdullilah currently through Indonesian Islamic Society of Brisbane (IISB) I can come along for free training for to be practising level 4 Triple P, so I can give one on one consultation for parents in Brisbane. Hopefully there is chance to attend for more training in other levels so I can give services more about parenting for the Indonesian community in Queensland, “Renata said. (*)

Studying and sending kids to school (2)

Expecting an International Education with a Minimal Cost

“This is my body. I have the right to wear what I want,” Nazla said. Radies Purbo, a Father, can only look at his little daughter at the class of 2D. It turned out that it was not easy to convince his daughter to wear the hijab. Radies gasped. Suddenly he realized that differences in Islamic and Western values were not easily communicated, especially to the children.

By: Achmad Supardi, Translated by: Kevin Rappe

Nazla’s action to not wearing the hijab is the proof of how strong the socialization of Western values that rests on individual freedom. For Radies and his wife who want to implement Islamic values, this is not easy.

‘’Ín school, she is taught that her body is her right. She determines what will happen to her body, including in terms of clothing selection. While we as Muslims have another value. It takes more effort and time to provide understanding to children,’’ said the winner of the Australia Awards scholarship.

With these hard challenges, why do Radies, with the other Indonesian university students, bring their children to school?

‘’I want my kids to receive the same experience that I receive. I want them to feel the journey that I’m having as well,’’ Radies said.

Things like this is also something Rustanto faced, a university student taking his PhD in Queensland University of Technology. He wants his kids to be able to adapt in life that are completely new and to have the ability to cope with stress.

“We are both calm. I am calm, my wife and children are calm if we are together, “he said.

Luckily, to have an international quality education in Australia is very minimal.  If you study in a national school, such as elementary school (SD) or high school (SMP and SMA), you don’t have to pay. Parents only need to spend money on outside school activities, which is not a routine.

The same thing was conveyed tp Agus who accompanied his wife studying in Adelaide and Brisbane , a few years ago. Now he himself is studying in Brisbane. The main reason he and his wife bring their children is to get the opportunity to study at international quality schools with minimal fees. The qualities that Agus meant included facilities and quality of teaching.

These intention was also a reason why Renata Sadjad and her husband brought their daughter, Aqila to Australia before she was 5 years old, who was in the golden age. Aqila is admitted to Campus Kindergarten (equivalent to TKA in Indonesia).

“In accordance with the National Framework for Early Childhood Education in Australia, Aqila learns to be belonging, being, and becoming,” said Renata, Sunday (17 /).

At school, the potential of Aqila is really being developed. Renagta can discuss with the teacher at any time about aspects of her development that concern them; both social skills, communication, and others.

Even though the quality of education is good, going to school in a new place does not mean that it is without obstacles. One of them was experienced by Rustanto’s daughter, Hilya Idhar Mumtaz. At the beginning of the 5th grade Ironside State School he seems to always looking depressed. It seems like he is experiencing the fear of facing a new environment.

“I strengthen his resolve every day. I say if he is able to overcome this, he will successfully overcome different obstacles in other places later in life, “Rustanto said. He is grateful that the school is very cooperative. They can ‘’smell’’ the worries experienced by Hilya and help him overcome them. The school finds Indonesian friends for Hilya. “I saw my child’s face immediately sparkle when introduced to fellow Indonesian friends,” said the civil servant at the Director General of State Assets, Ministry of Finance.

The school also did not force Hilya to immediately step on the gas to understand the lesson at that time. School priority is to make Hilya feel comfortable at school first. Social, psychological and academic development was informed to Rustanto and his wife through meetings of each term.

Photo: Achmad Supardi
The headquarter of IMCQ is one of the center points to learn Islam in Queensland.

Clash of Values

Challenges is not only to the new surroundings, but to also different values. The different values of islam also the traditional Indonesian values and the western values that dominates Australia gives some work for parents to think about. For example, children will get information by teachers from school saying ‘’we don’t need to be married to have a baby.’’  However, in Islam and in the Indonesian Norms, to be married is an essential gateway for husband and wife that want to have children.

“Well, this is certainly a series of information about sex, marriage, household. The challenge is how to convey these things to children in a frame of Islamic values that is different from what they hear in school, “said Radies, who is currently studying S3 at Griffith University.

Another challenge is the waning of Indonesian manners and politeness. Radies, for example, was educated in a family where arguing to parents was never thought of. Now, his children have the freedom to debate their opinions. “At the moment we cannot be authoritarian. We must explain rationally, “he said.

Radies strategy is to answer all the questions until the children understand. Until there is no question why again. However, there are also things where he does not open the door to bargaining. “For example, about prayer (Salat) and Quran reading. I give them the prayer schedule and they have to follow,” says Radies.

After every Maghrib salah, they read and try to memorise the Qur’an. “Sometimes I give religious material. Usually on weekends I give taujih (religious lectures), “Radies said.

Like some other Muslim students, Radies also included her children in the Indonesian Islamic Society of Brisbane (IPAB) Al Qur’an Education Park (TPA). However, the duration of the recitation which is only once a week is not enough. “Therefore, we try to recite every day. Before memorizing and prayer the children are not allowed hold the Ipad or dinner, “says Radies.

The same obstacle is also faced by Rivan. When he was in Indonesia, his son attended an Integrated Islamic Primary School who taught a high Islamic morality and memorized the Qur’an. In school there are Islamic studies every Friday, but Rivan still feels that it is lacking.

‘’The solution is to memorize at home, even though its not as intensive as it is back in Indonesia,’’ he said. The reluctance of the child to memorize the Quran is indeed an obstacle faced by Muslim parents.

Agus’s two children had attended Ironside State School. His first child, Fajrul school from grade 5 to grade 9, while his second child, Ghinan, attended grade 2 to grade 6. His third child, Zada, studied at UQ Playschool, Ironside and also experienced Grade 1 in Ironside States School.

Meanwhile, Rustanto faces another type of problem. His two children wear the Hijabs, such as Hilya and her sister, Hajar Iffantul Karimah. At one time, the children’s hijab was pulled by their friends. It was not an act of bullying, but but it was purely the curiosity of the children. The proof is that that whilst they were pulling the veil of his daughter, they also ask whether Hajar and Hilya still wore the Hijab while bathing. (*)