Happy Mudik Recipe: See It As A Game
Once, I entered the train through the window. My body was lifted by my father first, head going in first. Then someone pulled me by the hand to get into the cabin. I’m crying in between fear and confusion.
During the trip, my father and I got a special cabin. In the toilet cabin because the train is so full. That’s one of my memories of mudik, or going home for Eid. At that time, the train is still not limited to the number of passengers. Also when the roof of the train still functions as a second cabin. Of course, I was young. The size and weight still fit in the window.
Mudik reportedly comes from the word “menuju udik”. Some say from the word “mulih dhisik”. Which means the same, go home to your parents. For a moment. Something that seems very important, sacred, and needed by many people. Despite being difficult and full of challenges, as told in various short stories of Umar Kayam. Therefore, after 2 years of being banned by the government, this year many people are very enthusiastic. Reportedly around 85 million people will go mudik (source: katadata).
Imagine we have to prepare a game to be played simultaneously for 85 million people. Challenging for sure. Especially if those who play sometimes forget that we all play this together.
Why is Mudik equated with games?
I define a game as any activity (or medium) that presents roles, rules, and results. To encourage all involved to be better.
Mudik presents a role. As a reminder to be more precise. Our role as children, families, and humans who need to go home. To fulfill spiritual, social and cultural needs. To be devoted. To share. Even if only once a year. So rare, maybe someone forgot. Forget the role. Forget the objective of going home. Mudik in the end just stale.
Mudik presents many regulations. From the start of THR matters. Ticket price. Odd even street rules. Contraflow. Going to rest area for 30 minutes (perhaps considering 29 minutes to find parking and 1 minute to go to the toilet). Mass leave. Plus all the other rules. Made especially for mudik. All regulations force those of us who are mudik to have a strategy. Ready. Trying to avoid traffic jams. Make sure the kids are healthy, and not fussy on the go. Also so that the THR still remains to be shared. For the young ones, it is also a strategy to answer the question of “When will you graduate?”, “When you get married?” and for me: “When are you going to lose weight?”
Mudik brings gains. Results. Can meet parents, and family. Can share success stories. Can share happiness. In good condition, beautiful, handsome. It doesn’t look awful because it’s stuck in traffic. The ideal result. Hope. As many ads depict. For those celebrating victory. Between expectations and reality, can be different of course.
With all the roles, rules, and gains above, going home is a game. Which basically pushes us to be better.
How come? Why seeing mudik as a game will push us to be better?
When we see mudik as a game, we realize that to win we need a strategy. Requires thorough preparation. Need to understand the rules. Need to learn from previous trips. Moreover, this year we are playing with 80 million other players. If you are not prepared, you must be prepared for all the consequences.
When we see mudik as a game, we know there will be good players and selfish players. No need to be overly upset. Especially being selfish. Break all the rules. Want to win alone.
When we see mudik as a game, it will be easier for us to appreciate the government. Those who are trying to design going home. Those who try to provide all the rules, facilities, infrastructure, and officers. To make sure we can play well, safe and (hopefully) happy. Like a game designer who only designs a game once a year – like me, the game must have lots of bugs. It won’t be perfect of course. What is certain will not be able to satisfy the 80 million players involved.
When we see mudik as a game, we realize that some are players and some are supporters. Those who go home become players. Those who are waiting to be visited, who have not been able to go home, become supporters. The two roles complement each other. When the fans demand too much, it makes the players more easily stressed. Vice versa. But when both respect, respect, and pray for each other, mudik will be more meaningful. Easier to enjoy.
When we see mudik as a game, maybe we will find it easier to prepare well. It’s easier to enjoy the journey. It’s easier to be grateful. It’s easier to be happy. Whatever our role. Whatever the case. If this can be practiced, demonstrated, and passed down – it’s probably fine. So that one day, mudik is no longer just going home for a while, but going home to be better. Happily going home.
Original article: https://ekonugroho.id/resep-mudik-bahagia-lihat-sebagai-game/
Photo by Wikipedia