The Charm of Karimunjawa

A spray of red light on the eastern horizon tells the archipelago's great civilization—the sea breeze, flying a series of puja to Sang Khaliq. The waves are thumping, the machine is whistling, and the wind is speaking,  Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum Yaa Dzaljalaali wal Ikraam amitnaa' ala diinil Islam

    The cold of the night gradually went home, changing the sun's warmth. The vast expanse of sea met with red light, slipping between the hills of Karimunjawa, radiating the masterpiece of the Divine. Affirms the beauty of His word that is awake for all time. Wa ash-syamsi wa dhuhaa haFor the sake of the sun and its rays in the morning.

        That morning was the last parting light after ten days of our togetherness. Happy and emotional, early this morning, we had to part with the family who had been here as our parents. The dock of love. Stores the memory of longing. It brought together diverse differences and penetrated the dark sea without light with a simple fishing boat. There was only a dim beam of light at the end of the ocean.

        Dark. Under the star-studded sky, which provides a million hopes. Cold. In the middle of the ocean, which drowned the idolatrous invaders.  Intimate. On the boat, they became a silent witness to the struggle of the son of the nation. The sea still looked gloomy. Only the waves and the noise of the boat engine were heard.  Welcoming dawn, a red thread knits the sky, witnessing longing humans. Awake in the third of the night. O quiet soul! Return to your Lord with a heart that pleases and is pleased with Him.

        Dawn. Trying to understand the intentions of the hearts of the inhabitants of the sea. I faintly listened to that sentence, treating their longing for their Lord. “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar. Allaaahu Akbar Allaaahu Akbar. Asyhadu an-Laailaha illallah. Asyhadu an-Laailaha illallah. Asyhaduanna Muhammadan Rasulullah. Asyhaduanna Muhammadan Rasulullah. Hayya ‘ala as-Shalah. Hayya ‘ala as-Shalah. Hayya' ala al-Falah. Hayya' ala al-Falah. Allahu Akbar Allaaahu Akbar. Laa Ilaaha Illallah.

        As if becoming the key to beauty, the darkness of the night gradually left. The coldness of the ocean immediately moved over. As if having the same heart intention, the boat's occupants docked at the end of the ship. Chatting. Combine love. Make out with the sun. Embrace the warmth of friendship.

        Not long after, the island mound became more visible. Gradually, Karimunjawa Island is getting bigger, a sign that this journey will end soon. The activities of fishermen on the right and left began to seem busy. The screen expanded, the net grabbed, and a friendly smile greeted me. The residents' docks and stilt houses further complement the country's peace. The blood-red drops of struggle were ed with fresh milky white. I swear to this country.

    "Trooooooooooon..... Trooooooooooooon........." Siginjai signed to set off immediately. We were on a fishing boat, still a few meters away, waving for it to wait for us. The bookkeepers were high-voiced, scolding, swearing,g and anything that g came out of the orders. We ordered that we move quickly, transporting luggage onto the ship.

        A very precious minute. I was witnessing the situation without moving quickly. I jumped to the dock first to help the fisherman set the rope, adjusted him, and the boat docked to the pier. Binnar dashed to the payment counter. At the same time, the sour face did not stop squawking in high tones.

        Meanwhile, in another corner, a policeman captured the tense morning atmosphere. Perhaps as a report on the delay in the departure of Siginjai. The atmosphere of such a beautiful morning a few minutes ago was suddenly tense. Everything moved, moving luggage from the fishing boat to the boat. "Toss!" To shorten the time.

        Intermittent breathing. The morning movement was enough to make each of us sweat. After ensuring nothing was left behind, the ship's door was immediately closed. Although, at the very least, the atmosphere is relatively quiet, there are still many choices of places for us. While eating food, we enjoyed the atmosphere at the stern of the ship. The tension a few minutes ago made our stomachs quite shaken.

        Time seems to pass so quickly. It felt like we set off in a very crowded boat atmosphere yesterday. As I lay down at the stern of the ship, I thought of a friend I had just met on this ship. At that time, in the living room, I tried to calm my stomach, which was starting to feel nauseous, while he casually watched the waves crashing from the porthole. Suddenly, several people formed a crowd at the porthole as if watching something in the waves. I'm late. After the people dispersed, he, muscular, blond, and ruddy white, still stood there. I asked him in a language we both understood.

"What's the matter?"

"There is nothing, just the crashing waves are rising."

"Where are you from?"

"I'm from Holland."

"They are all your friends?" While giving the code in the direction the strangers gathered.

"Yes, they are all my friends, but we are from different countries. We study in the same place, one of the campuses in Yogyakarta."

"Did you learn Indonesian cultural arts?"

"No. We study with different study programs. I took an economics study program."

"How many years have you lived in Indonesia?"

"I've only been living in Yogyakarta for six months."

"Can you already be Indonesian?"

"Sorry, I didn't learn Indonesian. I only know. Thank you. Excuse me. Sorry."

"Oh. Ok."

There was a moment of silence.

"How many times have you been to Karimunjawa?" He turned to question me.

"This is my first time to Karimunjawa."

"I see you wear the same clothes as a few people here. Are they your friends?"

"Yes, they are my friends. We come from different regions. We met in the Nusantara Jaya Expedition program organized by the Republic of Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs. A program to help and report on the living conditions of people on islands far from the centre of government."

"That's an excellent program."

"Yes, sure."

While enjoying the atmosphere in the middle of the sea, our conversation paused for a while.

"Sorry, what's your name?"

“Namaku Harun.”

"Seriously? Your name is like the name that Muslims use."

"Yes, I am Muslim. My parents are from Turkey but live in the Netherlands. Become Dutch citizens."

He also told me at length about his family. I just listened and occasionally responded to it. After he finished his conversation, I asked back.

"You speak Turkish?"

"Yes, sure."

Stammeringly, I tried to pronounce almost the same language as Turkish and Azerbaijani. I am taught by my friends in that Caspian Land by the Sea: Arzu Moradova, Leyla Qarayeva, Aliyeva Ayshan, Fatma Yosifova, Pashayev Emil, Senuber and Shikarli Tural. Thank you also to Gulnar Babazade for taking the time to visit the house a few months ago. Hopefully, I can repay you someday.

"Ardi, aku mau ke sana dulu yaa."

“Oke, Harun. Thanks for sharing.”


         Without devotion, love is just a word without evidence. And without love, devotion is just a meaningless journey. This expedition is about to begin. Write a story of friendship in the Karimunjawa Islands. The beauty of the sea spreads out wide, touching blue. While birds dance in the sky and fish are seduced in the ocean. People gathered to welcome the arrival of Siginjai at the end of the pier.

        In an instant, Karimunjawa pier was filled with human activities. Starting from merchants who move their merchandise, parents who welcome the arrival of their sons and daughters from overseas lands, and business people who offer homestay services to tourists. Meanwhile, we are looking for a transit place for temporary rest and gathering of donated items. We unwinded right under the shady tree while waiting for the shuttles that would take us to the next pier. Friends also fulfilled their respective celebrations, including Shella Tea, who approached the food vendors.

            My gaze returned to the vicinity of the pier, which was getting quiet. The crowd of people who animated the pier a few minutes ago suddenly disappeared. Only the dock officer can be seen talking to a police officer and a soldier. My eyes closed to feel the cool air under the shady tree. Suddenly, the peace was disturbed by the noisy sound of the stomach. I quickly got out of my seat and looked for snacks. My eyes focused on Shella's tea from earlier, still in the same place, in front of the food vendors who spoke fiery. I went up to him and followed their conversation. It turns out that the mother of a food vendor tells stories using Javanese. Shella tea, native to Bandung, is undoubtedly not ordinary in this language. Now and then, I also respond to the story of the food hawker's mother. After buying some food, we returned to the team.


"I was confused by what the mother was talking about and wanted to return, but the mother didn't give me a break, so I just listened to it even though I didn't understand. What is the mother talking about, mas?"

"According to the mother's statement, the island we are going to visit is famous for witchcraft island. Anyone who comes to the island will not return. There used to be police officers with bad intentions, finally drowning in the middle of the sea. But calm down, and it won't happen if we always do good."

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