Figurative Ship and Some Language Lesson

The prompt today is sail and considering that I don’t have proper knowledge about ship and sailing, I will just write about figurative ship: household.

In Indonesian language there is term “bahtera rumah tangga”. Bahtera means ship, rumah tangga means household. If you understand Indonesian language, you can read this article about the etymology of the phrase.

Usually people use the word “kapal” in Indonesian to talk about the watercraft. The word “bahtera” is rarely used in everyday conversation when you talk about water transportation. So why do we use the word “bahtera” when it comes to figurative ship called household?

The word “kapal” is derived from Tamil word “kappal”. The word “bahtera” is derived from the word “bahitra” in old Javanese, which is a loanword from from Sanskirt word “vahitra”. According to the article I link above, the word “bahtera” is used when talking about figurative ship because Sankirt is used as ritual language so it has more spiritual feeling.

So it is said that being a family and creating household is like being in the same ship. You have to work together so the ship can sail safely. I can’t explain further about it because, like a fan whose ship isn’t canon, my ship hasn’t sailed yet.

Maybe I should enjoy the harbour while getting my ship ready. Then we’ll sail (though I don’t know yet whom this “we” refer to).

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When I was Nine, I Read Greek Myth

There are nine Muses in Greek mythology. They were written as “Musae” in Indonesian spelling. I first read about them when I was 9. I remember at that time I liked Urania, the muse of astronomy simply because she held a globe. Nine-year-old me had a thing for astronomy and such.

Before opening the wikipedia page for Greek Muses, there were only two Muses that I remembered: Urania and Kalliope. Kalliope was the chief of Muses, the main inspiration for poets and artists.

It turns out that I still have the Greek mythology book that I had read long time ago. The book contains some stories. The main focus is “Orpheus and Eurydice” story. That story affected me in weird way when I was a kid. I once believed that Hades had kingdom underground so when I knocked my girl scout bamboo cane to the ground, I thought I knocked Hades’ kingdom.

I considered Orpheus and Eurydice as one of the best love stories. I may still do. One day, when I was teenager, two radio DJs talked about love story and asked if the listeners had and favourite story. I called and told them the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Now I’m a young adult who doesn’t like romance. Should I die first, I hope my “Orpheus” continues his life in healthy way. 

I also still wait for Kalliope to come and inspire me to write beautiful poem. 

Sanctuary in Warm Hug

Today’s prompt is sanctuary. Reading that word, my mind wasn’t directed to certain place but to warm hug. From that, I started to think that I read fanfic too often.

I don’t remember if I ever give warm hug. I usually just give casual hug or side hug. However, I like hug scene in fiction, be it friendly hug, brotherly hug, or romantic hug. It just seems warm and comfortable. Often, the character feels safe and protected while being hugged. That’s why I associate the word sanctuary with warm hug; because of fiction, or fanfic.
 
It is said that hug can increase oxytocin release. According to Marieb and Hoehn (2013), as neurotransmitter, oxytocin is involved in sexual and affectionate behaviour. It promotes nurturing, couple bonding, and trust.
 
What about reading hug scene? Do I experience oxytocin release while reading hug scene? If Does it mean that I’m affected in the matter of nurturing, couple bonding, and trust? It that’s true, it may explain our emotional bonding to fictional character.
 
On a side note, since oxytocin promotes trust, do not hug someone you don’t want to trust. Do not even imagine hugging a fictional character you don’t want to trust. Really, we can’t be sure about oxytocin and its magic.
 
P.S.
Oxytocin acts as both hormone and neurotransmitter. As hormone, oxytocin is involved in uterine contraction (during labor) and milk ejection.
If you can explain more about oxytocin or if you think I make mistake in this post (or in any post), please let me know.

Talking about Fandom: the Feels

In fandom there is the term “feeling” which is shortened to “feels”. It is that moment when you feel overwhelmed by something. You may call it sadness but it’s different kind of sadness. It’s just difficult to describe so we simply call it “feels”.

If you want to see some examples, I once wrote a post entitled “Jleb” Harry Potter Moments. Yeah, it’s quite similar to “jleb” in Indonesian.
 
However, no matter how overwhelming it is, we often intentionally hit ourselves with “feels”. Here are two examples. Harry Potter fans know that Fred Weasley’s death was sad but they still search in the internet for meme or fanfic or anything related to it, only to get struck with “feels” afterward. My Chemical Romance fans can get “feels” only by listening to any of their song but still, they listen to the songs, watch the videos on YouTube, watch past interviews, or read old articles. 
 
Why do we do that? Is it like when we fall in love? I mean, when we fall in love, we experience increase of dopamine and oxytocin. According to Marieb and Hoehn (2013), dopamine is “feel good” neurotransmitter; the ecstasy of romantic love may be just a brain bath of glutamate and norepinephrine, which act on the reward system to release dopamine. Oxytocin, on the other hand, promotes nurturing, couple bonding, and trust.
 
Questions:
1. Is our feeling in fandom similar to those of people who fall in love? Or is it just obsession?
2. If it’s because of dopamine, why do we feel this strange emotion? Dopamine is supposed to make us feel good, right? Why do I feel miserable instead?
3. How long does it normally last?
 
Well, I guess for those who are not in fandom, it may sound like we punish ourselves. However, for people involved in fandom, it’s just a normal activity. We sometimes even think, “I’m in the good mood for sad fanfic. Let me search and read. Don’t disturb me while I’m suffering with this mess called ‘feels’!”
 
Also, if you’re interested in learning neurology, psychiatry, and fandom psychology, I have those three questions above. You may use it for research idea or something. 

Voronezh or Sarov

“I’ve always wanted to visit Russia,” I told the Russian scientist.

“You have nothing to do in Russia.”

“I want to watch ballet in Bolshoi. Seriously.”

“Eheu! Ballet in theatre. Red square. **** that. If you want to visit Russia, go to Voronezh or Sarov.”

“What can I do in Voronezh or Sarov?”

“Drink bad beer, smoke a cigarette, and start hating the world.”

“I neither drink beer or smoke but I can take part on that ‘hating the world’ “

“You will start when you arrive in Voronezh.”

 

Note:

  • The conversation above actually happened between a Russian friend and me. I searched for Voronezh and Sarov in Google and I found that Voronezh looks like typical European city while Sarov, as Wikipedia said, is closed as it is the Russian centre for nuclear research. If you have ever visited or even lived in Voronezh, could you please tell me why my friend said that way about the city?
  • “Eheu!” is Latin word which means “Alas!” or “Oh my God!” (according to Google translate and my friend).
  • Just in case you know me in real life and worry about my health, I feel the need to state this once again. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink alcoholic beverage.

Hiraeth and Needle

The prompt is “longing“. It reminds me of two words: hiraeth and Needle.
 
According to Wikipedia, hiraeth is a Welsh word with no direct English translation. Oxford and Merriam Webster define hiraeth as: (noun) “a homesickness for a home you cannot return to, or that never was”. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past. 
 
Pamela Petro explained hiraeth in the post Dreaming in Welsh. She wrote, “In 1282, Wales became the first colony of the English empire. Because England eventually ruled half the globe, we all know its first colony by the name the colonizers gave it: Wales, which means ‘Place of the Others,’ or ‘Place of the Romanized Foreigners’.” She continued, “To Welsh speakers, Wales is Cymru (pronounced Kum-ree): home of the Cymry, or fellow countrymen.”
 
The Welsh feel hiraeth for the Wales of the past that they cannot return to. This reminds of a paragraph from “A Feast for Crows” by George. R. R. Martin, when Arya had to give up all her belongings. It meant that she also had to give up Needle, her sword.
 
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes. 
 
The word hiraeth and that one paragraph can always give me emotion which I can’t describe.
 
They make me smile. A sad smile.

What I Know about Reincarnation

I check the daily prompt and the prompt for today is about reincarnation.

I myself don’t believe in reincarnation but I find it interesting so let me talk about it.

 
What I know about reincarnation is, after the soul leave its body, it will return to life, but in different body. The new body doesn’t always take form of human body. It can be animal. I remember reading “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner and in a chapter about Bhutan, there was a story of a Buddhist that didn’t want to harm animal because that animal could be his mother in another life. 
 
However, that belief in reincarnation has different result for someone else. My grandma once told me that he knew a man who follow Pangestu, or Kejawen faith. The man believed in reincarnation and he said that when people ate meat, it meant that they help a soul complete its reincarnation phase. 
 
Human is not the only being who is believed to experience reincarnation. It is said that the god Wisnu and Shesha the nagaraja also experience reincarnation. Wisnu was reborn as Rama and Krishna. While Shesha was reborn as Laksmana and Baladewa (or Balarama).
 
So, what do you think and know about reincarnation? If you find something wrong in my writing, please let me know.

Some Lessons from Megara

Megara

I like some Disney stories and recently I’m a little bit obsessed with Megara. Do you know Megara? She’s Hercules’s love interest. In Greek mythology, Megara was the oldest daughter of Creon, king of Thebes. However in Disney version, her family background is unknown.

Megara is different from other Disney girls because she’s not even a girl. She’s a woman. If you look for role model for girl in Disney, you can look at Belle because she likes to read, or Tiana because she believes in working hard to reach her dream.  When a girl grows up into a woman, she still have to read and work hard to reach her dream. Beside that, she will find difficulty, make mistakes, and have to deal with the consequences. She need more role models and Megara can be one.

According to Disney Wikia, Meg is the first Disney female heroine who had an ex boyfriend. She had saved him but he left her. Then she fell into Hades’ trap. Her past made Megara skeptical about love. She’s not like other Disney girls who seem to be “innocent” and “inexperienced” in love.

I don’t mean that girl should have boyfriend to learn. Even so, let’s face it, many of us have made that mistake. You know, falling in love to the wrong person. Falling in love is actually a natural thing because love at the first sight does exist and you can blame dopamine and oxytocin for any irrational thing that happens when you fall in love. Just because it’s natural, it doesn’t mean that you can marry or have a relationship with anyone you’re falling in love with. When Meg was in love with Hercules, she didn’t admit it at first. She took time to think it over because she didn’t want to make the same mistake.

Another thing to note from Meg is her sassiness or, my friend call it her “like a boss” attitude. Watch this video and you will know what I mean. I like when she introduced herself by saying, “Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least they would if I had any friends.” She also taught us thing about men. “Well, you know how men are. They think ‘No’ means ‘Yes’ and ‘Get lost!’ means ‘Take me, I’m yours,’ ” said Meg.

My obsession with Meg came to the point when few days ago, Lady Slytherin and I browse through pictures to print as stickers. After we finished, I asked, “One more picture please. May I add Megara?” She said, “You like Megara? Oh well, but why?”

Anyway, I found two interesting articles about Disney’s Megara and Hercules:

Meg from Disney’s ‘Hercules’ Is One of the Best Role Models for Women

Proof that “Hercules” is One of the Most Underrated Disney Movie Ever

36 Questions to Fall in Love

A while ago I watched a BuzzFeed video entitled “Falling In Love As A Grown-Up – Real Mature Ep. 1“. In that video we see Zach tried the 36 questions to fall in love, with three different people. I sent the link to Lady Slytherin.
 
You can search the 36 questions in the internet. The idea is, there should be two people talk about the questions and their answer. After the conversation, they can fall in love. In my opinion, the questions aren’t supposed to make you fall in love. It’s supposed to make you open up more and know each other better.
 
Yesterday, I visit Lady Slytherin’s boarding house and we tried the 36 questions. We had a good laugh while answering the questions. We did have deep conversation while answering some of the questions. However, there are some questions that made us tease each other. 
 
I had fun answering the 36 questions because I did it with my close friend. We usually comfortable with each other. I can’t imagine if I were in Zach’s position in the video. He had to answer the question with the girls who isn’t his close friends. If I had to answer the questions with, let’s say, my crush or any of the guy I know, I would be awkward. I would carefully choose my words since I’m sometimes afraid if people think I’m rude.
 
I then think that the 36 questions are also meant to find out whether someone makes you feel comfortable. Thus, you know if he or she is the right person to fall in love with.

When I Read Cat’s Cradle

I’ve just finished Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Cat’s Cradle. I’m not going to write a review. I just want to write how I feel.
When I read the beginning, I was amused. As the story went, I became curious and surprised. When the story ended, I felt empty. I feel like, “So it ends? There are still more to tell.”
Now I’m reading another book.