I, if my memory served right, worshipped Indonesian flags very much as a kid. I didn’t remember since when I fell in love with this glorious red-and-white flag. Yet every time I saw that flag, my heart jumped in utter joy. Nothing could beat the enjoyment of watching flags blown so hard by the gusting wind.
It might be my late grand father (of my mom’s side) who introduced me to the grandeur of “Sang Saka Merah Putih”. He was a retired military official (purnawirawan) at the time, which was why he named me after the title (‘purna’ in Indonesian pronunciaton-> ‘purno” in Javanese -> ‘purnomo’), He was once serving as a local legislator as well.
I mostly spent my childhood with my grand father. You know what a grand father will normally do with his first grand son. That’s why almost all my childhood memory revolved around him. I loved him but never did the cigarettes he stuck in his mouth every single day. Oddly enough, he taught me to hate smoking by being a heavy smoker.
Back to the topic, I still remember when I was ‘abandoned’ in offices. Yes, my childhood was all about one office to another. My grand father quite often brought me with him while he paid a visit to Pepabri office in Kudus (FYI, I don’t know what Pepabri actually stands for). As my grad father mingled and had a warm chat with his friends, reminiscing their past and sharing current life details mostly related to health issues (no wonder, at such age), I was all alone and found the flag placed in the front yard of the office sexy enough to gaze. Then my mother, a teacher of an elementary school nearby, was busily writing math problems with the chalk on the wooden blackboard while I collected all the tiny red-white flags placed in every teacher’s desk at school and ran to and fro just to see them wave in the air. Or I’d rather go outside, at the yard, staring at the tip of flag pole. The waving graceful movement of flag lured me into standing there. I just stared like a statue, couldn’t care less about anything around me. My dad, who was back then a principal of an elementary school, pretty much did the same thing to me.