About

I came to this material realm and was allowed to grow up in paradise for the first years of my life. Nature was abundant and generous, a caress to the eye and a treat to human needs. There were delicious edible fruits and herbs, roots, fish and game. We had few of the comforts that the affluent western world seems to be attached and addicted to. We had no electricity, no running water, one small radio that produced cracking sounds most of the time, no TV, no telephone, no car etc. We didn't need any of that, nor did we long for it.

Serui beach - former Dutch New-Guinea


We had the beach - a mildly sloped, wide zone of white, fine grained sand that marked the border between the land and the sea that was filled with crystal clear water that allowed to see all creatures living in the water and on the sea bed up to the coral reef that is. Beyond the reef the sea suddenly turned pitch black because of its immeasurable depth. There large silvery Tuna fish jumped out of the water on their journey to other places in the vast ocean.

Prahu.


The local people would hunt them, chasing the rapidly moving schools of big fish in their sleek boats they called prahu's that had stabilizer rods attached to them on the side with long thin poles - early forms of catamarans or trimarans. The boats were powered by Johnson, Evinrude or Mercury outboard engines and reached incredible speeds. One would stand on the bow and shoot a Tuna with a rifle when it hovered in mid air above sea level during a jump. When they caught one they returned home and the entire village ate from the Tuna for a couple of days.

Young boys would fish from the pier, using a branch to which a few meters of twine would be attached and a hook made from needle from a sowing kit or a piece of bent metal wire. Since they could see the fish in the clear water, they would lift their hooks out of the water if a fish they did not want to eat moved in to swallow the bate, which was usually a piece of banana. They would roast their catch on a fire on the beach and continue to swim or play after they had enough to eat.

Then there was the river. We were told as kids to always play in the river in a place from where we could see the mountain where the well of the river was located. If clouds accumulated around the mountain top, we had to leave. It was a sure sign that rain was going to fall that would change the calm river into a raging swarm of water within minutes. After the torrential rains had ceased we would have to search the river that had often changed its course through the woods, breaking trees and moving large boulders for miles.

The rough, pristine state of nature fascinated us. Each day was full of adventures in which we discovered new things that we had not noticed before or presented us with displays of a grandeur that never ceased to intrigue and amaze us. The forests gave us more than we could eat or understand. We admired and respected nature and were unable to imagine a life without it.

Christian Herter - Soekarno - Joseph Luns.


But elsewhere on the globe, in heads that had become infected with the greed ridden mindset of modern western civilizations plans were made to turn earth into a quick and dirty money machine for those living in the high regions of this physical realm.

The Netherlands (more in particular Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Joseph Luns) wasn't prepared to give up its colony because it knew it harboured one of the biggest gold mines on the planet: The Grasberg gold mine. However JFK and Soekarno worked on a deal that was intended to affect the entire world behind the scenes - The Green Hilton Agreement. So the Dutch quickly succumbed to the 'persuation' of the US, urging them to surrender their colony to Indonesia. To this day massive amounts of gold are mined from the same subterranean gold vein i.e. The Freeport mine. The Dutch had not started mining back in the day - due to logistic problems; the gold was contained inside a rather high mountain - but were well aware of the great potential of the site.

The paradise like setting of my land of birth was soon to be ended brutally. We were totally unaware of the preparations of these plans. The island village was secretly divided in two camps; one was led by the Local Dutch consul who aimed to perpetuate colonial rule and the other was directed by the local baker who was in fact a spy for the Indonesian government that wanted to conquer the former Dutch colony and bring it under Indonesian command.

I understand the Indonesian aversion against the Dutch who had plundered and abused the land for three centuries. Colonialism is a label for boundless exploitation on all levels in unrestricted ways. It is the distinctive nature of the western imperialistic thinking in the corporate world. The consequences were often devastating and humiliating particularly for the common Indonesian people. But after World War II Indonesia went ahead and decided to practice some colonialism of its own after it occupied Dutch New-Guinea.

We were bombed out of this beautiful land and were ordered to move to Holland (because we had Dutch passports) by the Dutch government that could not afford to become involved in an international scandal by abandoning the mixed-blood workforce that they spawned to control their colony. Most of us were dumped in shabby pensions and hotels where we were largely left to sort out matters ourselves. The older generation suffered from a culture shock and the young ones became frustrated by the dire living conditions they were thrown into.

Ex-colonials crammed in second class Dutch pension.


A companion who through hard labor had established three companies was forbidden to return to New-Guinea to save assets and funds when Indonesia threatened to invade while he was on a business trip to Holland. He was never compensated for his loss. Funds accumulated through labor in colonial times were simply indemnified. Many families were kept in 4 x 4 meter pension rooms for years not receiving any form of assistance from the Dutch government whatsoever that they had conscientiously been serving during the colonial days. Diplomas and certificates obtained during the colonial regime were not recognized which meant that years of study and experience were considered worthless and were rewarded as such in the country they were forced to migrate to.

Still, the ex-colonials were better off than the local people of New-Guinea - the Papuas - that the Indonesian government renamed to Irian Jaya after it was added to the Indonesian Federation. The Indigenous people were abused and brutally murdered by occupying forces, while the rats of the world's mainstream press intentionally ignored their horrible fate. As a kid I often played with Papuan boys. I have come to know the Papuas as a straight forward people. They were very strong and living in harmony with nature. It breaks my heart to learn of their current situation, that is agonizing and an utter insult to human dignity.



Setia Hati means True Heart.


After joining street gangs out of frustration where many immigrants who practiced martial arts gathered, I was drafted to serve in the navy. When military service was completed I started to work for various companies, all of which multi-nationals. My father used to write poetry, but I never quite understood the beauty of the art until the mid nineties of the previous century. Long after he had passed away, I regret to say. I participated in a number of poetry sites, but recently decided that sharing some of my poetry in this blog would allow me to give way to my perceptive talents in a way that suits me best.

In a way, on a certain level of awareness, this blog is perhaps a tribute to my dad, who got himself in trouble often, because he was unable to live with injustice. Knowing that opposing the lawless and corrupt would not make things easy, he remained true to himself, honouring sincerity and compassion. It felt as if he knew that all the discomfort and grief of life on this planet is transient - a sad and out of line joke in a universal setting that is destined to be erased from memory not even leaving a lousy shred of evidence in times ahead. How this may come about, you can read in my other blog.



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