Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My childhood

I was borned on August 13, 1939 in Pematang Raya. My father was Tarianus Purba (Sigumonrong) and my mother is Dinaria Saragih (Garingging). In our village no body celebrate his birth day. I myself knew my birth date for the first time when I was already appr. 12 years old. At that time we are asked to pick up our cetificate of baptising and since then I knew how old I exactly was and that I was baptised on December 26, 1939.

I went to school for the first time in Christian School at Jalan Gereja in Pematangsiantar. If I count back I was 8 years old at that time. It was late because our family was in refugee during the war against the re-invasion of the Dutch. I still can remember that I could write MERDEKA 100%, simple mathematics and some reading, several years before I went to Primary School (Sekolah Rakyat). After several weeks at school in Pematangsiantar my father told me to come back to Sondi Raya where my parents lived and my father sent me to Sekolah Rakyat Negeri I in Pematang Raya, 3 km away from our village.

After 6 months we were promoted to the second class. But this time we moved to a new built school in Sondi Raya where an old social house for the poor was transformed to be a school.

My pre-school life was in Partayuban, about 800 m from Sondi Raya. As long as I can remember we lived in a big house which was built in the middle of a farm where my parents grew mais, dry and wet rice and vegetables as well. There are no neighbours around that house. A younger brother of my father (Rajin) lived about 300 m away and an other brother Lamat Merludikan) had his house on the other side of the valley. It was peaceful place with a big garden. I usually played on the garden in front of our house and I could write some words with capitals on the ground. My parents are pround of me because my ability to write before I could go to school.

Our peaceful place was first disturbed when the riots came during the war against the re-invasion of the Dutch occured in our village. I still can remember when one day hundreds of soldiers came to our farm and all sweet potatoes (ubi kayu) were taken away by them. Some time I heard that some traitors who did spionage for the Dutch were killed by the soldiers. During the unrest situation our village was burned down by the partisans against Dutch government in order to prevent them coming to our village.

So we moved to a hut near our irigated rice field where my parents with 4 boys and 1 married doughter stayed. One day after midnight we were waked up and several soldiers asked us to go with them. Early in the morning we arrived in a village Buluraya where we stayed in a village house. My father was interogated and he told us later that he could answer the questions of the soldiers satisfactorily. After we were freed we were told by our parents that they had no hope of coming out alive at that night because all captured persons were usually killed at the same night. My father told us that the interogating soldier was satisfied by my fathers telling that he was the first one who bring and hissed red-white banner in Pematang Raya after the Declaration of Independence by Soekarno and Hatta in 1945. Asking about his relationship with the assasinated King of Raya, who is a step brother of his wife and the father in law of his son Saridin, he answered with self confidence that he was not in the position of doing something to influence what the king was doing.

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