Tuesday, December 01, 2009

We speak the language of humans, not of crocodiles

We speak the language of humans, not of crocodiles

Al Makin , Bochum, Germany | Tue, 11/10/2009 12:25 PM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

A crocodile is a dangerous predator, whose mere prehistoric look already scares victims. Due to its thick skin, strong teeth, dinosaur shape, and calm appearance, this reptile becomes a symbol of crime due to its tricky behavior in catching victims effortlessly. A gecko, on the other hand, is a small lizard, whose chirping sounds accompany many Indonesian families before bedtime.

Indonesians label a man who can give false promises to many girls easily as a crocodile, which has now earned a new pejorative designation from the Indonesian public. Many Indonesians, who dream of earning a lot of money instantly, lately have been hunting a big gecko, whose colorful skin is attractive and whose sounds are loud. This lizard is priced at millions of rupiahs, due to its repetitive sounds and weight. The more weight a big gecko is, and the more consistent its sound is, the more expensive it becomes.

It started when the three law enforcement institutions, the National Police (Polri), the Attorney General's Office (AGO), and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) became involved in the tragedy.

The story of hunting geckos is more or less similar to that of gelombang cinta, aka anthurium, a subtropical indoor plan which used to be sold for millions of rupiahs. But now, you can find abundance of pots with these plants in the verandas of houses in Jakarta and Yogyakarta easily. However, the gelombang cinta is not a queen any longer, and nobody wants to spend millions rupiahs on this plant.

Poor gecko! Poor anthurium!

Like the crocodile, the gecko has earned a new label. It has become a symbol of a crocodile's victims. The cruel crocodile can easily eat the gecko, which is beautiful, small, and weak.

Whereas gecko's sounds attract listeners (who often patiently count whether its repetitive voices are odd or even, and relate them to a bad or good luck), the crocodile never speaks.

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