Sancta Maria


Those are 2 words written with a blue neon on top of an old building right across the back door of Indonesia State Palace on Jalan Ir H. Juanda, Jakarta. If people passed by and took a quick glance they would probably think it was an old dutch building full with dusts and vandalism inside. It was what I thought when I noticed the building for the first time about 13 years ago.


I was looking for a very famous secondary school in Jakarta at that time. We moved house right beside my cousin’s, so to make things easier, I had to study at the school where my cousin studied too. I had two cousins studied in Sancta Maria (SanMar). They were both excellent students and I definitely was not close in any way to their IQ. However, when I arrived at SanMar for the first time, I fell in love with the place. I liked it so much. The only disappointing thing was the school did not have a football pitch. The school just looked cool to me although they are not very much different to my primary school. I dreamt so much to be one of the student in one of the most famous secondary school in Jakarta. Nothing could be better than to make my parents proud of me.


Therefore I applied to the school. For your information, I applied everything myself. I prepared all documents needed by myself because my parents were too busy at that time. They could only help me by signing the forms and some other documents. That made my hope to get into the school even bigger.


Unfortunately, as one of the best school, SanMar did not really need to accept students too soon. They released the result one month later than other schools. My parents were worried that I would not be accepted because they thought I was not good enough academically to a SanMar student, while a month later I went to SanMar just to find out I was accepted. I still remember the colour of the paper where the application number was listed. It was a big yellow paper. The board was placed beside the security desk. I cried and walked home because a decision had been made. My parents had decided to take the offer from a Christian school just few kilometers away from SanMar. I never liked that school. That school discriminated me because I am not a Christian. They deducted my marks so I could not be number 1 in the school, just because I never wanted to attend a church session. The matemathic teacher grabbed my Buddhist necklace and threw it out of the window during lecture calling it a ‘sin’ thing. One teacher talked shit about my religion in front of the class calling Buddhism a ‘sin’ of demons. Another teacher made a joke of my Chinese tradition. A tradition to respect our ancestors by cleaning the cemeteries every year and most Chinese pray to the ancestors everyday. It happened in 1998-1999. Indonesia was in the transition from a dictatorship to ‘a better country’. However, at that time, any kind of Chinese celebrations and traditions were still banned. So, some of these retarded Chinese Christian people in that school made a joke of me because I kept my belief in Buddhism and Chinese traditions.


I could not take it anymore after almost a year I was discriminated in the school. I sat alone in a corner everyday. I was banned from the canteen. I had no friends at all. I still remember some names but never know where they are now. It doesn’t matter to me anymore anyway.


After that, I requested my father to transfer me to another school. My father went to see the headmaster of SanMar to apply for a place starting level 2 secondary school (year 8). Surprisingly, I was accepted. We went to see the headmaster of that Christian school. Apparently, he expected the case to be brought up. He offered me a security in the school and would make sure no more discrimination to happen but I told him nothing could change my decision to move. Then I started my journey in SanMar. I joined class 2D under supervision by Ms Awiek.


My journey at SanMar was far from my expectation. I was not accepted widely. I made some friends quickly and some people disliked me and made some stupid rumours. I sometime still laughed when I remember the stupid issue spread one of my classmate. A ‘big fat liar’ told everyone that a girl named AH had a feeling of me, and the liar told everyone I was the one told him. AH never talked to me anymore since the incidence. Only after 4-5 years, we finally talked again and forgot what has happened. That incident was the only regret I had in the first year in SanMar. Other than that, it was a sweet memory.


to be continued with more memorable stories..


With Love,