Tuesday, February 26, 2008

EKSPOSISI 7 AT TONDI ART GALERY MEDAN

If you happened to be in Medan in these few days, something interesting awaits you. Tondi Art Galery is holding an art exibitition titled "Eksposisi 7".

Painting by Henry Dijckstra

Tondi, bataks means soul, is the new happening in Medan, the biggest city in Sumatera. The galery founded by Grace Siregar in 2007 aimed at promoting modern in the capital city of North Sumatera province. Grace is a native of Batak, degree in law but turned to painting arts. He learned paintings form Dutch artist Jan van Stolk in Holland.


Day/date/time: Saturday, 1 March 2008/2pm

Venue : Galeri Tondi Jl. Keladi Buntu No.6 Medan-SUMUT 20153

Artists :
  1. Budi Siagian
  2. Rasinta Tarigan
  3. Henry Dijckstra
  4. Jimmy Siahaan
  5. Yosrizal
  6. Achy Akswana
  7. Ardi

The exibition will be opened with the collaboration art work of the 7 artists and poem reading.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

KISAH TENTANG TUNGGAL PANALUAN


Dikisahkan oleh: Prof. M. Sorimangaraja Sitanggang




Pada suatu hari Raja Panggana yang terkenal pandai memahat dan mengukir mengadakan pengembaraan keliling negeri. Untuk biaya hidupnya, Raja Panggana sering memenuhi permintaan penduduk untuk memahat patung atau mengukir rumah. Walaupun sudah banyak negeri yang dilaluinya dan banyak sudah patung dan ukiran yang dikerjakannya, masih terasa padanya sesuatu kekurangan yang membuat dirinya selalu gelisah. Untuk menghilangkan kegelisahannya, ia hendak mengasingkan diri pada satu tempat yang sunyi. Di dalam perjalanan di padang belantara yang penuh dengan alang-alang ia sangat tertarik pada sebatang pohon tunggal yang hanya itu saja terdapat pada padang belantara tersebut. Melihat sebatang pohon tunggal itu Raja Panggana tertegun. Diperhatikannya dahan pohon itu, ranting dan daunnya. Entah apa yang tumbuh pada diri Raja Panggana, ia melihat pohon itu seperti putri menari. Dikeluarkannya alat-alatnya, ia mulai bekerja memahat pohon itu menjadi patung seorang putri yang sedang menari. Ia sangat senang, gelisah hilang. Sebagai seorang seniman ia baru pernah mengagumi hasil kerjanya yang begitu cantik dan mempesona. Seolah-olah dunia ini telah menjadi miliknya. Makin dipandangnya hasil kerjanya, semakin terasa pada dirinya suatu keagungan. Pada pandangan yang demikian, ia melihat patung putri itu mengajaknya untuk menari bersama. Ia menari bersama patung dipadang belantara yang sunyi tiada orang. Demikianlah kerja Raja Panggana hari demi hari bersama putri yang diciptakannya dari sebatang kayu. Raja Panggana merasa senang dan bahagia bersama patung putri. Tetapi apa hendak dikata, persediaan makanan Raja Panggana semakin habis. Apakah gunanya saya tetap bersama patung ini kalau tidak makan ? biarlah saya menari sepuas hatiku dengan patung ini untuk terakhir kali. Demikian Raja Panggana dengan penuh haru meninggalkan patung itu. dipadang rumput yang sunyi sepi tiada berkawan. Raja Panggana sudah menganggap patung putri itu sebagian dari hidupnya.

Berselang beberapa hari kemudian, seorang pedagang kain dan hiasan berlalu dari tempat itu. Baoa Partigatiga demikian nama pedagang itu tertegun melihat kecantikan dan gerak sikap tari patung putri itu. Alangkah cantiknya si patung ini apabila saya beri berpakaian dan perhiasan. Baoa Partigatiga membuka kain dagangannya. Dipilihnya pakaian dan perhiasan yang cantik dan dipakaikannya kepada patung sepuas hatinya.
Ia semakin terharu pada Baoa Partigatiga belum pernah melihat patung ataupun manusia secantik itu. dipandanginya patung tadi seolah-olah ia melihat patung itu mengajaknya menari. Menarilah Baoa Partigatiga mengelilingi patung sepuas hatinya. Setelah puas menari ia berusaha membawa patung dengannya tetapi tidak dapat, karena hari sudah makin gelap, ia berpikir kalau patung ini tidak kubawa biarlah pakaian dan perhiasan ini kutanggalkan. Tetapi apa yang terjadi, pakaian dan perhiasan tidak dapat ditanggalkan Baoa Partigatiga. Makin dicoba kain dan perhiasan makin ketat melekat pada patung. Baoa Partigatiga berpikir, biarlah demikian. Untuk kepuasan hatiku baiklah aku menari sepuas hatiku untuk terakhir kali dengan patung ini. Iapun menari dengan sepuas hatinya. Ditinggalkannya patung itu dengan penuh haru ditempat yang sunyi dan sepi dipadang rumput tiada berkawam.

Entah apa yang mendorong, entah siapa yang menyuruh seorang dukun perkasa yang tiada bandingannya di negeri itu berlalu dari padang rumput tempat patung tengah menari. Datu Partawar demikian nama dukun. Perkasa terpesona melihat patung di putri. Alangkah indahnya patung ini apabila bernyawa. Sudah banyak negeri kujalani, belum pernah melihat patung ataupun manusia secantik ini. Datu Partawar berpikir mungkin ini suatu takdir. Banyak sudah orang yang kuobati dan sembuh dari penyakit. Itu semua dapat kulakukan berkat Yang Maha Kuasa.

Banyak cobaan pada diriku diperjalanan malahan segala aji-aji orang dapat dilumpuhkan bukan karena aku, tetapi karena ia Yang Maha Agung yang memberikan tawar ini kepadaku. Tidak salah kiranya apabila saya menyembah Dia Yang Maha Agung dengan tawar yang diberikannya padaku, agar berhasil membuat patung ini bernyawa. Dengan tekad yang ada padanya ini Datu Partawar menyembah menengadah keatas dengan mantra, lalu menyapukan tawar yang ada pada tangannya kepada patung. Tiba-tiba halilintar berbunyi menerpa patung. Sekitar patung diselimuti embun putih penuh cahaya. Waktu embun putih berangsur hilang nampaklah seorang putri jelita datang bersujud menyembah Datu Partawar. Datu Partawar menarik tangan putri, mencium keningnya lalu berkata : mulai saat ini kau kuberi nama Putri Naimanggale. Kemudian Datu Partawar mengajak Putri Naimanggale pulang kerumahnya. Konon kata cerita kecantikan Putri Naimanggale tersiar ke seluruh negeri. Para perjaka menghias diri lalu bertandang ke rumah Putri Naimanggale. Banyak sudah pemuda yang datang tetapi belum ada yang berkenan pada hati Putri Naimanggale. Berita kecantikan Putri Naimenggale sampai pula ketelinga Raja Panggana dan Baoa Partigatiga. Alangkah terkejutnya Raja Panggana setelah melihat Putri Naimanggale teringat akan sebatang kayu yang dipahat menjadi patung manusia. Demikian pula Baoa Partigatiga sangat heran melihat kain dan hiasan yang dipakai Putri Naimanggale adalah pakaian yang dikenakannya kepada Patung, Putri dipadang rumput. Ia mendekati Putri Naimanggale dan meminta pakaian dan hiasan itu kembali tetapi tidak dapat karena tetap melekat di Badan Putri Naimanggale. Karena pakaian dan hiasan itu tidak dapat terbuka lalu Baoa Partigatiga menyatakan bahwa Putri Naimanggale adalah miliknya. Raja Panggana menolak malahan balik menuntut Putri Naimanggale adalah miliknya karena dialah yang memahatnya dari sebatang kayu.

Saat itu pula muncullah Datu Partawar dan tetap berpendapat bahwa Putri Naimanggale adalah miliknya. Apalah arti patung dan kain kalau tidak bernyawa. Sayalah yang membuat nyawanya maka ia berada di dalam kehidupan. Apapun kata kalian itu tidak akan terjadi apabila saya sendiri tidak memahat patung itu dari sebatang kayu. Baoa Partigatiga tertarik memberikan pakaian dan perhiasan karena pohon kayu itu telah menajdi patung yang sangat cantik. Jadi Putri Naimanggale adalah milik saya kata Raja Panggana. Baoa Partigatiga balik protes dan mengatakan, Datu Partawar tidak akan berhasrat membuat patung itu bernyawa jika patung itu tidak kuhias dengan pakaian dan hiasan. Karena hiasan itu tetap melekat pada tubuh patung maka Raja Partawar memberi nyawa padanya. Datu Partawar mengancam, dan berkata apalah arti patung hiasan jika tidak ada nyawanya ? karena sayalah yang membuat nyawanya, maka tepatlah saya menjadi pemilik Putri Naimanggale. Apabila tidak maka Putri Naimanggale akan kukembalikan kepada keadaan semula. Raja Panggana dan Baoa Partigatiga berpendapat lebih baiklah Putri Naimanggale kembali kepada keadaan semula jika tidak menjadi miliknya.

Demikianlah pertengkaran mereka bertiga semakin tidak ada keputusan. Karena sudah kecapekan, mereka mulai sadar dan mempergunakan pikiran satu sama lain. Pada saat yang demikian Datu Partawar menyodorkan satu usul agar masalah ini diselesaikan dengan hati tenang didalam musyawarah. Raja Panggana dan Baoa Partigatiga mulai mendengar kata-kata Datu Partawar. Datu Partawar berkata : marilah kita menyelesaikan masalah ini dengan hati tenang didalam musyawarah dan musyawarah ini kita pergunakan untuk mendapatkan kata sepakat. Apabila kita saling menuntut akan Putri Naimanggale sebagai miliknya saja, kerugianlah akibatnya karena kita saling berkelahi dan Putri Naimanggale akan kembali kepada keadaannya semula yaitu patung yang diberikan hiasan. Adakah kita didalam tuntutan kita, memikirkan kepentingan Putri Naimanggale? Kita harus sadar, kita boleh menuntut tetapi jangan menghilangkan harga diri dan pribadi Putri Naimanggale. Tuntutan kita harus kita dasarkan demi kepetingan Putri Naimanggale bukan demi kepentingan kita. Putri Naimanggale saat sekarang ini bukan patung lagi tetapi sudah menjadi manusia yang bernyawa yang dituntut masing-masing kita bertiga. Tuntutan kita bertiga memang pantas, tetapi marilah masing-masing tuntutan kita itu kita samakan demi kepentingan Putri Naimanggale.

Raja Panggana dan Baoa Partigatiga mengangguk-angguk tanda setuju dan bertanya apakah keputusan kita Datu Partawar ? Datu Partawar menjawab, Putri Naimanggale adalah milik kita bersama. Mana mungkin, bagaimana kita membaginya. Maksud saya bukan demikian, bukan untuk dibagi sahut Datu Partawar. Demi kepentingan Putri Naimanggale marilah kita tanyakan pendiriannya. Mereka bertiga menanyakan pendirian Putri Naimanggale. Dengan mata berkaca-kaca karena air mata, air mata keharuan dan kegembiraan Putri Naimanggale berkata : “Saya sangat gembira hari ini, karena kalian bertiga telah bersama-sama menanyakan pendirian saya. Saya sangat menghormati dan menyayangi kalian bertiga, hormat dan kasih sayang yang sama, tiada lebih tiada kurang demi kebaikan kita bersama. Saya menjadi tiada arti apabila kalian cekcok dan saya akan sangat berharga apabila kalian damai.

Mendengar kata-kata Putri Naimanggale itu mereka bertiga tersentak dari lamunan keakuannya masing-masing, dan memandang satu sama lain. Datu Partawar berdiri lalu berkata : Demi kepentingan Putri Naimanggale dan kita bertiga kita tetapkan keputusan kita : a. Karena Raja Panggana yang memahat sebatang kayu menjadi patung, maka pantaslah ia menjadi Ayah dari Putri Naimanggale. b. Karena Baoa Partigatiga yang memberi pakaian dan hiasan kepada patung, maka pantaslah ia menjadi Amangboru dari Putri Naimanggale. c. Karena Datu Partawar yang memberikan nyawa dan berkat kepada patung, maka pantaslah ia menjadi Tulang dari Putri Naimanggale. Mereka bertiga setuju akan keputusan itu dan sejak itu mereka membuat perjanjian, padan atau perjanjian mereka disepakati dengan : Pertama, bahwa demi kepentingan Putri Naimanggale Raja Panggana, Baoa Partigatiga dan Datu Partawar akan menyelesaikan semua permasalahan yang terjadi dan mungkin terjadi dengan jalan musyawarah. Kedua, bahwa demi kepentingan Putri Naimanggale dan turunannya kelak, Putri Naimanggale dan turunannya harus mematuhi setiap keputusan dari Raja Panggana, Baoa Partigatiga dan Datu Partawar. Baoa Partigatiga yang menjadi amangboru Putri Naimanggale Nasiddah Pangaluan meminang langsung Putri Naimanggale untuk menjadi suami anak yang bernama Guru Hatautan, dan atas persetujuan mereka Guru Hatautan dan Putri Naimanggale Nasindak panaluan pun menikah dan merekapun mengadakan pesta ritual untuk pernikahan ini. Setelah mereka sudah lama kawin sebelum perempuan itu hamil. Perempuan itu sangat lama mengandung. Selama mengandung terjadilah kelaparan di daerah itu. sesudah tiba saatnya, Nan Sindak Panaluan melahirkan dua orang anak kembar, seorang anak laki-laki dan seorang anak perempuan. Kisah ini menjadi aib bagi masyarakat Batak Toba. Anak kembar dengan jenis kelamin berlainan membawa malapetaka pada masyarakat setempat dan sedini mungkin secepatnya dipindahkan. Kemudian Guru Hatautan dan istrinya Nan Sindak Panaluan memberi nama kepada kedua anak kembar itu sesuai dengan adat yang berlaku pada masa itu. Anak laki-laki itu disebut Si Aji Donda Hatautan dan anak perempuan itu disebut Si Boru Tapi Nauasan.

Sesudah acara atau upacara pemberian nama, tokoh-tokoh masyarakat pada waktu itu menganjurkan untuk memisahkan kedua anak itu. alasannya adalah bahwa kedua anak kembar itu tidak akan mengindahkan norma-norma dan hukum adat dikemudian hari. umumnya sikap dan sifat anak kembar tidak jauh berbeda satu sama lain. Atas dasar pandangan ini masyarakat setempat pada masa itu menghendaki kedua anak kembar itu dipisahkan. Lama-kelamaan anak itu berkembang dan tumbuh dewasa. Rasa cinta dan keakraban tumbuh tanpa disadari kedua orang tersebut.

Pada suatu ketika mereka saling berjalan ke hutan bersama seekor anjing. Rasa cinta yang tumbuh tanpa disadari bergejolak pada saat itu. mereka melakukan hubungan seksual (incest). Sesudah melakukan hubungan yang tabu itu mereka melihat pohon si Tau Manggule yang sedang berbuah. Mereka ingin memakan buah pohon itu. si Aji Donda Hatautan memanjat pohon tersebut dan memakan buahnya. Seketika itu ia melekat pada pohon itu. Kemudian SiTapi Boru Nauasan memanjat pohon tersebut dan memakan buahnya dan ia pun melekat juga pada pohon itu.

Menurut terjadinya tunggal Panaluan merupakan hukuman dari Dewa-dewi, karena kedua anak kembar tersebut melakukan hubungan badan yang tidak sepantasnya. Kedua anak tersebut melekat pada pohon yang sedang berbuah menandakan bahwa Siboru Tapi Nauasan telah mengandung dari kakaknya Si Aji Donda Hatautan.

Sesudah kedua insan itu melekat pada pohon tersebut, mereka berusaha melepaskan diri, namun mereka tidak berhasil. Anjing yang ikut bersama mereka saat itu pergi memberitahukan keadaan kedua insan itu kepada orangtuanya. Guru Guta Balian bersama dengan Datu datang ketempat mereka untuk melepaskan mereka dari pohon tersebut. Beberapa Datu yang lain yang datang kemudian ikut berusaha melepaskan kedua insan itu, namun mereka semua ikut melekat pada pohon Piu-piu Tunggale tersebut. Susunan personil pada Tunggal Panaluan itu adalah Si Aji Donda Hatautan, Siboru Tapi Nauasan, Datu Pulu Panjang Na Uli, Si Parjambulan Namelbuselbus, Guru Mangantar Porang, Si Sanggar Meoleol, Si Upar Manggalele, Barit Songkar Pangurura.

Mitos terjadinya Tunggal Panaluan diceritakan dengan bentuk ajaran yang dialnjutkan secara turun temurun. Unsur rasionalitas mitos tersebut ialah bahwa Tunggal Panaluan sungguh ada hasil karya seni ukir masyarakat Batak Toba.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

GONDANG BATAK

A typical of Gondang Batak instruments. The musicians, locally called pargonsi, seen here, are wearing the traditional Parmalim costum. Parmalim is the original Batak religion.

Gondang Batak Performs in The Maison des Cultures du Monde festival, 1995


By: Arthur Simon


The larger, official gondang music accompanies ceremonial dances called tortor adat during adat festivities such as the ancestor ceremony, ulaon 'panongkokhon saring-saring', or mangongkal holi, the reburial of remains of ancestors, as well as commemorations for the dead.


However, another type of gondang music, such as gondang riang-riang, or "happy gondang", is used for entertainment or general pleasure during harvest festivals, as accompaniment for dances for young people (gondang naposo), to celebrate the anniversary of the building of a church, or on other public occasions.

Another category of gondang, the gondang arsak, or "sad gondang", may be played at mourning ceremonies for a young man who has died without heirs, or for persons in a melancholic or sentimental mood.

In the past, gondang mandudu were used to call up the spirits of ancestors during dances of spirit possession. Certain other compositions were rituals in the veneration of the ancient Batak gods, such as "gondang Mulajadi na Bolon", "Bane Bulan" (band 3) or "Debata Sori" (band 7). Concerning this latter piece, it should be noted that due to the influence of Christianity, Debata" today means the God of the Christians.

From an architectural point of view, a traditional Toba house reproduces the ancient Batak religious system, according to which the universe is divided into three worlds: the under, middle and upper worlds. During an adat celebration, the gondang musicians occupy the upper level of the house, thus the upper world, and they play the music towards the dancers representing the middle world. The gondang is thus the mediator between the upper and middle worlds, granted by God and sanctified with divine force, and this explains the social prestige of the pargonsi (gondang musicians).

The order of the pieces and dances in gondang is subjected to a specific internal cyclical order. When the adat is strictly observed, each cycle must be composed of seven pieces, the first "gondang mula-mula" and the last of which "gondang hasahatan" are compulsory. If the suite is being performed as entertainment, this order need not be followed.

Festival music is always played by the official gondang. This instrumental group, called gondang sarune, gondang bolon (large gondang) or gondang sabangunan (complete gondang), is made up of the taganing, composed of a set of five tuned drums (tataganing) beaten by a first drummer, a large bass drum called gordang played by a second drummer, a sarune (oboe), four ogung (gongs) and a hesek-hesek (metal plate). A second sarune may be added to the first to strengthen the sound. In addition, in pieces intended for divine worship, certain groups replace the taganing with a small double-headed barrel-drum called odap.

The sarune or sarune bolon (large sarune) is a conical oboe with five upper finger-holes and one lower finger-hole for the thumb. The instrument consists of five interlocking parts: a double reed, a mouth-piece, a disk upon which the musician places his lips (pirouette), a body section and a bell.

From the players' point of view, the taganing drums (measuring 16 to 20 inches) are placed in increasing order from left to right ; all hang on a wooden stand.

The head is of water buffalo, cow or goat skin, and connected to a round wooden plate held in place underneath the drum by means of six tension strings. The desired tuning of each head is achieved by driving in wooden wedges between the base of the drum and this plate. The bass drum gordang is of similar construction, only much bigger, as it measures more that 40 inches in length. These drums are struck by using two drumsticks.

The set of gongs ogung consists of four bossed gongs of varying size and pitch, each of which is struck by one individual player. The oloan ("who must be obeyed"), the lowest gong, and the ihutan ("to follow") or pangalusi ("the answerer") are not muted. The doal na godang ("doal of the parents") and the panggora ("the caller"), of higher pitch, are muted with the arm.

The hesek-hesek, a plate of iron or other metal, or even an empty beer bottle, is beaten regularly as a timekeeper.

In the majority of the pieces, there is an audible opposition between the melodic combination provided by the sarune / taganing group, and the background gong accompaniment, whose psychoacoustic effects may be heard for several miles, and which remains the same throughout the piece.

The sarune's range of notes is roughly: G-, C1, D1, E1, F1, G1, A flat/ A-, played half a note lower. The intonation of individual notes may fluctuate considerably, especially the highest note, which is pressed and used in some particular moments as an intensificatory process. The melodic and thematic units of the gondang repertoire are dependent on the technical possibilities of the sarune playing. The six degrees of the basic range are obtained by playing the five upper finger-holes, and most of the thematic figures use this scale.

Almost all the pieces begin with a kind of standard introduction. The taganing player begins with a characteristic figure, followed by steady beats, from which the other players can take up the tempo, after which the gong section can begin to play.

The main theme as such does not begin until after this introduction. Two main types of themes may be distinguished. First, those with quite distinctive and expressive melodies, subject to a strict symmetric internal structure maintained throughout the entire piece (type 1). Next, themes which employ a technique of increasing tension by the successive transposition of a phrase on the central tones D1 - E1 - F1 - G1 (type 2). The internal structure is almost always asymmetric in this case, and the length of themes can vary due to the amount of freedom allowed in lengthening, determined by the emotional context.

The group consists of:

Marsius Sitohang (left), 40 years old, from Samosir / Medan: sulim (transverse flute) Photo: Repro Tonggo Simangunsong

Kalabius Simbolon, 51 years old, from Samosir / Pematang Siantar: first sarune etek(clarinet)
Osner Gultom, 40 years old, from Porsea: second sarune etek
Sarikawan Sitohang, 35 years old, from Medan, hasapi garantung (first lute)
Janter Sagala, 44 years old, from Samosir / Medan: hasapi doal (second lute)
Maningar Sitorus, 33 years old, from Porsea: garantung (xylophone)
Rizaldi Siagian, 43 years old, from Medan: hesek-hesek (iron plate).

The two brothers, Marsius and Sarikawan Sitohang, as well as Janter Sagala, usually play in their own group "Sitohang Bersaudara," in Medan, and Kalabius Simbolon has his own group in Pematang Siantar. These musicians have inherited the tradition begun by Tilhang Gultom, who pioneered the "Batak Opera" (a form of popular theatre set to music).



Sitohang Bersaudara (L-R): Marsius Sitohang, Jonter Sagala and Sarikawan Sitohang (Photo Benhard Sitohang)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

MARTOGI SITOHANG


The Sitohang clan produces quite a number of renowned Batak taditional artists. To name a few are the late Dahri Umum Sitohang, the founder of famous Batak opera "Dos Roha" and the late Mangumbang Sitohang, founder of the other Batak Opera "Saut Sinta Uli".


Martogi Sitohang and one of his caucasion friend during performance in Los Angeles United State in 2006 (Photo: http://www.gobatak.net/ collection).

Sang guru Martogi Sitohang in one of his performances in Jakarta (Photo: http://www.gobatak.net/ collection)



The younger generation of Sitohang who continues this path is Martogi Sitohang, born in Samosir North Sumatera. Gifted with great skill in playing all Batak traditional music instruments, Martogi equipped himself with a degree in enthnomusicology from University of North Sumatera Medan.

Martogi has performed in many big shows including some performances in United States and Europe. He master not only Batak instrument but also the modern one such sexophone, classic guitar and many other. But the main instrument that he master in most and has a special brand is with the tradional batak flute called Sulim or seruling. Due to his fantastic skill in playing the Sulim which oftenly leave his audience to tear, he is now fondly called "Sang Guru", the master" of Batak Sulim.

Motivated to preserve Batak traditional music among Batak young generation, Martogi who now domicile in Medan, teach a group of elementary school students as their extra curriculair subject.

If you want to check out one of his pieces titled "Andung Andung ni Anak Siampudan" please go to the bottom of this blog and click the play button of the music link.

Enjoy listening....


Thursday, February 14, 2008

HOW TO GET RICH


If you think being rich is a good thing and if you believe that being rich is the function of what you do and it is not about destiny as what many people say, then this article is worth reading for.

TEN TRAITS THAT MAKE YOU FILTHY-RICH

by Jeffrey Strain


Saving money isn't all about whether or not you know how to score screaming bargains.
It has more to do with your attitude toward money.
Just think of those who don't fit the filthy-rich stereotype. People like Warren Buffett.

As explained in the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, personal finance has as much to do with people's traits as it does with money. Many millionaires, in fact, have frugal ways.

Understanding how personal traits can influence your finances is an essential ingredient for building wealth.

Here are 10 key traits:

1. Patience
Patience is one of the most important traits when it comes to saving money. This means waiting until the first wave of product hype has passed, keeping a car for an extra few years before getting another one and waiting until something you want fits into your budget instead of putting it on credit. Patience is often the difference between creating savings and being in debt. Having the patience to wait until you find a good deal is a cornerstone of good finances.

2. Satisfaction
When you're satisfied, there is no reason to spend money on nonessentials. The sole purpose of commercials is to make you believe that buying a product or service will make you happier, wealthier, better looking or improve whatever isn't bringing you satisfaction. People spend because they want to capture the excitement shown in advertisements. When you are satisfied with what you have and your life (not trying to live like those on TV), your finances will be in a lot better shape.

3. Organization
Being organized can make you more productive and ensure that all the many issues pertaining to personal finances are addressed. It means not paying late fees, not buying two of everything, knowing deadlines that can affect your finances and getting more done in less time. All these can greatly benefit your finances.

4. Discipline
You need the discipline to continue to save money for specific, long-term goals every month.
Personal finance isn't a way to get rich quick, but is a disciplined execution of your lifetime plans.

5. Reflectiveness
It's important to be able to look at your financial decisions and reflect on their results.
You're going to make financial mistakes. Everyone does. The key is to learn from those mistakes so you don't make them again, or recognize if you keep repeating them.

6. Creativity
The economy and our earnings don't always match our expectations. Unexpected developments wreak havoc to elaborate financial plans. When this happens, changes are needed to deal with the new circumstances. Creativity is essential to accomplish this. Creativity allows you to make something last longer rather than purchasing it when you don't have the money. It means juggling money to stay out of debt rather than simply paying with a credit card. It means finding a cheaper alternative when money is tight. In these ways, creativity plays a large role in keeping finances in order.

7 . Curiosity
Having curiosity helps you learn, study and improve yourself. The curiosity of wanting to know more, to take the time to study and then take what is learned and put into practice is an important process that is driven by curiosity.

8. Risk-Taking
To build wealth, one needs to be willing to take risks. This doesn't mean uncalculated risks. It means weighing all the options and taking calculated risks when appropriate. The stock market has risks involved, but over the long term, history shows that it provides good returns on money that is invested wisely. Those who fear risk altogether end up saving money in accounts that likely lose money to inflation in the long run.

9. Goal-Oriented
The importance of setting and working toward goals is obvious. If you don't know where you are going, it's difficult to get there. It helps your personal finances immensely if you have money goals and are motivated to reach the goals that you have set for yourself. Those who lack goals don't have a road map to take them to the financial destination they want.

10. Hard- and Smart-Working:
Creating wealth and staying out of debt rarely comes about without a lot of hard work. Many people might hope that the lottery will solve all their financial problems. The true path to financial freedom, however, is to work hard to earn money while educating yourself to continue to have more value and increase your salary.

You may not possess all of the above traits. But knowing them can help you make changes so that you nourish the ones that you have and obtain the ones you're missing.
Ultimately they will help you with your personal finances and create a plan to accumulate the wealth you desire.

Copyrighted, TheStreet.Com. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

OBAMA OVERTAKES CLINTON AFTER POTOMAC PRIMARIES

For the first time Senator Barack Obama takes the lead over Senator Hillary Clinton after the Democrat primaries in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia (POTOMAC) 12 February 2008:





Four fabolous women for Obama, from left: Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver Schwarnegger, and Oprah Winfrey

Total delegates tally after 12 Feb 2008 primaries:



Democrats needed to win 2,025 delegates to get the party nomination for Presidential Election.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

GENERAL COLIN POWELL SPEAKS ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2008

This is what the highly respected first black American General says about the ongoing American Presidential election primary.




WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican who served under President Bush, said Friday he may not back the GOP presidential nominee in November, telling CNN that “I am keeping my options open at the moment.”

“I have voted for members of both parties in the course of my adult life,” Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And as I said earlier, I will vote for the candidate I think can do the best job for America, whether that candidate is a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent.”

Powell also offered praise for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, calling him an “exciting person on the political stage.
“He has energized a lot of people in America,” said Powell, who briefly weighed his own run for the White House in the mid-1990s. “He has energized a lot of people around the world. And so I think he is worth listening to and seeing what he stands for.”

Powell, who has largely steered clear of politics since leaving the administration in 2004, noted that the next president will need to work to restore America’s standing in the world.
“I will ultimately vote for the person I believe brings to the American people the kind of vision the American people want to see for the next four years,” he said.
“A vision that reaches out to the rest of the world, that starts to restore confidence in America, that starts to restore favorable ratings to America. Frankly, we've lost a lot in recent years.”
Watch a clip, and tune in for the full interview with Colin Powell on “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer,” airing this Sunday, 11-1 PM, ET.

OBAMA BESTS CLINTON AGAINST MC CAIN

The Supertuesday aftermath leave the Democrats a question to answer and decides: "Who can do better against the most likely Republican President Candidate John McCain?"


A new poll indicates Obama does better against McCain than Clinton. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)


(CNN) — It's a question both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have raised since John McCain's initial surge in the polls: Which Democrat can best take on the Arizona senator in a general election match-up?

A new Time magazine polls seems to suggest the answer is Obama.

The poll, conducted over the three days leading up to Super Tuesday, shows Obama beating McCain by 7 points, 48 percent to 41 percent. Clinton ties McCain at 46 percent.

The difference between the two candidates, according to Time, is where the Independent vote goes: The poll indicates a larger share of those voters will chose to support McCain over Clinton than McCain over Obama.

Exit polls taken from the early primary contests have indicated that both McCain and Obama have strongly benefited from the support of Independents. In combined surveys of the 22 states that voted on Super Tuesday, Obama beat Clinton among Independents by roughly 20 points. McCain, meanwhile, beat rival Mitt Romney among Independents by nearly 15 points on Super Tuesday.
Responding to the poll's findings, Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson touted the New York senator's vast differences with McCain on a host of issues, and pointed to a recent CNN poll that showed Clinton beating McCain by 3 points. Though that same poll found Obama beating McCain by eight points.

CNN's Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider says the biggest difference between Obama and Clinton is their support from male voters. In the CNN poll, Obama and McCain were nearly tied among male voters, but the polls shows men breaking for McCain over Clinton by nearly 20 points.

"Obama argues that he can reach across party lines," Schneider said. "And he does do a little better than Clinton with Independents and Republicans. But the big difference is that Clinton doesn't draw very well with men. Obama does."
– CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Friday, February 8, 2008

JUSUF KALLA OFFICIATES PROJECTS IN BINTAN FREE TRADE ZONE


In an effort to boost investment in the province of Kepulauan Riau, Indonesian Vice President Mr. Jusuf Kalla officiates 5 projects located in the area designated for the impending Bintan Free Trade Zone in Bintan today, 8 February 2008. The occasion took place at PT Wira Bahari Kencana premise where the KeppelFels, Pte Ltd Indonesian subsidiary PT Bintan Offshore operates.
Mr. Jusuf Kalla signs one of the plaques while Bintan Regent Mr. Ansar Ahmad (left) looks on.

The vice president was accompanied by his wife Mdm. Mufidah Jusuf Kalla and few ministers, Minister for Industry Mr. Fahmi Idris, Minister for Agriculture Mr. Anton Apriantono, Minister for Communication Mr. Jusman Jamal, Minister for State Owned Enterprise Mr. Sofyan Jalil, Governor of National Resiliation Institute Mr. Muladi and Military Commander of Bukit Barisan Maj. Gen. Markus Kusnowo. Governor Kepulauan Riau Mr. Ismeth Abdullah and Bintan Regent Mr. Ansar Ahmad jointly cohost the event. Also present, Mayor of Tanjungpinang Mdm. Suryatati A. Manan and Tanjungpinang City Council Speaker Mr. Boby Jayanto.

From Keppel OM Gorup present Mr. Michael Chia, the Executive Director. From PT Wira Bahari Kencana present Mr. Richard Asril, Managing Director and Mr. Johny Asril, Chairman. From PT Bintan Offshore present Mr. Choong Yik Lin, Managing Director, Mr. Felix Fan, The Yard Manager, Hendry Rusli, The Human Resource Manager and Petrus M. Sitohang, The Admin and Finance Manager.

Felix Fan, PT Bintan Offshore Yard Manager gives a masker and safety glasses to Mr. Jusuf Kalla before inspecting the yard.


Mr. Jusuf Kalla inspecting the ongoing PT Bintan Offshore projects in the yard. Accompanying him inspecting the yard in the front row are (from left): Richard Asril, Michael Chia, Felix Fan, Choong Yik Lin and Governor Ismeth Abdullah. Second row Petrus Sitohang (behind Michael Chia), Mr. Muladi (behind Felix Fan) and Regent Ansar Ahmad (behind Governor Ismeth)


Having light momment with the regional military commander Major General Markus Kusnowo. I am deeply impressed with General Kusnowo's attention and questions to me during our short conversation.


Inspecting the yard, from left: Hendry Rusli, Tanjungpinang Mayor Mdm. Suryatati A. Manan, City Council Speaker Mr. Boby Jayanto, Ms. Juliet Asril, executive of one of the officated company, Petrus Sitohang, and Regional Military Commander Maj. Gen. Markus Kusnowo.


Mr. Jusuf Kalla and Governor Ismeth Abdullah in an informal dialog with the yard workers.


Michael Chia, Petrus Sitohang and Governor of National Resiliation Institute Muladi in the sideline of the yard inspection.


PT Bintan Offshorer management in a group photo with the traditional dancers performing in the beginning of the ceremony. From left: Mizan, Hendry Rusli, Felix Fan, Chow (son of Choong Yik Lin), Richard Asril, Michael Chia, Choong Yik Lin, Juliet Asril, Mani Maran and Petrus Sitohang.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

MY YEARS IN BINTAN RESORTS


I joined PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala (formerly PT. Bintan Resort Corporation) in September 1995 as a bachelor Accountant. I feel myself lucky get involved in the history making of the development project of the first ever integrated international class beach resort on Bintan Island Indonesia. PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala was initially a joint venture between Indonesian Salim Group and Singapore Sembawang Corp. led consortium. Later I learned that Sembawang Corp. consortium decided to left the joint venture.

PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala Managers and Executives posing for group foto session in August 2003. Sitting from left: Reinhard Pgflug (Senior Manager UOD), Bernard Tan (Senior ManEstate & Township), Ranan Samanya (Head of Environmental & Health Division), Rusli Mahmood (Senior Manager Ferry Terminal), Wilson Tay (AGM Bussines and Community Development), Daniel Ong (Deputy General Manager), Albel Singh (AGM Operations), Aditya Laksamana (AGM Admin Services), Goh Tcheng Hion (Finance Manager), myself and Lim Tow Teng (Logistic Manager)

I was promoted to Finance Assistant Manager in Jan 1999 and then offered a job as Human Resource Manager in 2001 at the time when the company was facing a hostile industrial realation caused by a mass retrenchment of it's staff following a deadlock in the negotiation of a collective labor agreement between the management and workers union respresentative.

I left PT BRC in October 2004 in pursuing a better carreer prospect after more than 9 years of service. I brought a wife and 3 children with me when I left BRC. It was my longest service in one company thus far. And one important thing, I left BRC with a peaceful and sound industrial relation between management and it's staff.


Posing with PT BRC Humanika Quality Circle Team in 2004. From left: myself as team leader, Ignasius Suban Nama, Puji Riana, Fransisca, Jadiaman Tampubolon and Aditya Laksamana (Team Facilitator).

Posing with my Humanika Quality Circle Team at Orchard Road after project presentation in Singapore Technologies Quality Circle Convention in Spore in 2004. From left: Jadiaman Tampubolon, myself and Puji Riana. Humanika CQ Project receives Gold Award during the convention.

Puji Riana and the other Humanika QC Team member Ignasius Suban Nama.


Giving an in house training for Fire and Safety Dept staff.

Daniel Ong presented a tribe chief attire during his farewell party in June 2007. Daniel Ong was DGM of BRC from May 2001- August 2004. Daniel Ong is a very good cummunicator both verbal and written. I learn a lot from him on this. One other thing that I learned from Daniel was his capability to project the impact and image of actions he is doing. Last but not least, to my surprise, Daniel also likes Batak food.


Representing BRC staff giving farewell speech to Daniel Ong during his farewell party at Mana Mana Beach

As Chairman of PT BRC Employess Cooperative Executive Board "Wira Artha" when receiving a vehicle bought and shipped from Jakarta. Accompanying me here was Tuwuh Gunawan, the first Chairman of the Cooperative (second from right) and Agus Sri Buana, one of my BRC colleagues (right).

Wisma Bintan Resor main office of PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala from 1996-2004.


Petrus M. Sitohang , Pariwisata Dan Kelautan Bisa Jadi Motor Pertumbuhan Ekonomi

KEPRIONLINE.CO.ID,TANJUNGPINANG,- Provinsi Kepulauan Riau dikenal kaya akan sumber daya alam. Letaknya yang juga sangat strategis memun...