Rabu, 27 Juni 2007
In the Krapyak Pondok Pesantren Ali Maksum, in a room covered with straw and plastic raffia mats, girls sitting cross legged on the floor in their full length jilbabs prepared for their recitations by kissing the hand of the nyai '(female) teacher'. They then began by singing some verses of the Qur'an in unison. Then two at a time they came forward on their knees, placed their Qur'ans on the low desk in front of the nyai and began to recite, each from a different part of the Qur'an. The cacophany - to my ears anyway - was impressive. But since she had memorized the entire Qur'an, she seemed to know how they should be pronouncing and singing the verses in question. On occasion she raised her hand to indicate whether the vowel should be pronounced long, and lowered it when she wanted to remind the santri 'student' that the vowel was short.