Who are you, Elianus?
My name is Elianus Tabuni (30th). I am from Jayapura – West Papua Province – Indonesia. I have a brother and two sisters. My sisters work as nurse and teacher of English while my brother work in local government. All of them are staying in West Papua. My mom is a pastor wife. They worked with missionaries form USA Church “call Tabernacle Evangelic Church” in West Papua Indonesia. My father was a first man who translated The Bible from English to our local language. Now my father is working as a leader of the church organization in our local region.
What is your background?
In 2005 I graduated from Environment Health study program of academic school called “Polytechnic Health Care in West Papua”. After that, I worked with some NGO’s as MSF, OXFAM and Samaritan’s Purse. Final, in 2007 I am appointed as a civil servants of government at Health Department in West Papua. I had worked for 5 years as a trainer of HIV/AIDS and Epidemiology in West Papua.
Why did you choose to come to Slovakia?
I got an information from a friend who is studied theology field. He is from Slovakia. He has a plan to go to West Papua as a missionary but he did not have any connection to go there. He wrote an email to our missioners from USA to ask the way to go to West Papua. The missioner gave my email address and we stated to communicate through email. I don’t have any plan to study in Slovakia. I never know where Slovakia located is and what kind of nation. My plan was in Australia or New Zealand due to there is strong cooperation of Education to study. However, He (Slovak friend) talked to me that Slovakia government offering the scholarship program for foreigner student including Indonesia.
He supported me to apply the scholarship program. In 2011, I got scholarship from Slovak Government and then we were required to study Slovak language. I came to Bratislava and studied language at Komenskeho University.
I finished the language school and I suppose to be at Komenskeho University in Martin but I filled uncomfortable because study area. I decided to study at ST. Elisabeth University, because there are same available program to study and the area school is located in capital city of Slovakia Republic. Now I am studying Public Health as External and Social Work as a daily student in the same time. Sometime I got very busy because of school schedule and lost my time but as long as far is alright. I love my university of ST Elizabeth. The teachers and classmates are wonderful people have had ever I meet on studying environment. Harder and difficulties are never take away during my studying but nothing complication more on enrolled so far.
And what about your job, Elianus?
In Slovakia there are regulation that student could be work but not more than 12 hours. To get an experiments we have to adaptive with any company to work while studying as experiences. Something I have not enough time to study or work because my activity of studying but we have organize the time carefully. This is the key what I am doing now. The most of free time is on weekend. In the weekend use for work but during the office days I go to school.
One of my job is social work in “Evalickej Diakonia Starolivosti” (EDS) Bratislava. Evangelical Diakonia is a church organization set up by the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia according to Law no. 308/1991 Coll. and the Constitution of the Evangelical Church A. V. Slovakia on 30.11.1991, as specific device ECAC. This is part of Protestant Diakonia an independent organizational unit of ECAC with legal personality. Evangelical Ddiakonia within the scope of its activities and engaged in socio-diaconal work, humanitarian and development aid, medical care, prevention of various social
groups and training in these areas. Those activities are carried out either directly by headquarters and the Evangelic Diakonia or in conjunction with choral deacon or a cooperative with associated organizations.
This company as my part time job. Most of the jobs are Physical actions,, I work from 07.00 – 12.00 0r 12.00 – 19.00. I start to ringing them, say good morning and give them morning drugs with water, preparing new dressing, bring them to breakfast place, playing game, communicate, watching, make coffee or tea. Giving water, lunch, dinner and washing plate or spoon e.t. Sometime I do with medical things. For example, test blood pressure, antibiotic treatment, bleeding in hands, arms or whereever of body,,,during the day we singing or do some activity. Sometime we take walk,, go to out side, bask or sit in the park and than at 19.00 we bring them on the bad to sleep.
What about Christmas traditions in your home country?
December is the month which is always awaited by Christian’s people around the world. One of them is West Papuan people especially Christian. Basically Christmas celebrations between Slovakia and west Papua are not different. The principle is the same, namely to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ, The Savior Redeemer of Mankind.
There are a few different things. First, Gate Christmas. Christmas Gate is the initial stage in which we welcoming of the month of December as Christmas month. Every December of 1st, we celebrate it in the form of collective worship. We are majority of 2 denominations which are Catholic and Protestant so both of the organization committee will prepare the event of Christmas and New Year. Typically for accommodation, ritual and Christmas celebrations conducted by the Committee of Christmas celebrations in the lift by local government. The local government will support the activities with funding and other support such as vehicles, building rental, lamp on the street and so on.
Second, the Christmas races. Each month there is a race that Christmas always presented the form of money or trophies. Most popularity of activities are football match, Volley ball, Choir and cottage Bethlehem. This is including the street lamps decoration. All the races are set by organization committee of Christmas and New Year Celebration financed by the local government. Every 20th December, we celebrate Christmas together, attended by all the locals people who stay in the city then the winners will get presents which are prepared by a committee of the Christmas celebration.
On 24 December each Protestants will cook together in their respective churches. Than they will eat together in the church. Type of foods are pork with vegetables, sweet potatoes, corn, Vegetable cabbage and some fruits such as pumpkin and so on. The time schedule are morning at 10.00 o’clock and night at 19.00 o’clock. There are a lot of activities throughout the night. For example, the presents of gifts, singing and witness of life experience.
On 25th December is the feast of Christmas. Catholics Church will cook together in the morning and eat together, but Protestants will worship in the morning. Catholics will worship at 10.00 while Protestants 10:00 open the door to receive guests or visit and congratulate of Christmas Day. Throughout the day of 25th December every Protestant community will open the door, receiving guests and providing Christmas cookies as a thank you. Usually the visiting are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and adult or young people. At 19.00 there is usually Worship as night time. Each race will serve in their respective churches. This is also doing by Catholic people in West Papua.
Autor: Galina Gomolčáková