Respect and Obedience in the Culture of Education: A Narrative of Transformative Journey in Viewing a Lifelong Practice in Indonesia.
This self-narrative retells stories that attempt to make sense of my cultural practice called salim—kissing the hand of teachers, the elderly, and powerful people to show respect. The evident purpose is to instill respect, however, I come to an understanding that respect should be a choice, and if there is no choice, it serves the purpose of implanting obedience. In Indonesian schools, students line up every morning to do salim to teachers, much like an assembly line. Clandinin and Connelly (2000) elucidated how narrative inquiries are always strongly autobiographical and unique. These stories are those I have experienced, witnessed, told, and reflected to achieve transformative learning. I narrated how I was the oppressed, the oppressor and in most times, both. The intent of this paper is not to eliminate the practice, but to awaken awareness of educators to see whether they have earned such respect.