Ahmad Shiddiqi

Rookie - 6 Points (March 7,1974 / Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia)

Jamu Java - Poem by Ahmad Shiddiqi

(dedicated to Ms. Hélène Mercier, a great pianist)

“Jamu, Madame, Sir! ”

how a slim
young woman
from door to door

of bottles tied up on her back
neighborhood every morning
carrying a heavy basketful
greets her clients

offering a glass
of freshly prepared
herbal medicine, jamu
mixed with raw egg and honey

wearing beautifully
Javanese traditional dress
called kebaya and batik sarong
selling traditional Indonesian herbal medicine

wild ginger
greater galingale

kumis kucing


used to treat
a wide variety of
ailments ranging from
fatigue and headache to malaria

supplies the body with vitamin C
keeps the body in good shape
and makes the skin smooth
cleanses the blood

maintains physical fitness and health
treats various kinds of illness
for babies is also available
usually in oil form

during the pre and post-natal periods
to maintain natural beauty of women
the herbal cosmetics
for pregnant women

for women in their post-natal period
is usually a combination of massage
the body wraps and tonics to help them
regain their figures and eliminate stretch marks

to be always in a perfect condition
is of prime importance
to maintain the body
Ngadi Sarira

bedak dingin
a cool powder
made from tendered rice
lulur bathing powder for scrubbing

a hair oil called cemceman
with special ingredients such as
made of coconut oil with pandanus
the kenanga flower, and the jeruk purut

Zingiber officinale
Curcuma cautkeridza
Curcuma domestica
Kaempferia galanga

Orthosiphon aristatus
Zingiber bevifalium
Caesalpinia sappan hinn
Tiospora rumpii boerl

Citrae aurantifalia sivingle
Gijeyzahyza glabra

nature is deeply rooted
in the life of the people
culturally, socially

from leaves
fruits, roots, seeds
flowers or tree barks
since the ancient times

widely used to give
inner-complete beauty
which is thought to result
from good physical health

from the poor to the rich
those who live in villages
those who live in large cities
from every class of the society

“Jamu, Madame, Sir! ”

Comments about Jamu Java by Ahmad Shiddiqi

  • (1/29/2009 8:21:00 PM)

    the struggle of Jamu sellers must be appreciated and respected..
    they wake up in the early morning, make the Jamu and sell it through the town, ,
    great work..
    (Report) Reply

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  • (1/19/2009 9:36:00 PM)

    my parents opened jamu store.: -) and i love how it smell because it reminds me about my childhood. (Report) Reply

  • (1/19/2009 10:30:00 AM)

    seething with meaning and kept me captivated right till the end (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 16, 2009

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