Finalis Essay Nasional: The Uniqueness of Bullying at IMMIM Boarding School

The life in Islamic boarding school is certainly not immune from bullying events. However, there are differences between bullying at ordinary schools and boarding schools, like Islamic boarding school of IMMIM.

Islamic boarding school of IMMIM is not just a school but also a place where we live toghether 24-hour with our friends and other students, both at Junior and Senior High School level. Almost 900 students are living inside our campus. Many of our activities are done together, starting from waking up, bathing, eating, studying, sleeping, till waking up again in the morning. Therefore, intimacy among fellow students is very strong. This is what makes bullying at our Islamic boarding school is different from that of ordinary school.

For us, bullying is intimidation both psychologically and physically to a person or a group who is less powerful by the person or group who is more powerful based on certain motives, intentions, or goals. Based on the above definition, we can derive that there are two objects of intimidation, namely body and soul. Beating and asking people’s money or property by force are two examples of physical intimidation while the psychological intimidation takes form of threats, insults, exclusions, and others.

At our Islamic boarding school, beating and insulting are two kinds of bullying which occur quite frequently. Beating is carried out by more powerful students to weaker ones or by senior students to the juniors. This happens when juniors are considered irreverent. However, beating mostly occurs among classmates. When this occurs, the intention is based on teasing friends, although the beating sometimes become excessive but it is considered not as intimidation but as one of intimacy expressions or closeness since it is done without anger. Is it strange? For those who do not experience it, this may be strange but for us this is the symbol of our friendship.

Insulting among students at our boarding school is quite unique. We sometimes change our friends’ real names in order to be funny, for example, Patandi to Patandus. On other cases, when we notice the uniqueness of our friends’ ears, lips, eyes, legs, or teeth we suddenly find unique words to describe them. For example, we call one of our friends “kacang” (an Indonesian word for nut or bean) because the shape of his head resembles “kacang”. Even our friends’ bad habits become target of insulting. Excessive sleeping or rarely taking a bath could also become the source of our laugh.

These kinds of insulting are not meant to humiliate or offend others but are simply meant to release our tension, to reduce our stress, and to relieve boredom. It could also motivate us to change our bad habits. More importantly, this does not end up with fighting, but, on the contrary, increasing mutual understanding among us.

Therefore, unique as it is, for us bullying is quite hard to define explicitly unless you know exactly the situation or you are there to observe the emotion. Sometimes it looks like bullying, but we do not consider it as one. On the contrary, sometimes it doesn’t look as one, but it really is.

Artikel ini adalah karya santri:
Ahmad Azmul Asmar Irfan & Nurcholis Ilman Panai
Semifinalis Alfa Link English Essay Competition 2015 

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