Monday, June 16, 2008
CIRENG (Cassava Flour Cake)
Text and picture ©Eki Qushay Akhwan
Sundanese, the people and language of West Java, is very good at making acronyms. Cireng, the title of this post, for example, is the acronyms of aci (cassava flour) digoreng (fried) - fried cassava cake. It's a kind of local traditional food.
This posting, however, is not going to talk about that food (I'll probably discuss it next time), but about these two boys selling it at the sidewalk of Asia-Afrika street in downtown Bandung. This is a phonomenon that the residents and anyone visiting Bandung will probably see on the streets of Bandung: uderage children selling a variety of things from cireng (like the ones in the picture) to stone grinders. Some uncanny adult businesspersons have apparently exploited them. Using these children as salesboys is very effective in getting the attention of potential customers. People would usually buy their merchandize not because they need it or wants it but because they sympathize with these children's hardship.
I think this is a social problem that the city's administrator needs to tackle immediately. The practice is a violation of the children's human rights. Children their age should not be on the streets making money for some irresponsible adults. They should be at the playgrounds enjoying their childhood and schools studying for their future.