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A piece of longing been left in Papua

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Nowela Elizabeth Auparay sings Tatinggal di Papua at a recording studio in Jakarta (EcoNusa Foundation/Novie Sartyawan)

Eight months have passed and Nowela Elizabeth Auparay has not had time to ‘fly’ to Papua. One of them is because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has spread since March in Indonesia. In addition, the winner of the eighth season of Indonesia Idol 2014 is also busy working in the music world, because this industry has made his name.

Together with Tiara Andini, Raisa Andriana, and Lyodra Ginting, Nowela participated in celebrating the 75th Indonesian Independence Day at the State Palace by singing the Sajojo song virtually. Three months earlier, Nowela released a single song (single) entitled Tatatuh di Papua, one week before Idul Fitri 1441 Hijriah.

“I deliberately released the song a week before Lebaran to encourage students and people who have not been able to return to Papua. The song represents them and me who are longing to return to Papua. I have been traveling to Java for a long time. And living in Papua is also one of my starting points to introduce Eastern Indonesia, “Nowela told EcoNusa.

The song Tatatuh di Papua was created by Stephen Wally and has been sung by various professions. Pacenogei and Judika, Brimob Papua, students of the Institute for Domestic Government, also sang the song. In uploading the song Tatatuh di Papua on the YouTube channel Nowela, netizens commented sadly about their longing for and love for Papua.

Living in Papua has a very personal meaning for Nowela. Every time Nowela performs in Papua, Living in Papua is always included in the list of songs that are performed from stage to stage. In early 2020, Nowela decided to take care of permission to make the song a single song.

There is a feeling of emotion every time Nowela sings Tatatuh in Papua, including during the recording process. Her tears just fell without being able to be dammed. “I said, ‘Oh, I think (the tone) is rocking. Let’s just re-record ‘. Then my producer said, ‘No need. This is the most suitable for singing this song ‘. We can edit a little about the tone but (about) we don’t think we can get it anymore, “said Nowela.

Nowela’s love for Papua grows thanks to the childhood she spent amidst the natural beauty of Papua. Nowela was born in mid-December 1987 in Wamena, a small town on a plateau covered in dense forest. Alex David Zakaria Auparay, father of Nowela, is a pastor who often provides services to churches in rural areas. Together with Alex, little Nowela often went in and out of the forest and intersected with indigenous people.

Nature becomes Nowela’s playground. After school, Nowela and her friends explore the lush forest and the crystal clear Wamena river. Little Nowela just came home before sunset. More than that, Nowela will receive disciplinary punishment from her parents.

“Enter the forest, climb a tree, get fruit, go to the river to look for fish. If you want to get dark already afraid. Coming home late and later punished by standing with Papa. Because Papua is indulgent in nature. Especially if we are in the mountainous area of Wamena. So the game is only going out of the forest and into the river, ”said Nowela.

Nowela admits that she had an embarrassing experience when playing with her friends. At that time, Nowela and her peers plunged into a large ditch around the house complex. Unexpectedly, while busy looking for fish in the gutter, Nowela’s action was seen by her parents’ friends.

“Mama’s friend passed. He said ‘How come here?’ When he got home he reported to Mom. That’s where I got punished by my mom. “You are shy, mama. Mama’s friend saw you in the ditch looking for fish. ‘ But don’t equate it with sewers in Jakarta, OK. There the water is clean, clear, lots of fish, ”Nowela said with laughter.

Nowela lived in Wamena until grade 4 Elementary School. After that, he moved to Salatiga, where Alex continued his studies at the Satya Wacana Christian University. When he was in grade 3 at Junior High School, Nowela moved to Merauke for a year. Then, he moved back to Java Island because he received a scholarship from the Ministry of Education.

Since high school, Nowela is domiciled in Java. However, Nowela’s heart belongs to Papua forever. From a distance of more than 3,000 kilometers, Nowela continues to monitor developments in Papua.

When flash floods hit Sentani in March 2019, Nowela was sad. He participated in raising funds through the website and managed to raise more than IDR 14 million. Fundraising to help Sentani was also carried out by holding a charity concert in Jakarta. The result, collected donations of IDR 42 million.

In addition, Nowela is also moving to ease the COVID-19 pandemic by raising funds again. The donations collected were more than Rp. 53 million aimed at helping medical personnel in Papua.

“In 2019 there were many disasters in Papua. The thing that makes my heart so sad. The Papuans and I who have migrated are sad because we can’t go there. Yes, maybe what we could do if we were here to collect donations. I am very grateful for the Papuan people who have migrated to a high level of solidarity, ”said Nowela.

Reviewer: Veronica Arnila Wulandani
Editor: Leo Wahyudi

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