Dari Desa ke Odessa

Saya berbincang dengan Agus Sriyono

Odessa nama kota kecil di Ukraina. Hanya ada di peta, di angan-angan. Agus Sriyono bercita-cita ke sana. Kala itu, 1974, ia masih SMA. Kelas 2 di De Britto. Orangtuanya, yang tinggal di Magelang, tak berpunya. Untuk sekolah saja, sang nenek yang tinggal di Sanden, Bantul, tiap 3 bulan, menjual hasil panenannya untuk membantu sang cucu membayar uang sekolah. Untuk tinggal, ia menumpang di rumah orang.

Odessa dan Magelang sama-sama kota kecil di dalam peta. Tapi tidak dalam diri Agus Sriyono. Di Jogja, ia mendekatkan kedua kota itu. Ia menulis sebuah cerpen berjudul “Odessa” yang berkisah tentang seorang penjahat kriminal yang dikejar-kejar aparat. Lari, penjahat kriminal itu tersembunyi di Odesa. Kala itu, Ukraina masih masuk wilayah Uni Soviet.

Cerpen itu dimuat di Majalah FREE, majalah kebanggaan De Britto kala itu. “FREE mengusung semangat kebebasan,” terang Agus Sriyono. Semangat itu yang ia tangkap dan wujudkan ke dalam cerita. Ia bebas berimajinasi, bebas bermimpi.

30 tahun sesudah menulis cerpen itu, Agus Sriyono menginjakkan kakinya di Odessa. Bukan sebagai pelancong melainkan sebagai Wakil Duta Besar RI untuk Rusia. Odessa bukan lagi wilayah Uni Soviet, melainkan sudah bergabung ke dalam Republik Federasi Rusia. Odessa dalam cerpennya telah menyata.

“Jangan takut bermimpi,” pintanya kepada 700-an siswa SMA Kolese de Britto, tempo hari. Gemuruh tepuk tangan membahana ketika ia menyebut jurusan Budaya (sekarang Bahasa) sebagai jurusan yang ia dan 13 teman lainnya pilih ketika SMA, “Masa depan jurusan Budaya cerah.”

“Bukan berarti jurusan IPA dan Sosial masa depannya tidak cerah lho,” timpalnya disambut koor gerutu “huuuuu…” para siswa adik-adik kelasnya. Dasar cah JB!

Agus Sriyono pun menceritakan jalan panjangnya menapaki satu demi satu pencapaian karirnya. Butuh lebih dari 25 tahun berkarir sebagai diplomat untuk bisa dipercaya menjadi Duta Besar RI untuk Selandia Baru. Sepanjang waktu itu, ia menjalani sebagian besar hidup dan karirnya di luar negeri. Pertama, di Belanda, kemudian ke PBB, lanjut ke Portugal, singgah di Rusia, dan sekarang mendarat di Selandia Baru.

Kemampuan berbahasa, karenanya, sangat menolong lulusan Ilmu Hubungan Internasional UGM yang pernah menjadi guru PMP (Pendidikan Moral Pancasila) di SMA Kolese de Britto ini. Dan ia menyebut nama G Sukadi sebagai guru yang sangat berjasa dalam meletakkan kecintaannya pada kebahasaan, kesusastraan, dan kebudayaan. “Dari Pak Kadi saya belajar mencintai drama. Di zaman itu, saya sudah bisa berdiskusi soal Renda, Taufik Ismail, dan Parakitri T. Simbolon,” ungkapnya. Sambil menunjuk Muhammad Gufron, rekan kerjanya di Kedubes, yang duduk di barisan belakang, Agus Sriyono menceritakan jika mereka sedang membuat sebuah film sekarang. Film tentang kebudayaan.

Tak urung, pernyataan-pernyataan Agus Sriyono yang provokatif memancing emosi para siswa kelas X-XI-XII yang duduk lesehan di aula itu. Didampingi moderator AM Hengky Irawan, guru bahasa Indonesia yang juga teman sekolah, Agus Sriyono yang sejatinya cenderung kalem dan santun dalam bertutur itu pun memanen hujan pertanyaan.

Yudis, siswa kelas II Sos 2, memulai dengan pertanyaan menohok, “Pak Agus memasuki jurusan Bahasa itu karena pilihan atau karena nilainya tidak tuntas?” Sontak hadirin tergelak.

Agus Sriyono menjawab dengan lugas: pilihan. “Saya suka menulis. Saya tahu, saya lebih berkembang di jurusan Budaya. Bukan di jurusan lain.” Tegas Agus, kesadaran seperti inilah yang hendaknya dimiliki oleh siswa. Jurusan apapun yang dipilih hendaknya dilandasi oleh kesadaran akan masa depan seperti apa yang sudah ditentukan.

Kemampuan menulis menjadi bekal amat berharga bagi Agus Sriyono. Hingga sekarang, ia rajin menulis di media massa. Sejak 2000, ia kerap menulis di Kompas. Sejak 2010, akunya, mulai aktif menulis dalam bahasa Inggris di The Jakarta Post dan Jakarta Globe.

Karenanya, Agus menjadi sangat sedih ketika mendapati kenyataan, hanya sekitar 20 anak yang mengacungkan tangan mengaku membaca koran setiap hari. “Saya menangis. Bagaimana Anda belajar mengasah empati kalau Anda tidak peduli dengan apa yang terjadi di sekitar Anda?”

Namun, Boni, siswa XII Sosial, mencoba menghibur Agus. “Bapak tidak perlu menangis. Memang kami tidak membaca koran cetak. Namun, kami membaca media online.” Ini potret generasi sekarang, terlahir “jebrot” dibungkus tablet berbantal “smartphone”.

Boni dan teman-teman pun serius mendengarkan paparan Agus Sriyono. Selain karena temanya menarik, juga karena tak kurang dari 5 kali, Agus Sriyono mengingatkan para siswa untuk mendengarkan tatkala ada orang lain berbicara. “Tidak hanya di sini. Ketika kami menerima kunjungan anggota DPR RI di Selandia Baru, para anggota dewan itu juga suka omong sendiri ketika tuan rumah sedang berbicara. Sama dengan turis kita kalau ke luar negeri. Ketika guide menjelaskan, mereka lebih suka sibuk berfoto-foto sendiri.” Syahdan, 2 jam sejak pukul 08.00, sembari bersila, selonjor, “jegang”, maupun duduk membungkuk, kesemua siswa tekun mendengarkan.

Mendengarkan itu pula yang jurus Agus bekerja sebagai duta besar. Ia jarang ada di kantor. Lebih sering berjalan-jalan bergaul dengan masyarakat setempat, mengunjungi pameran kebudayaan, sembari memamerkan kebudayaan Indonesia.

“Ternyata, bagi orang luar, Indonesia itu menarik. Orang luar melihat Indonesia seperti pemuda melihat wanita cantik primadona,” ujar Agus menjawab pertanyaan siswa Kevin tentang apa kehebatan Indonesia di mata orang asing.

Sayangnya, keluh Agus, media kita, terutama televisi, justru lebih banyak mengekspos keburukan-keburukan negeri sendiri. “Melihat televisi dalam negeri, saya menjadi khawatir, bagaimana pelajar membunuh pelajar, dan menyatakan kepuasan telah membunuh ketika ditanya seorang menteri. Belum lagi demo buruh yang sempat membuat saya pasrah jika tidak bisa sampai di tempat ini.”

Belum lagi, lanjut Agus, ada tiga penyakit sosial yang mengancam Indonesia menjadi negara gagal. Pertama, korupsi. “Orang Selandia Baru terheran-heran bagaimana anggota dewan kita ditangkapi karena korupsi uang yang tidak sedikit,” ungkapnya.

Kedua, intoleransi. Berbagai peristiwa kerusuhan berbau SARA di negeri ini makin menunjukkan sikap tidak mau saling menghargai kebebasan. Padahal, kebebasan adalah kekayaan dalam hidup. “Sebagai Dubes, saya memperjuangkan ini dengan membangun komunikasi antarumat beragama. Saya memang seorang Katolik, namun saya terpanggil untuk meyakinkan rakyat di negara tempat saya bertugas bahwa rakyat Indonesia, yang 85% muslim adalah rakyat yang sangat toleran. Ini tidak mudah, apalagi kemarin muncul kasus film Innocent of Muslims yang menggegerkan itu. Ketika parlemen memanggil saya dan bertanya apa reaksi saya atas film itu, saya bilang mengutuk dengan keras sampai tidak ada kata yang lebih keras lagi. Saya bilang, kebebasan selalu ada batasnya. Tidak ada kebebasan yang absolut. Itu juga yang selalu saya tekankan kepada 24 staf saya di kedutaan besar.”

“Gojekan ra mutu,” timpal Henox, siswa kelas XII, yang duduk di deretan paling depan, yang kemarin mendalang dalam Tumbuk Ageng, menyambung komentar soal film yang memancing kerusuhan di berbagai negara itu.

Oleh karena itu, pinta Agus, siswa De Britto mesti memegang nilai-nilai kebebasan yang bertanggung jawab secara konsisten. Sebab, manusia tidak hidup sendiri, melainkan hidup bersama orang lain. “Ketika saya bersekolah di sini, terasa benar bagaimana saya sebagai anak orang miskin terlindungi sehingga tidak perlu minder terhadap siswa lain yang terlahir sebagai anak orang kaya. Semangat saling melindungi terhadap yang lemah terasa betul di sekolah ini,” imbuhnya.

Agus yang menguasai aktif bahasa Inggris, Prancis, dan Belanda, serta mengoleksi 4.000-an buku di perpustakaan pribadinya itu mendorong para siswa untuk mulai menentukan kelak menjadi apa. Jika ada yang ingin menjadi diplomat, ia menekankan agar para siswa mempersiapkan diri sejak dini. Selain membekali dengan kemampuan berbahasa, juga perlu melatih diri dengan kemampuan menulis dan berbicara secara baik. “Laporan yang kita tulis akan membantu menteri luar negeri dan presiden mengambil keputusan. Oleh karena itu, biasakanlah menulis. Juga, biasakan berbicara benar. Tidak jarang, Dubes ditarik ke Jakarta karena salah omong,” paparnya.

Khusus soal kemampuan berbicara, Agus menilai memang pendidikan berbahasa kita tidak pas. Terlalu berkutat pada aspek gramatikal, kurang mendorong siswa berani berbicara. Maka, mulailah berani berbicara dalam bahasa asing. Ia mencontohkan. SMA Al Azhar Kebayoran Jakarta sampai mengirim 30 siswanya untuk magang 3 minggu-3 bulan di Selandia Baru demi melancarkan kefasihan berbahasa Inggris mereka. “SMA De Britto bisa mencobanya,” tantang Agus.

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