Disaster Storytelling: Extending the Memory of the Community Toward Disaster Preparedness from Myth, Scientific Explanation, and Popular Culture
Eko Prawoto and Linda Octavia
Duta Wacana Christian University
Jl. dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo No.5-25 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Disasters are likely to regularly occur in Indonesia since it is geographically located in the area known as the Ring of Fire, and is surrounded by many volcanoes, which float above several constantly moving pieces of tectonic plates. Disaster cycles transcend over generations and can be very long. Thus, it is very important to convey knowledge on disasters across generations since this information will affect the possibility of human survival should a disaster occur. How can we convey this information across generations? Are myths more effective than scientific explanations, or is it the other way around? Should we use both? How does a myth look like in our modern times? This study describes a number of myths – originating in several Indonesian locations, such as Yogyakarta, Palu, Sigi, Donggala, Banten, and Simeulue – so that a common thread can be drawn to obtain an effective way of conveying myths to future generations. From survivors’ stories of disasters, it seems that these accounts depend on their prior knowledge. Thus, it is important for the local story to be understood, so that it stays in the memory of the community, and can be narrated as a part of their everyday life. Thus, in accordance with the local community’s culture, it is essential to provide appropriate educational media on the risks of disasters and efforts to save themselves, should a disaster actually occur.
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