Many years ago, people need much time to go from one place to another place. The roads that connect those places are small, bad, and sometimes dangerous. For Javanese people that lives in a village, road don't act as a space that separate one side and another side. It was happen long time ago…
But now, road is the one of modernization symbols. Every place connected with the road; big and good condition, and it makes the travel easier, faster and comfortable. That is the benefit, but actually, for Javanese people, road (especially big road like highway road) have several detriments, but many of them are not aware.
First, highway road is a killing machine (commonly, many people in whole world agree about this) when they are not carefully while they are driving. When a road has good condition, people will drive as fast as they can, to avoid the time limit. It will be more dangerous when all people have same perception; they don't want to be late, so they will ride faster.
Next, road (especially highway road) is a gap maker between a society in one side and another side. Highway road always busy and many fast vehicles pass the road. It makes a society in one side think twice if they want to cross the road to meet their neighbors in other side. Javanese people believe that neighbors are the closest family. When it happens, the feels that they are family slowly disappear, and the worst effect is for their heirs. They will not recognize each other, even in the past time, their parents are friends.
That is the most dangerous effect, because Javanese culture is a culture that cares with other people (especially the family and neighbors). Even there is a wise word about this relationship, “luwih becik pager mangkok tinimbang pager tembok (java, it means: bowl gate is better than stone gate). How it can be?
That sentence means that people must share each other, because human live in this world is to help one and another. “Share”, symbolized as “bowl”, because bowl is a place to take food, and it means that, shares the food into your neighbors. They also believe that a society in same village is from the same ancient, so they are family. One thing that can be seen is their spirit of togetherness, like “gotong royong (see my older post titled Gotong Royong: Reflection of Togetherness)”, where a society work same thing, such as build someone house or clean the environment.
We as the next generation must keep the spirit from our ancient, where in the past, Javanese people are became the great people with their local wisdom, harmonization with the nature, and it makes they can “read” the natures’ symbols to face the things that will happen in the future. Prabu Jayabaya from Kediri is one of them…