Watching the Fish in Masjid Gedhe Mataram while Children Practise Gamelan

In the compound of Masjid Gedhe Mataram, Yogyakarta's oldest mosque, roosters crow and squawk, people chat, and there is the inimitable sound of Javanese music played by children's hands. Meanwhile, a toddler tries to sing along, as others watch and feed the mosque's fish. There is a serenity to this aural and visual landscape. It captures a peaceful, even contemplative moment in these people's lives, where a man thoughtfully, quietly observes one fish tentatively approach a floating morsel but another more blithely grab at and munch on it.

This video is not about the endless frustrations of having to keep up with the hurried, frenetic movement of life outside these fish tanks, where minds are spent on jobs and bank accounts and finding some sort of equilibrium in an unbalanced system. Instead, it's about what life could be in the absence of this noise, in the absence, if only momentary, of our constant striving.

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By Joaquim Baeta. The files associated with this video are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. You are free to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon them in any medium or format, even for commercial purposes, provided you give appropriate credit to Joaquim Baeta.

Example attribution: "Watching the Fish in Masjid Gedhe Mataram while Children Practise Gamelan" by Joaquim Baeta,, CC BY.