A Small Note from Santri to NU

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“While it may not be particularly extraordinary, it is, at the very least, a testament to our devotion to Nahdlatul Ulama.” These were the words of one of the contributors to the book ‘Bunga Rampai: Reflections on a Century of NU,’ not too long ago.

Indeed, this book, though unassuming, was born out of a profoundly special intention. A modest gift in honor of Nahdlatul Ulama’s Century a few months ago.

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The existence of this book is inextricably linked to how santri perceive NU thus far. Borrowing the terminology of Arif A’abadia, who was one of the authors, seeing NU is not simply a matter of tracing a sequence of years with a cursory glance. It’s not solely about viewing NU as a socio-cultural organization detached from the role of religious scholars. Nor is it merely about perceiving NU as a mighty behemoth that isolates religious boarding schools within it. Above all, it’s not about reducing NU to only its santri while neglecting farmers, fishermen, laborers, and all other grassroots elements.

Certainly not. To truly see NU means daring to comprehend the complexity of its entity as well as its interwoven and interconnected roles. Therefore, in an endeavor to realize this, the santri of PP Al-Anwar 3 Sarang, Rembang, Central Java, have embarked on an effort to offer contemplation, scrutiny, or what can be termed as reflections on NU as it enters its second century.

This book, presented before you, offers a unique appearance. It comprises reflections on a variety of themes, piece by piece, recorded grievances, humor, and even critical assessments of NU itself. Through this 271-page volume, around 60 innocent santri-authored writings have been collected.

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