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NOVICA Artisan Sapto Daryono

Sapto Daryono

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In the Javanese village where I lived, my neighborhood is home to many craftspeople who work in glass. When I was a boy, I'd watch them work after school. They'd cut glass sheets into pieces they'd put together to create a jewelry box or a candy box. It fascinated me.

My father was a soldier. He was a hardworking man who taught us to be self-sufficient and not crybabies in our daily lives. Even though I am the youngest of seven children, my childhood life was far from being spoiled. Ever since I was in third grade, I've washed my own clothes. My mother was a trader in a traditional market, and every day I helped her sell. After sunset, I'd go to my room to study until 9:00 p.m. when I went to bed. This was my daily routine when I was a child.

"In junior high school and high school, I started bringing glass crafts to sell to my friends after class. They were happy to see the many kinds of glass work, such as pencil cases, a small mirror that can be carried in the handbag, and more. I became well known for the glass crafts I sold.

"I started working at the age of 20 in a shipping company. I also continued selling glass items to my friends from work. In my spare time, I'd communicate with a neighbor in my hometown and place orders for the things my colleagues requested.

"I worked there for five years and learned a lot about exports and imports and how things are managed.

"Then I quit my job and decided to work in glass crafting.

"At the beginning, it was the hardest time of my life because I was no longer receiving the fixed income I got before. Another big change for my wife and our three and four-year old boys was when we moved to Yogyakarta in 2006. It was still difficult period, but we never gave up. The spirit and the willingness to keep trying are always with us.

"Every night, my little family always accompanies me to sell around in the Yogyakarta tourism area. Offering my glass crafts to tourists there has been both a sweet and a bitter experience. Once I sold a very big amount in a single night. But the next night, we were expelled by the cafe owner who thought we were disturbing his guests.

"My father taught me right about never giving up and my hobby is to climb the mountain. The way in which I conquer the mountain, I apply to my life — step by step, never give up and you can conquer anything in life. My friends know me as a hard worker and a fighter who never stops trying.

"I thank God that finally my situation is better now. I was able to rent a space in the tourism area so shoppers can come to me. Some of the craftsmen from my home town came here to Yogyakarta. Now everything is balanced and going smoothly.

"I am proud to be Indonesian."