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Unsung Heroines and Feminism in Indonesia

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  • Unsung Heroines and Feminism in Indonesia

    A short yet good general overview of Indonesian feminists.

    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Unsung heroines on Kartini Day[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]The Jakarta Post | Sat, 04/21/2012 2:10 AM | National[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Indonesia has recognized a number of heroines over the centuries of its history, but only Raden Adjeng Kartini has been immortalized through song and annual celebrations marking her birthday on April 21.
    Famega Syavira, a 26-year-old news producer, says she laments the fact that many people she knows do not recognize other “brave women”, such as West Sumatrans Rohana Kudus and Rasuna Said.
    Rohana (1884-1972) was the first Indonesian female journalist and an activist for the women’s movement, while Rasuna (1910-1965) was the first Indonesian female minister. One of the major roads in the country’s capital is named after her.
    “It’s weird that many Jakartans don’t even know that Rasuna Said was a woman, let alone who she was, despite the fact that they drive their cars along Jl. Rasuna Said almost every day,” Famega told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
    However, she said it would be too much to celebrate all Indonesia’s inspiring women, like Rohana, Rasuna, Martha Christina Tiahahu (1800-1818) from Maluku and Cut Nyak Dhien (1848-1908) from Aceh.
    Therefore, Famega suggested that the government should change the theme of the April 21 commemoration from time to time.
    “For example, 2012 could be the year to celebrate Rasuna, 2013 for Tiahahu and so on,” she said.
    A 27-year-old journalist, Amie Fenia Arimbi, said separately that the government must recognize other Indonesian heroines, such as Cut Nyak Dhien and the late activist Dewi Sartika (1884-1947) from Bandung, West Java.
    She added that Cut Nyak Dhien had fought against the Dutch in the 1870s instead of staying at home like most of the women who lived during that era.
    “Although she did not clearly state that she intended to fight against gender stereotyping at that time, by stepping onto the battlefield she personified the struggle of a woman who was prepared to die while fighting the colonizers,” she said.
    Meanwhile, Nia Janiar, 25, who works for a tourism company, said Dewi Sartika and Rohana should be commemorated along with Kartini.
    “Dewi founded the first school for women in the early 1900s, while Rohana was the country’s first journalist. They definitely deserve to be recognized in the same way as Kartini,” she said.
    For Mirna Adzania, a 31-year-old mother who lives in Yogyakarta, Kartini deserved to be the most celebrated heroine simply because she had written a book that changed women’s lives.
    She said Kartini’s memoirs were published in a book titled Door Duisternis tot Licht (Out of Darkness Comes Light) in 1911, seven years after her death.
    “Her book provides clear evidence of her struggle compared to other inspiring women whose lives haven’t yet been well-recorded,” said Mirna.
    Mirna added that the main idea for commemorating Kartini Day was to increase awareness about the current problems facing women in Indonesia.
    “Middle-class women should use Kartini Day as momentum to ignite a better [women’s] movement instead of letting the present become the age of consumerism,” she said, referring to the annual celebration of Kartini Day that is usually marked by women — young and old — wearing traditional kebaya dresses as a tribute to the national heroine.(asa/mtq)

    — JP
    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Copyright © 2012 The Jakarta Post - PT Bina Media Tenggara. All Rights Reserved.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Source URL: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2...rtini-day.html[/FONT][/COLOR]

  • #2
    I didn't know Rasuna Said was a woman!

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    • #3
      thanks for the history news, now how to make all indonesia people realise this history?

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      • #4
        There are heroines on every street - in Bali the middle aged women working on the roads and building sites to suppport their families, the deserted wives all over the country struggling to educate their children etc etc.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by john madden View Post
          There are heroines on every street - in Bali the middle aged women working on the roads and building sites to suppport their families, the deserted wives all over the country struggling to educate their children etc etc.
          Totally! Don't forget about all female migrant workers who often get beaten up by their employers.

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          • #6
            hah...so what is that have anything to do with the first post? or should we make all indonesian women heroine?

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            • #7
              No not all Ratna....

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              • #8
                The only name I'm not familiar with is Rohana. There is an Indonesian movie of Cut Nyak Dhien that won Best International Film at Cannes.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tjoet_Nja'_Dhien

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Injun View Post
                  The only name I'm not familiar with is Rohana. There is an Indonesian movie of Cut Nyak Dhien that won Best International Film at Cannes.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tjoet_Nja'_Dhien
                  I did not know this film existed, Injun, but now that I have learned of it I must see it!

                  And what luck! My students have a copy!

                  Cut Nyak Dhien and Teuku Umar are a huge deal here to the Acehnese people. It will be interesting to share this with my students and my wife. Many thanks!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DanInAceh View Post
                    I did not know this film existed, Injun, but now that I have learned of it I must see it!

                    And what luck! My students have a copy!

                    Cut Nyak Dhien and Teuku Umar are a huge deal here to the Acehnese people. It will be interesting to share this with my students and my wife. Many thanks!
                    I need to watch this movie again, as well. Some critics say that the movie was (and still is) the apex of Indonesian cinematography.

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