4 Reasons Why You Should Read Historical Fiction

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For some students, history might be a boring subject. It might be a teacher who doesn’t know how to attract students’ interest in history or the students don’t like to memorize years and figures in every historical events.

I’ve heard one of my friend said, “It’s just past events. Why should we care about something that left behind?” Do you think the same?

I won’t write about the importance of studying or learning history here. But, I want to talk a little bit about historical fiction.

Some of you might love fiction. No matter what the genres are. It can be romance, action, thriller, drama, horror, fantasy, science fiction (sci-fi) etc. But, how about historical fiction?

If you think that historical fiction is the same as your history text book, I can tell you that’s not true. As its name, it’s written based on historical event. So, writing a historical fiction means timeline, places, nuances, situations and the event itself must be suitable with the historical facts.

Then, where’s the fiction touch in it? The fiction touch can be found in the characters of the stories.

Lately, I’ve been trying to read historical fiction. My father have many books of this genre. So, I’ll read some pages during my leisure and I try to finish them.

Well, let me tell you some reasons why you should read a historical fiction (from my perspective).

  1. Reading a historical fiction is one of the best yet fun way to study or learn history. You don’t need to memorize years, places, figures event agreement’s content like when you read your history text book. Just enjoy the story and you still get knowledge or information about what happened in that eras. I think it will make you understand the history better.
  2. It gives you some life lessons that would be relevant to nowadays and the future. Beside having a better understanding of the history itself, you can get life lessons or moral values of the stories. So, the answer of my friend’s question above is learning history (even though through historical fiction) can be a good reminder for everyone to not falling into the same mistakes in the future.
  3. You can enjoy the storyline, characters, relationship between the characters, character development, dialogues, actions, even the beauty of the words without losing a focus on historical values
  4. You can find humanist sides from the characters of the story. Although a character is described as a brave hero or idealist activist who’s struggling for freedom and justice, he/she is just a human with strength and weakness. He/she could have fragile and emotional side. And you might not find this kind of little piece in your text book.

Do you like to read historical fiction? What historical fiction is your favorite and why? Let’s share.

Short Poem | Rise and Downfall

photo by Gerd Altmann from pixabay

How many times do I have to die?
so that I’ll know how’s being alive in a place and time
among the changes and pressures
Let me switch my soul with the new one
as a redemption
and a sign that I never forget to rise after my downfall

May 21st, 2021

Poem | Winner

photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from pexels

Can I be a winner without weapons and soldiers behind?”

Push my limits out of the borderline
to have a better sight
of what I can and can’t
threat and chance
on all four quadrants

Change happens to all
permanent or temporal
like a mood swing
the daily dose of on and off

Or going through the hardest part
purify my heart at the start
from any stain that blocks the light
so I can get lost on the right track
and know which side I have to stand up

May 15th, 2021

Poem | When Ramadan Leaves Us

photo by travel.tribunnews.com

Your existence is a peacefulness
among the blatant lust
You’re like a water
that put out an anger
so that it can’t spread to all directions
You’re like a home
a place to return my longing after a year of separation
You’re like hands
that lend a forgiveness
and embrace with an affection
even though my sins are as much as the sea foams

You’ll leave me
Replace with new month
And I’ll wait till you come over me
once again

Night before Eid Al-Fitr, May 12th, 2021 (30 Ramadhan 1442 H)

Poem | The Most Torment Loneliness

Photo by Bob Price from pexels

Good night, moon
Have you ever felt lonely when everyone falls asleep?
There, you keep shining
When the city lights are on

They said, “you can find loneliness everywhere”
even in crowded places and situations
from reunion to my 3 a.m. conversation

Known or unknown
I know better what’s the most torment loneliness
Until you realize that one sided love is just nothing

Sunday morning, May 9th, 2021

Poem | Drama King

photo by cottonbro from pexels

Give me an evidence if your love is the truth that I can trust
Bring me hope from your deepest heart
Make me say “no” to any doubt

Give me an evidence if your shoulder is the best place to cry on
Bring me warmth from your embrace
Wipe my sorrow like I sweep the dirt on the floor

Don’t promise me anything
If you can’t keep your heart from lying
and put makeup of a fake smile

Look at me
Tell me everything with your eyes
Let’s shut our mouth for a moment
Will you?

God, I should be grateful
for Your guidance
so I can be on track to stay sane
away from the drama he created to drive me insane

May 3rd, 2021

Contemplation of Kartini’s Day in Pandemic

Kartini, Indonesian hero of emancipation-photo by padmaresortubud.com

What do you think when we talk about woman?

Someone who gives birth and takes care of life? Someone who can do and be whatever she wants? Someone with tenderness and power at the same time?

Or

Someone who has lower status than men? Victims of patriarchal system? or just sexual objects for men’s satisfaction?

Hundred years ago, we rarely found well-educated young women in our society here, especially in Javanese Land. The tradition forced young women to be secluded at home (pingitan) and waiting for the wedlock.

Many young women lost their youth too early. They lost their dreams, freedoms, rights to get better and higher education. They really had no power to refuse.

The same thing happened to a 12 year old Kartini. Luckily, she was born into a noble family with strong intellectual tradition. That’s why, her family allowed her to attend school before her seclusion.

Among other subjects she got from school, she learned Dutch (and fluent in it), an unusual accomplishment for Javanese woman at that time.

During seclusion, girls weren’t allowed to leave their parents house until they were married. But, Kartini’s father was more lenient. He gave his daughter privilege to attend special events in public with him and took embroidery lessons.

Kartini also self-educated herself during seclusion by read many books, newspapers and European magazines. She had deep interests in European feminist thinking and desired to strive an education for women so that they could be equal with men.

She also discussed her ideas a lot to her several Dutch pen pals, such as Rosa Abendanon, Stella Zeehandelaar, Mrs.Ovink Soer, through her letters. Later, after Kartini’s died on September 17th, 1904 (at the age of 25), Mr. J.H. Abendanon, Minister of Culture, Religion and Industry for East Indies, collected and published her letters that she had sent to her friends in Europe.

Kartini Today

Hundred years after Kartini’s died, we commemorate her birthday every April 21st. If it’s not in pandemic, we would see every female, in schools, offices, public services wears kebaya (an upper garment opened at the front traditionally, made from lightweight fabrics, such as brocade, cotton, gauze, lace or voile) and completed with “sarong kebaya”(jarik) as a bottom.

kebaya, photo by beepdo.com

We would see parades in the street and held events to enliven the commemoration.

So, how do we commemorate Kartini’s Day without those fanfares?

Pandemic that makes us to stay at our homes, should be our contemplation of how the ideas can make a change even though our bodies are trapped in a seclusion.

People can imprison our bodies, but not our minds. Not our ideas.

Kartini proved to us that woman can use her potentials to empower herself and others.

She proved to us how a woman can have such thought that’s beyond its times and being the inspiration to the next generations.

We should be thankful of her ideas of emancipation even though we still have long run to fight for gender equality. Because it’s not easy to change an old tradition that passed down from generations to generations.

We need more women who aren’t afraid of expressing their thoughts. We need more women who aren’t afraid to break the old beliefs that have no relevance to our lives today.

I’m glad that many forums give us chances to talk about women and the issues around them this month. And I hope that in the future we can see more women speak through her works.

-Waiting for iftar (ngabuburit) in the end of April 2021-

Poem | Miserable Old Book

photo by Ylanite Koppens from pexels

My deep condolence for an old book on the shelf, in the corner of the room,
which is left dusty,
without a care or a lil touch

An old book plays its memories back,
remembering of when and who’s the last visitor that came to see,
Could it be two years ago, before all of the chaos? Or older than we’ve ever thought?”

An old book cries,
cause there’re no friends to talk to,
not even one,
Is everyone busy, so they don’t have time to talk to me? Or thing they always carry everywhere that makes them forget me?”

April 24th, 2021

*) this poem is written to commemorate World Book Day 2021 on April 23rd yesterday.

Poem | Storyline of Crime Series

photo by Vijay Putra from pexels

She was sensing an infidelity
on a man who promised to make her the one and only
But, he lied

She smelled a betrayal
asking her man of what he hide
But, she found a denial

She was feeling a jealousy
after knowing that her man still kept his old lover in his mind
And they often meet behind

She shouted to him
What kind of disgrace is this?”
Then he blamed herself as a replied

She wrote a screenplay
with the perfect storyline of crime series
when a woman murdered a man for thousand times

But, he didn’t die
Cause she gave him more painful pain than the death itself

April 22nd, 2021

Poem | Stolen Dreams

photo by pixabay from pexels.com

Listen to what her tears say
A distress call
from afar
An anxiety rise
before the sun

Don’t you know,
that she’s frightened?
She won’t tell
Cause there’s nothing left
Just a blank space

Her eyes
are windows,
an entrance door
that help you
to discover
her wounds
from the past
to nowadays

Her eyes
are windows,
an entrance door
that help you
to understand
her stolen dreams
Cause you are

the reason
behind her fears

Mid April, 2021