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

Poem : Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lie

photo by Rodolfo Clix from pexels

You’ve told me
truth is the key
to unlock the mystery
to break the barrier
that prevents us to look up the reality

You’ve told me
to not sugarcoat the fact
do my words through an act
that’s how you reflect
of what you say alike

So, I’ll tell you here
to slap me with your honesty
this bitter-sweet must be served
no matter how sweet the poison is
don’t make me drink it
no matter how bitter the medicine is
don’t you dare to kiss me with your lie

April 13th, 2021

Why Every Writer Needs Writing Break?

photo by Vlada Karpovich

Which one do you choose? Write everyday or take several days in a week to write?

For some people, writing isn’t only a hobby. It’s their main jobs.

They might be journalists, columnists, novelists, essayists, poets, editors, copywriters etc.

They gain money from writing.

Meanwhile, some people, who make writing as their hobbies, writing is one of the best stress reliever. It can be a great escape from busy days.

I think we couldn’t agree more that writing has many advantages.

It helps you to speak your mind and heart out through the words. Helping you to ease the pain and burden.

Writing is often used as therapy for people with mental disorders. Psychologist or psychiatrist often suggest them to express their problem honestly through expressive writing.

If you want to make some money while doing your hobby, writing can be one of the best choice. Whether you do it as your main or just side job.

Isn’t it a fun thing to do?

But, I have to admit that sometimes we can feel bored of what we do. No matter how we love writing, there’re times when we need to take a break.

So, here are the reasons why every writer needs writing break.

  1. To give you some times to refresh your mind. Don’t force yourself to write when your body, mind and soul are exhausted. Deadline, report, meeting, presentation, dealing with client, assignment, exams etc can be really exhausting for you. Breath fresh air, eat healthily, do workout, meditate, take a rest, do something fun or relaxing to refresh your mind and gain more energy.
  2. To give you some times to explore new ideas from various sources. Sometimes, you’re feeling stuck and lack of ideas. You just stare at a blank page and no words are coming. Yeah, that’s writers block. So, you need to break the writers block by taking your time to explore new ideas from various sources. You can read a book, blogwalking and greet your blogger friends, take a walk around your home, gardening, travelling (notes : don’t forget to follow Covid-19 protocol during pandemic), talk to your family/friends/loved ones etc. It’s really helpful.
  3. To give you some times to evaluate your writing. Maybe you wrote it in a hurry, so it might have some mistakes and not proper enough. Maybe you didn’t have much time to write, so, you only did a short writing (except poem). After re-reading and evaluating, you realize that the idea of your writing can be developed more.

So, how do you spend your writing break? Let me know your opinion and experience in the comment section.

Have a great day, everyone!

Poem : Don’t Remember Me

photo by Sourav Das from pexels

Someday, when I’m really gone,
You don’t need to remember my name, my face, a place where I came from
Just remember me as a grass under the shade of trees, as little as unnoticed, small pieces in density
Or like a wild flower in your garden : unplanted but bloomed
Don’t remember me like a daydream
Cause you’ll regret if it turns to nightmare that haunts you every single day

April 8th, 2021

Poem : A Testament

photo by Donatello Trisolino from pexels

If someday I meet my fate,
I hope my voice will be louder
Even my body is burried,
my soul would be everywhere :
in a place where you can find comfort,
in a home where it can be your shelter,
from a cruelty of the world
I will sublimate into the letters,
dissolved in sentences
that I write as a testament
before everything is too late to be regretted

April 4th, 2021