April 27, 2012

Raden Kartini

What time is it? It's time for an instalment of "HEROES OF INDONESIA!"

How cool would that be if Canada had an official Hero list...who would be on it? Louie Riel was hanged by the Canadian Government, so that excludes him. No, not Don Cherry, that's silly. John A. MacDonald? MacKenzie King? I honestly can't say I know anything about the honourable, Mr. King. Mr. Trudeau? He had some one liners, but if you ask my Dad about him you might get the sense that Trudeau might just fall a bit short.

Maybe it is our lack of domestic war that would have required someone to step up and problem solve. Maybe we're just not good at photo op's and quotable quotes (General MacArthur with his corncob pipe on the front of a battleship exclaiming, "I have returned!" Or Sir Winston Churchill declaring "We shall never surrender!"...If you don't know what I'm talking about, log out of Facebook and open a history book once in while...hehe)  But just maybe our ability to quietly and cooperatively follow along in the wake of Europe and the US is the reason.

But maybe it just would not be Canadian to have such a list, because it would only take one person to complain and the whole thing would be cancelled, and somehow it would be guaranteed to come across as discriminating to pick a singular person for some specific praise. Canadian heroes would have to be abstract groups that sometimes don't have a definite beginning or end. You know, kind of like "Happy Holiday Seasons" is a neat little slogan meant to represent a whack load of religious / ethnic celebrations regardless if they are traditionally celebrated in December or not.

Here in Indonesia, they have certified "official" heroes, whether you like them or not, and April 21st was Kartini Day (I'm sure Kartini was likeable). Now that your curiosity is just killing you, let me gently inform:

Raden A. Kartini grew up in a Central Javanese family of influence, and gained an education through the lenience and progressive thinking of her father. She is known for pushing the rights of women in Indonesia including the right for women to learn and study. She was also outspoken against polygamy, a common tradition at that time in Java. She died at the young age of 25 in 1904 after giving birth to her first kid. If you are dying to know more, type "Kartini" into Wikipedia :)

Luke and a few of his class mates had the opportunity to take part in the ceremonies on Kartini day, and were the 'cute & international' representation. Here's a few pic's:

A bit of the crowd during the ceremony, all dressed up.

The women really get done up for this day, as it is a big part of the Kartini Day tradition.
Simon was very thrilled to see that a lot of the men were wearing swords, and he wondered if they were pirates.
My boy looking handsome and as traditionally Javanese as he possibly can. Amy said I should mention that the red sandal's were not worn during the dance...

All lined up and looking cute for the crowd. I have no pic's of their dance but I recorded it, so maybe another time I'll edit that down (for you Grandma's and Grandpa's).

Here's the photo op with the political who's who of Salatiga, I think that is the Walikota (Mayor) in the middle. Simon and Helena kind of got thrown in the pictures because they were hanging around and are obviously of an 'international' flavour.
And last but not least, check out my new ride, 1977 Honda CB125. It runs okay now, but when we move to Kalimantan it just might get taken all apart & upgraded...And if I'm lucky, put back together too.


  1. I just found your blog (not sure how now) and thought it was so interesting that I sat and read all the back posts. I was in Bangladesh this past summer for 5 weeks so know a tiny bit about what life is like for you in Indonesia and I'm Canadian - I live in Toronto and my father is from Smithers and Prince George - so I read it all with interest.

    I was wondering if you have a subscribe button somewhere on your blog and I missed it. I usually subscribe by Google friend Connect, but don't see it on your blog.

  2. Hi! I apologize, due to the newer 'dynamic' I'm using the subscribe and 'become a member' favicons are along the right side, kind of hidden...If you put your cursor over them they should pop out a bit. If that doesn't work, then please let me know as something might not be right. Yes, Bangladesh would have some similarities to here I would imagine, especially to the bigger Indonesian cities. Thank you for your interest!!