Soe Hok Gie

by Clarissa from Jakarta

SOE HOK GIE : Nobody Knows theTroubles I See, Nobody Knows My Sorrow..

His name is Soe Hok Gie. His friends called him GIE. He was born on December 17th, 1942. Soe Hok Gie was the fourth of five children in his family. His father is Soe Lie Piet (Salam Sutrawan). Gie is Soe Hok Djien's brother. Soe Hok Djien is also known as Arif Budiman. Hok Djien is a sociologist and lecturer.

Gie really enjoyed reading and writing. And he liked pets. He also enjoyed hiking because he could then see beautiful scenery. He lived in Kebun Jeruk area, in a simple house near the corner of the street.

Well, Gie is not an ordinary writer. He was a political writer and an Indonesian activist.

Soe Hok Gie in Mount Pangrango (1967)
Soe Hok Gie in Mount Pangrango (1967)

Gie had started writing a diary when he was in Junior High School. He was spending his Senior High School in Kolose Kanisius. After that he attended the University of Indonesia (1962 - 1969). Upon finishing university he became a lecturer at his alma mater until his death. Gie was a productive writer. He wrote many articles and published in such Indonesian newspapers as Kompas, Harian Kami, Sinar Harapan, Mahasiswa Indonesia, and Indonesia Raya. Beside that he lived his hobby: Hiking... He hiked on many mountains, until his death, such as Mount Pangrango in 1967, Mount Galunggung, Mount Slamet, Mount Semeru in 1969.

The important thing in his life was how to give justice to the people. In his diary he quoted Walt Whitman: "Now I see the secret of the making of the best person. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." This quote had proved that Gie had a spirit of independence.

Gie also wrote in his diary: "A Greek philosopher once said... The best fate is that of the unborns, the second one is that of those who die young, and the distant third is that of those who die in the old age. I feel that this is right: Happy are those who die young."

Under the Red Lantern
Under the Red Lantern

That sentences became true. Gie died young. He died on December 16th, 1969, just one day before his 27th birthday. He died because of inhaling poisonous gas while hiking up the volcanic Mount Semeru, East Java. Many people were sad because of his death. That day the Indonesian people lost one of their extraordinary people.

After his death, his diary was published as a book, under the title Catatan Seorang Demonstran (Annotations of a Demonstrator), in 1983. Gie is also the subject of a 1997 book, written by Dr John Maxwell, and entitled Soe Hok-Gie: Diary of a Young Indonesian Intellectual. Gie's university thesis was also published as book too and the title is Di Bawah Lentera Merah (Under the Red Lantern) in 1999. And Gie's diary gave inspiration for an Indonesian film in 2005, GIE.

Soe Hok Gie's grave in Tanah Abang
Soe Hok Gie's grave in Tanah Abang

I chose Soe Hok Gie to be my Hero because he is intellectual, brilliant, honest, and open minded. He was a brave man with justice in his mind and his heart. I really like one of the sentences in his diary: " Tomorrow is another day, the day struggle for a better life." That sentence gives me the spirit to never give up in this life. We have to try, try, and try.

Now, he isn't here with us but he always lives in our heart. SOE HOK GIE.

Page created on 4/1/2006 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/1/2006 12:00:00 AM

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