Raden AJeng Kartini

by Andira Kusdiane from SMAT Krida Nusantara Bandung

I want to tell you about a woman who has become a hero for every woman in Indonesia. I bet that if this woman had never been here, all women in my country, Indonesia, would never have become who they are today. So, this is a story about “The Hero of all Women in Indonesia." Just read this story carefully and then you’ll understand why everybody should be proud of her.

Her name is Kartini. She was born in Jepara, Central Java, on April 21st, 1879. Kartini was born into a traditional family. Her family held Java’s tradition strictly. Her family was the most famous family in Java at that time. Her father was a regent and her mother was a housewife.

At first, Kartini's parents permitted her to get an education. Kartini finished her studies at H.B.S. (Netherland’s elementary school), but when she was 12 years old, she had a nightmare. Her parents took her freedom away. She could no longer go to school or play with her friends. She had to stay at home and do women’s work. The nightmare really happened -- until she was 16 years old (usually we called this “nightmare thing” with dipingit).

While she was doing her “nightmare,” Kartini saw something that was unfair. She felt that what had happened to her and her “nation” of women was unfair. Why was every man permitted to go to school and get an education without any restriction? Why was it that everybody thought that women had to do what men said? And the most unfair thing was -- why did everybody say and think that women were not as smart or did not have the same level of intelligence as men?

Because of these things, Kartini felt that she had to find a way to change the unjust paradigm. Fortunately, she had a friend. His name was Mr. Abendanon. He was from the Netherlands. He helped Kartini go to the government to get a permit because Kartini said that she wanted to go to Betawi (now called Jakarta) to be a teacher.

But the government didn't give her a decision. While she waited for that decision, she made plans to build a school. Then in 1902, Kartini and her little sister, Kardinah, built a school. She said by building the school, she changed her spiritual life.

On July 7th-29th, 1903, the government finally gave her its decision, but she defied it, because she wanted to be married. On November 8, 1903, she got married and on September 13, 1904, her first son was born. Four days after that on September 17, 1904, Kartini left us forever. Before she died, she wrote a book entitled, Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang.

In conclusion, the women who lived in Indonesia many years ago wanted an education, freedom, and many things that could make them happy, but they hardly knew these freedoms at all. Now, today, we have these freedoms. So, to honor Kartini’s hard work, just try to show that modern women are smart and educated people. Don’t waste your freedom and education. Do useful things and leave the useless things. Remember to be proud that you are an Indonesian girl. Let's show the whole world that we are the best kind of girls in the world...because WE ARE INDONESIAN GIRLS!

Page created on 3/31/2005 8:50:34 AM

Last edited 3/31/2005 8:50:34 AM