Tuesday, 4 August 2015

July in Overview

Excited about...
Finally participating in some patriotic activities this Independence Day! After four years of absence, I can finally, finally attend exciting races, contests and other get-together with the rest of the neighbourhood this Independence Day. Technically, I was here in 2012 but we were all fasting that not many activities were held. This year I am excited to finally get into all the action once again. Sadly, I'm no longer a child so I can probably only watch. But children these days don't play outside anymore so I'm not sure what to expect...

Currently reading...
Dari Ngalian ke Sendowo by Nh. Dini. This month I seemed to be reading a lot of Indonesian books - plus some magazines for travel inspirations. There were actually 3 Indonesian books in total but Nh. Dini is the absolute best. When I was in middle school, we had class assignments where we had to read her books but I never finished them, despite finding her style of writing and stories interesting. This one tells her life stories as an old woman, living on her own but still filled with tons of adventures. It opens my eyes to how badly our country treats one of the greatest literary canons this nation has ever seen. Planning on writing her a fan letter if I could find her address.

Currently watching...
Kyoukai no Rinne. It's been a while since I delved into the world of Rumiko Takahashi again. This one isn't as serious as Inuyasha, more silly and downright hilarious like Ranma 1/2 - which is my all-time favourite series. It's incredible to see how Takahashi-sensei's old-fashioned artworks and character designs mash together with modern Japanese animation features. However, her unique sense of humour and typical characteristics are still quite true to her style. I find myself rolling on the floor laughing - not literally, though. Rinne-kun is so adorable! Can't wait for more!

Listening to...
ハチクロ (Hachikuro) OST. by Suga Shikao and Spitz. My favourite tunes at the moment are Honoho by Spitz and Ringo Juice by Suga Shikao. I still remember when these songs are played in the series. Honoho is played during that trip to Sapporo Mayama and Rika took spontaneously together, where she is caught sneaking out of the hotel room she shared with him. The song is definitely Mayama (「マヤマっぽい」in Japanese), sweet and raw. Ringo Juice is the soundtrack of Hagu's tragic incident, where she loses the sensation from her right hand and cannot draw anymore. It has this sarcastic, almost masochist feel to it.

Thinking about...
Writing a book. If you don't know, I actually love writing. In the past, I've written tons of stories that may or may not have gone unfinished. I'm a lover of stories and I believe a great story-teller always knows which story belongs in which form, sometimes it's a comic but sometimes it's a novel. Actually, in the past, I've published two stories in two separate short story compilations. They're both in Indonesian. They're called Book of Cheat and Children's World, if you want to check them out.

Other highlights:
Most of July was spent in Surabaya, exploring the town. It made me realise how little we care about historical sites in our own backyard. If I had to compare with Germany, all the historical sites - no matter how ridiculously remote or high up they are - always seem to buzz with tourists from all over the world, but mostly from Germany itself! Although my experience with our less-than-famous tourist spots are quite interesting, it doesn't help with the region's - or country's - economics. We can lure people in with these sites - and still tend to them. My sister's boyfriend once noted, that Indonesia has such rich culture and history, yet our people prefer to go abroad to, say, Singapore and Australia, even though they don't have these two valuable things that we take for granted. If you're Indonesian, I hope you will look at your own very green grass before traipsing into other people's yards.

Read an article on female-only mosques in China, such inspiring muslim feminists! // visited W.R. Soepratman's tomb and laughing with my sister // spending Eidul Fitri with the cousins! // HAPPY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY! ♥ // loots from the holiday (bought too many books!) // in the zone at a local library // local snacks are the absolute BEST! // // Wildwood Trilogy fanart (took 10 hours)

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Sunday, 2 August 2015

#alivegurlmudik: Our Patriot with the Violin

One of the places I’d really wanted to visit in Surabaya is W. R. Soepratman’s house and tomb. Back in Jakarta, the street where I live has his name as its name and he’s always intrigued me. Wage Rudolf Soepratman is the composer of our national anthem, Indonesia Raya, in case you didn’t know. To be honest, I didn’t know what his life was like and how it came to be that his song was turned into our national anthem. The more shocking truth is how very few people know where he used to live (and die). The first place my sister and I visited was his tomb, since the taxi driver seemed to know that place better than the house. It was huge! It was almost like a whole cemetery just for him. There is a courtyard and a flagpole in the middle. To the south, his statue stands in front of a marble wall with the lyrics of his famous song on it. To the east is his life stories etched on a wide marble wall, including some of his famous quotes. To the north is a set of purple, violin-shaped gates. And, finally, his tomb lies somewhat on the west, which is put a few steps upward. It looks like a bit of a Javanese palace with marble floors, where no shoes and sandals are allowed in. The tomb itself looks incredibly gorgeous with the chorus to his song and a violin shape filled with stones. Incredibly wondrous!

Asos pinafore // Primark shirt (thrifted) // vintage hat // Kmart purse + tights (Sis's) // DF Fashion shoes // outfit photos by Akita

Afterwards, we asked around for directions to the house of Mr. Soepratman. Everyone was kind enough to point us in the right direction, thankfully. We took a minibus/"bemo" there. The house is but a normal house, so it was located so deep within the neighbourhood, we had to take so many small alleyways until we finally found it. The place is always locked, though, unless someone comes to visit. The locals know where to ask for the keys but they won’t tell you, unless you ask. The groundskeeper, Ibu Pur, actually lives just two houses in front of Mr. Soepratman’s house itself, so she wouldn’t be too hard to find. She is also a very kind and knowledgeable woman. If you want to visit this house sometime, you can come at 6 AM at the earliest until probably before sunset, but during Ramadhan it would be best to come in the morning or day. The house is very small, consisting only of two rooms - probably bedrooms. It has many pictures of Mr. Soepratman, his old song drafts, his original violin and past plans to honour him. It has a tiny backyard with a patch of green - and nothing else. His story was so riveting, how just by composing songs he could get arrested and strike fear in the hearts of the Dutch. Such a way to fight! Alas, he had to die before he could see this country claim its freedom at last. Stay tuned for more heroic frolicking!

P.S: Can't you tell I was so happy to finally have my pictures taken in a typical Indonesian alley?

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