Last August in observation of Indonesian Independence Day I devoted time to reading and posting on Indonesian Short Stories. I am very happy to say that the event will be repeated this year starting August 1 to culminate on August 17. This was an entirely new reading area to me and I greatly enjoyed it. Most of the stories were by women focusing on their family lives. I am pleased to say that a year latter I still get daily hits on these posts. This year I am very glad that Novroz from Jakarta
will be co-hosting the event in what I hope will be an annual tradition for many years. She has a deep knowledge of Indonesian culture and is herself a short story writer. The post below is from her blog. There are a lot of great reading ideas for participants in her posts (with links). To join in just read and post on one story and leave a comment here or on Polychrome Interest
. As a side benefit, this may allow you to network with other book bloggers and readers in South and South East Asia. Please consider joining in
(lots of links below so you can read online for free)-don't be shy and say "well I cannot join in as I know nothing about Indonesian Literature."
There will be summery posts at the end of the week highlighting all the posts and the blogs of participants.
I will be doing a post soon about online reading resources for Asian Short Stories which will give you additional resources and will also support Malaysian Short Story Week starting August 26-more on that event soon. (All the rest of the content of this post is by Novroz.)
Wonderful Guest Post
Novroz On Our Joint Event
As I have already mentioned before in my It’s Monday post
, Mel U
of The Reading Life
and I are planning to host a special event in August. August is a special month for Indonesia, the month where we gained our freedom from colonialism. Indonesian Independence Day takes place every August 17.
Last year, Knowing about Indonesian Independence day, Mel U did something related to reading as his way to honor my country’s Independence Day. He read several short stories written by Indonesian authors. I was touched by what he had done because he isn’t Indonesian and yet he did something to honor the most historical day in Indonesia. Mel U lives in Philippine, one of Indonesia neighbors.
Early this month, he asked me whether I want to do another short story read event this coming August… I didn’t take part in the event last year because of the schedule I had back then. This year, I decided to co-host this event together with Mel.
I know that not many people ever read stories from Indonesia, I think this is a good opportunity to let people know about Indonesian Literature. So…If you are interested, come and join the ride
I have done some searching through internet to help you choose some short stories you can read. Here they are
- Nerd in Writing is a blog that specialized in writing short stories (and movie related posts). Wulan, a young friend of mine who used to be my student, has a dream to be a professional writer. She showed her talent in writing stories with unpredictable ending in her blog. Although the stories do not have Indonesian atmosphere, but she is after all an Indonesian. Go and have a look. My favorite, so far, is What Bridget Did
- Gestapu. I found this collection of short stories in pdf file. The link is here.
Gestapu will be my first book for this event. It intrigues me because it is based on one of the most tragic incidents in my country, The Abortive Communist Coup of 30th September 1965. We, Indonesian called that incident as G30S-PKI.
- Darkening Sky by Kipandjikusmin. I found the pdf file of this controversial story in this site.
The controversy over this short story is obviously not a simple issue as it involves not only religious matters but also variables found in the society. Basically, the Moslems’ strongly negative reaction to the story is based on their belief that the personification of God is a violation of Islam. Kipandjikusmin was considered to have done even more harm by writing in a style referred to assembarangan, that is, a style in which an author presents serious matters in a casual and careless manner.
As a Muslim, I am curious on how bad this book is. Is it really insulting my religion or not.
Once you have finished reading any short stories by Indonesian writers, please kindly share what you think about the story either in the comment form or in your blog (leave the link in the comment form or pingback this post).