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.
Here are the shorts he had read last year:
- Her by Titus Basino
- Road to Heaven by Abidah El-Khaliegy
- The Century Carver by Oka Rusmini
- Rooms Out Back by Nenden Lilis Aisyah
- Maybe Not Yem by Ethics Juwita
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 as sembarangan, 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.
- Duke of Jaksa by Ross
- The Pilgrimage by Timdog
- Tropical Current , some short stories by Indonesian women.
- Although they weren’t great stories, you can also try reading my short stories. I will try to write a story that take place in Indonesia next month.
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).
Have a great reading month and hope to read some reviews from you all. Thank you so much (Banyak terima kasih – in Indonesian language)