Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tjoet Nja Dhien

I recently watched the 1988 Indonesian film "Tjoet Nja Dhien". Tjoet Nja Dhien or Cut Nyak Dhien (1848 – 1908) was the famous Heroine of Aceh Province. She had fought the Dutch from the jungle for 25 years.
I was filled with emotions when I watched how the determined Dhien led her people to fight the Dutch. Even though she became blind, she gave them inspiration to fight for independence. I remember writing about Panglima Salleh Selempang Merah who led the villagers to fight the communists in Muar, Malaysia and about Hajah Aisah, my maternal great-grandmother. 

"Hajah Aisah’s grandfather was a Temenggong (Minister of Justice) in Muntok, Bangka Island situated east of Sumatra in Indonesia. He was “bangsa Radén” (a race of Princes/royal blood). He fought the Dutch. As he did not want to live under the harsh Dutch’s rule, he escaped to Karimun Island in the Riau Archipelago with his family. To avoid detection, he did not use his Temenggong title and name. No one in Karimun Island knew that Hajah Aisah’s family was royalty. They lived their life as commoners..."

How I admire these unsung heroes with their unwavering spirit and a common aim: "Untukmu, jiwa ragaku!"

[*Both stories will be featured in my upcoming book.]

2 comments:

prayudhi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prayudhi said...

My greetings from Muntok-Banka.
B Prayudhi Sarhel