Apr 2, 2010


Raden Ajeng Kartini, The Indonesian Emancipation Heroine, was born in April 21th, 1879 in Rembang, Central Java, Indonesia. Kartini is the daughter of a nobleman who was very obedient to Javanese customs. After graduating from elementary school, Kartini was not allowed to continue her education to higher levels by her parents. She was secluded while waiting for wedding.  Kartini was very sad with the condition, she wanted to resist but was afraid of being regarded as disobedient child. To get rid of her sadness, she gathered her textbooks and other science books, and read them in the garden of her house accompanied by Simbok (housemaid).
As time went by, reading became Kartini’s hobby. For her, there was no day without reading. She read all books, including newspaper. If there was difficulty in understanding those books and newspapers, she always asked her father. Through the books, Kartini's interest in European (the Netherlands) women's visionary thinking increased. She wanted also to promote Indonesian women. According to her, women should not only work in the kitchen but also had to have knowledge. She began collecting her friends to teach science and writing. Amid her busy life, Kartini did not stop reading and also writing letters to his friends in Holland. Before long, she wrote a letter to Mr. JH Abendanon. She asked him a possible scholarship to study in Netherlands.
She got the scholarships but could not use the chance because she was married by her parents with Raden Adipati Joyodiningrat. After the marriage, she joined her husband to Rembang. Kartini’s husband understood and supported her to establish a women school. Thanks to Kartini’s persistence, Women’s School was established in Semarang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Malang, Madiun, Cirebon, and other areas. The school name is "Sekolah Kartini." The fame of being the founder of women school did not make Kartini arrogant, She remained polite, respect family and other people; she did not distinguish between poor and rich. 
On 17 September 1904, Kartini died in the age of 25, after she gave birth to their first son. After Kartini died, Mr. JH Abendanon collected the letters that Kartini had sent to her friends in Europe. The book was then entitled "DOOR DUISTERNIS TOT LICHT" which means "After Darkness, Light Arises." The day Kartini’s born is then commemorated as “Kartini’s Day” which is very special to every Indonesian woman who wants to get her equal rights.


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