Jepara, October 1903
Modertje, my moedertje,say something to me, I am so utterly, utterly unhappy. Physically, spiritually broken, I have energy no more. For days already it is as if there is a fire in my head, as my heart is a burning bullet. I am assumed to be still alive, Is this living ? There are worse things then death. And when I am dead, what will that have achieved ? Nothing ! other than that I have obstructed some people, tripped them up in their egotism. …Oh my poor, poor dreams, my poor sisters.
The house is as though deserted, the bird no longer chrips, it is lying with broken wing, a broken heart, oh and a heart full of terrible, evil thoughts.
Do you despise me,yes ? -it is hard,but still bearable, but that I cannot respect myself, that I cannot bear.
My God have mercy, show me the way !
So wrote Raden Ajeng Kartini two month prior her wedding with the regent of Rembang which almost 30 years older than her. More than 100 letter which Kartini wrote to her mentor, Rosa Abendanon, a wife of the director of education of the Dutch East Indies between 1900 – 1904. In these letter she expressed her belief in her right to the freedom of personal self determination as a woman and a javanesse. She describes her quest for further education and for release from restrictions traditional life imposed on woman, especially the tyranny of an arranged polygamous marriage. But the decision has been made by his father, and she never lived to see that freedom.
I have read some people questioning her struggle against the feodalism is just a peanut compare to other women’s national hero such as Cut Nyak Dhien or even Dewi Sartika. Those two mentioned national heroes were imprisoned by dutch colonialism. And Kartini still locked up by her marriage . Im just wondering what would be in her mind after watching TV show called Infotainment. Is she happy to see how easily a woman now asking for a life separation or even she becomes more depressed in understanding how Teh Ninih way’s of life. She must be very familiar with her personal struggle, that tragically is a reavealing picture of Indonesian culture and society as she quoted ‘ the freeing of women is inevitable, it will come, only we cannot hasten its coming. The freedom of women will be the fruit of our suffering and pain ‘. Maybe she just doesn’t care after having a chit chat with Tamara Blezinsky. Who knows ?