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22 Apr 2019

Four Messages from Kartini for Millennials

Medan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta—April is not only renowned for its April’s Fools day. In the same month, Indonesian women celebrate special celebration, namely Kartini Day. There are many ways to commemorate the merit of a person known as pioneer of Indonesian women’s emancipation although it is only ceremonial. The most important thing is how to interpret Kartini’s struggle in Indonesian women’s daily activities.

This was revealed during talk show "Memaknai Hari Kartini Dengan Meningkatkan Literasi – Understanding Kartini’s Day by Improving Literacy" held at National Library on Monday (22/4). Head of General Collection Service Division of National Library, Agus Sutoyo, said that speaking of Kartini is not only a matter of women emancipation’s spirit but also of noble ideal desiring the nation to progress, think independently, and does not want the nation to be colonised again.   

Although Kartini quitted her formal education only until 12 years old, Kartini continued to be enthusiastic about reading many books and magazines even those in Dutch which at the time were still considered too heavy. Not only reading, Kartini also diligently made correspondence with her friends abroad. In many literatures, Kartini also often criticised and contemplated. She then founded Women’s School in Rembang after her marriage in 1903.  

"There are four important points that can be absorbed and applied from Kartini. First, Kartini is a patient and sincere person. A person who likes to read. A woman who likes correspondence. And a woman who brought change (agent of change)," said Agus Sutoyo.

Amidst of information proliferation that tends to be ambiguous and even tends to hoax, the fourth point left by Kartini becomes important so that the community, especially women possess intelligent character and roles so as not to be easily pitted against. Real action is needed in building a movement for change. Women are the first madrasas as well as libraries for their children teaching how important literacy culture is (reading and writing).  

With good literacy skills, anyone can break the limit. Especially today is the era of social media. Social media is often judged because it carries problems due to much hoax information circulating. "For us, younger generation equipped with literacy abilities can instead choose which information in cyberspace is worthy of trust or not," added Alma Putri Dhiafina, Literacy Ambassador of Rotary Club 2017.

In line with what was conveyed by Alma, book writer and activator of literacy from Batam Municipal, Vanessa Mayumi, assumed that literation was like opening many doors which if maximised could increase self-platform.

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