October 13, 2015

Dear Friends,

The opening ceremony of Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 was filled by many interesting presentations. There were several old leaves manuscripts being displayed at the National Gallery, for example. Furthermore, since Indonesia has been famous for its spices, samples of various spices were also on displayed.
However, what really impressed me was Indonesias 19th century Javanese traditional poetry called Suluk Malang Sumirang. The poetry depicted the miracle and the power of writing exhibited by Malang Sumirang.
In the 15th century Java, Malang Sumirang was ordered to death by burning. Without fear, he walked towards the blazing hot flames with pen, papers and ink, carried by his loyal dogs. While he was writing, the fire could not touch him, even died down to the amazement of the Sultan and his religious leaders. Malang Sumirang walked away unharmed, and gave the Sultan his writing.
The very talented Ms. Endah Laras sung the poetry in its original Javanese tunes and captivated the audience. But to me, the moral of this beautiful poetry was loud and clear. Writing is powerful because through writing there will be dialogue and equality amongst people from different cultures, socio-economic status and nations. Writing is also about humans independence according to Goenawan Muhammad, the chairman of the Indonesian delegations to Frankfurt Book Fair 2015.
So, keep on writing everyone. Makes your thoughts and voices heard. Create peace in this world because we all are equal.

Yours truly,