before going to bed

frankly, i’m not really sure what to write in this hour. i think the medicines i’ve been taking somehow make my brain works slowly and even gets blunt. but i think i need to write down something about Umar Kayam’s book, “Para Priyayi” (The Javanese Nobles) that i’d just finished reading this evening.

honestly, i don’t think today’s generation would have this book as their prefered reading. even though it’s not as old as the era of Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana, but i guess it’s still considered as the “old-(fashion)” literature. you know what, i -my self- was even startled of how i managed to finish reading it. for me the most interesting thing about this book is its setting. it takes our imagination far away back to the era of Dutch colonization all along till the era of the great Communist Riot in 1965.

i don’t know, i just think that today’s generation need to read this book. we need to be reminded the long history of this country. of what our predecessors had been through, had been fighting for in order to give us, generations who live after them, a free country and a much better life. i think most of us are getting less grateful of what we have now. we do the opposite way from what President JF Kennedy once said in his famous speech “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country…”

through the characters in Para Priyayi we can see how each of them run his/her life as the son/daughter of this great nation, as Javanese noble, but the most important thing is how he/she run his/her life as a human being. there’s this one question asked to the leading character, Lantip, “What do you think the meaning of being a noble?”  Lantip answered, “Frankly, i don’t know. that word never means a lot for me.” What readers can get from Lantip’s answer is that the most important thing in life is not what you’re entitled as, but what kindness and merit you have shared and done to others.


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