On 21st of April, Indonesia commemorates the birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini, a national heroine who fought for women’s rights during the late 19th century.

I remember studying history in elementary school and having to memorise her birthday and her contribution to the fight for women’s right to gain a freedom to study and develop themselves.

I have always been so proud of having her as our national hero, since we are both of Javanese origins, and I see a lot of relevance between her struggle on women’s rights and what were happening surrounding me.

My mum was one of the unlucky ones in her time who didn’t get to continue her study after elementary school. At that time, her parents thought , girls didn’t need to study too much as they were expected to get married eventually and have husbands who will provide for them.

Now that my mum has children of her own, she always encourages us to learn and study as much as we can. Every school year break (we didn’t have super long summer holidays like most of western countries, instead, we got about 1 month break from school around June-July, where the academic year changes, and students get to move from their previous grade to the next one) my mum would make us take short courses, such as Intensive English courses, Quran reading courses, traditional dancing, organ lessons… I even ended up in a modelling course once! (I think my mum ran out of ideas on short courses to take at that time)

Yes, my mum is my favourite hero!

Yet, I have to admit, I have never seen any other country that is more “feminist” than Iceland. A country that holds the status of “first country with a female president“, and whose current Prime Minister is a woman too. So inspiring.

So, with Kartini’s day coming up tomorrow, I feel really proud to be a woman. Happy Kartini’s Day everyone!


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