Biography of RA Kartini, the Trace of Indonesian Women’s Emancipation

RA Kartini Biography   – Who doesn’t know Kartini? The figure of a beautiful woman who is so adored by Indonesian women. Because of him, women in this country can feel equal with men.

Women don’t just spin in wells, mattresses and kitchens. Because Kartini is an Indonesian woman who deserves to be reckoned with. What he did has opened wide the door of emancipation. Women now have a role that is no less important for this country.

To know more, let’s discuss RA Kartini’s brief biography which has been summarized from various sources

RA Kartini’s biography

1. Birth of RA Kartini

RA Kartini’s short biography begins with her birth. Kartini was born on April 21, 1879 in Jepara, Central Java. He is still a Javanese noble family. That is why the title Raden Adjeng alias RA was pinned on him.

In accordance with Javanese customs that are still attached, this noble title was later changed to Raden Ayu when he married. Kartini’s father was named Raden Adipati Ario Sosroningrat son of Prince Ario Tjondro IV. Kartini’s mother was named MA Ngasirah. She is actually the first wife but unfortunately, that status does not make her the main wife.

MA Ngasirah was just a simple girl who was born as a commoner. She is the daughter of a kyai in Teluk Awur. Raden Adipati Ario Sosroningrat already fell in love with him. Even though they are of different castes, love cannot choose.

His status of not coming from a noble family violated the Dutch colonial rule. The rules applied by the Netherlands required that a regent must choose a noble family as his partner when he married.

This certainly made it difficult for Ario to take over as regent of Jepara with his first wife. Ario racked his brains so that the position of regent could still be held without having to let go of his first wife.

In order to continue to fulfill the colonial rule, Kartini’s father also married Raden Adjeng Woerjan who still had royal royal blood from Madura. Finally Kartini’s father was able to take his share to become regent after complying with Dutch rules.

Shortly after his second marriage, Ario was appointed Regent of Jepara at the same time that his little daughter, Kartini, was born. Ario gets 2 happiness at once, namely position and offspring. The full story of RA Kartini’s life can also be found in the National Hero Series: RA Kartini.

2. RA Kartini’s Adolescence

Luckily Kartini had Prince Ario Tjondro IV, the first regent of Jepara who was her grandfather. It turned out that his grandfather was used to giving western education to his children, so the way of teaching was far from being conservative.

Kartini is the 5th child of 11 siblings (siblings and half-sisters), but Kartini is the oldest daughter of all her siblings. Because of her grandfather’s open mindedness, Kartini had the opportunity to study at school at ELS (Europese Lagere) . School ) when he was 12 years old.

Studying at this school made him learn Dutch. Kartini’s intelligence was increasingly honed in the school world. Unfortunately his desire to go to school could not last long. At the age of 15, Kartini had to stop going to school.

RA Kartini had to stay at home because she was secluded like other women at that time. Kartini also had no choice. This of course makes him upset. Fortunately, he has a friend in the Netherlands named Rosa Abendanon with whom he can exchange ideas during his confinement.

The exchange of thoughts is done by correspondence. His fluency in Dutch makes it easier for the two friends from different countries to communicate. As an intelligent woman, Kartini also studied the mindset of European women. Newspapers, magazines and even books were devoured.

From what she read, Kartini knew that the lives of European women and Indonesian women were very different at that time. In Indonesia, women have a low status. Indonesian women have never received equality, freedom, and legal autonomy and equality.

This condition made Kartini sad. The desire to advance the fate of women also grew in his heart. Kartini felt moved and determined to change the fate of her people. Her determination is getting stronger and stronger which is also told in Raden Ajeng Kartini’s book which you can get at sinaumedia!

3. RA Kartini’s Adulthood

After being secluded from the age of 15, RA Kartini finally married at the age of 24. On November 12, 1903, KRM Adipati Ario Singgih Djojo Adhiningrat married him. But unfortunately Kartini was not the first wife, but the fourth wife of the Rembang Regent.

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It turned out that Kartini’s husband could understand Kartini’s way of thinking. Her husband also supported Kartini’s wish to establish a women’s school. Kartini’s desire was getting stronger and imprinted in her soul. He can no longer contain the desire to free the women.

Unfortunately, fate had other plans. Kartini could not fight any longer in elevating the dignity of women because Kartini died at the age of 25. 4 days after giving birth to her only son, RM Soesalit Djojoadhiningrat who was born on September 13, 1904, Kartini breathed her last.

Kartini’s death was quite surprising because during her pregnancy and childbirth, Kartini appeared to be in good health. No one thought that Kartini would die at a young age. Many dreams that have not been achieved, of course.

Fortunately, 8 years later, right in 1912, the Kartini School was built by the Kartini Foundation in Semarang. It was the Van Deventer family, an Ethical Political figure at that time, who initiated the construction of the school. Soon construction was spread across Yogyakarta, Malang, Madiun, Cirebon, and several other areas.

B. Letters made by RA Kartini

Unexpectedly, Jacques Henrij (JH) Abendanon managed to collect Kartini’s letters to her friends in the Netherlands. JH Abendanon is the husband of one of Kartini’s pen pals, Rosa Abendanon. They were usually sent letters by Kartini. It was to them that Kartini used to convey her writings.

Through correspondence or correspondence between Kartini and her pen pals in the Netherlands, she reported on the inequality and inequality in the condition of women’s education in Indonesia and this is discussed in the book Kartini Guru, Emancipation of Women in the Archipelago .

About 115 letters were collected. These letters are Kartini’s heartfelt words for her friends, including:
1. Estelle H Zeehandelaar or Stella (14 letters)
2. Mrs. Ovink-Soer (8 letters)
3. Prof. Dr. GK Anton in Jena and his wife (3 letters)
4. Dr N Andriani (4 letters)
5. Mrs HG de Booy-Boissevain (5 letters)
6. Ir HH van Kol (3 letters)
7. Mrs N van Kol (3 letters)
8. Mrs RM Abendanon-Mandri (49 letter)
9. Mr JH Abendanon (5 letters)
10.EC Abendanon (6 letters)
11. Abendanon’s husband and wife (combined letters)
12. The recipient of one letter cannot be concluded

C. RA Kartini’s thoughts

RA Kartini’s thoughts were able to attract a lot of attention from the people at that time, especially the Dutch. They were interested in letters addressed to Europeans which turned out to be the ideas of indigenous women.

RA Kartini’s thoughts were able to replace the views of the Dutch people on native women at that time. They also took off their hats for Kartini’s thoughts. Kartini is admired not only within the country, but throughout the country.

Through the Tempo Series: Kartini below, the figure of Kartini is raised, discussed, and told in another perspective regarding the major role her work played in that era.

D. RA Kartini’s book

It was the letters that had been collected by JH Abendanon that later became the forerunner to the printing of a book with the initial title “Door Duisternis tot Licht”.

Then the title was translated into “From Darkness to Light” in 1922 by the Balai Pustaka publisher, this book was published 5 times. What’s interesting about this book is that in the fifth printing there are attachments to Kartini’s letters.

The following are some of RA Kartini’s books that are sold at sinaumedia:

E. RA Kartini Controversy

Most of Kartini’s letters were sent to her best friend, Mrs. Rose Abendanon Mandri, wife of JH Abendanon. JH Abendanon, is the Dutch Minister of Culture, Religion and Crafts. It was he who had an important role in publishing Kartini’s books.

Kartini’s age when she was diligent in sending letters was 23 years. Kartini was always eager to tell what she saw, felt and thought. Having the opportunity to sit on the school bench made Kartini’s thinking broad and open. Kartini wrote down everything she thought and felt, including discussing intimacy and the Chinese race.

The Chinese at that time were only used as shields by the Dutch against the anger of the natives and also made scapegoats for the chaotic bureaucracy. Because they were considered dangerous, several letters about the Chinese were finally censored by Abendanon.

Apart from that, Kartini also discussed the policy of the Dutch government in controlling the opium trade in Java. Kartini also issued scathing criticism of the move of a resident from Jepara. Even this letter was again censored by Abendanon because it was considered unfit to be opened. Kartini’s book was printed when ethical politics began to roll, while Abendanon was known as a supporter of ethical politics. Many suspected Abendanon’s trick in sorting Kartini’s letters.

However, in 1987, Kartini’s complete letters were published by Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde (KITLV) with the title ‘Kartini: Brieven aan Mevrouw RM Abendanon-Mandri en Haar Echtgenoot’ It turned out that there were a total of around 150 correspondences.

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In 1989, the Indonesian translation was published. In the book, it was revealed that Abendanon had sorted the letters as “sensitive” which, according to him, were not worth seeing.

In fact, several letters were also deliberately torn in certain parts, especially letters that he considered too spicy or cornered the Dutch government. Meanwhile, only letters that he thought were safe were issued.

Of course this is very unfortunate, because in fact Kartini’s letters
are not only because they discuss feminism, as many people know. Apart from the controversy over the letters, Kartini’s determination as a hero has also been met with opposition.

Many feel that it is too much for Kartini to be named a national hero. First, Kartini only fought in the Rembang and Jepara areas and secondly, Kartini never took up arms like Cut Nyak Dien or Christina Martha Tiahahu who took part in the war.

Kartini’s pro-polygamy stance also seems to contradict her thinking as an activist for women’s emancipation. However, those who are pro-Kartini managed to convince that Kartini’s struggle in voicing women’s equality is a national struggle.

No less controversial is the death of Kartini. As we already know, Kartini breathed after giving birth. This is quite surprising considering that it is said that Kartini was healthy during pregnancy and after giving birth.

But strangely, on the fourth day, Kartini closed her eyes. There are those who suspect that the Dutch killed Kartini through the hands of Dr van Ravesteyn.

Kartini’s daring thoughts cornered the Dutch, and Kartini was considered dangerous. There was a story that on the day Kartini died Dr van Ravesteyn invited her to drink wine as a sign of farewell.

Shortly after that, Kartini lost consciousness and died soon after. According to doctors’ view these days, Kartini’s condition is preeclampsia or high blood pressure in pregnant women. Although it also cannot be proven by the record of Kartini’s death somewhere.

None of the family tried to find the cause of Kartini’s death and accepted this as destiny.

F. Commemoration of Kartini Day

On May 2, 1964, President Soekarno designated RA Kartini as a National Hero of Independence. Not only that, President Soekarno set RA Kartini’s birthday on April 21 to be commemorated as Kartini Day until now.

G. Street Names RA Kartini in the Netherlands

It is undeniable that RA Kartini and her enthusiasm inspired not only Indonesian citizens but also the Dutch government. The Dutch government’s admiration for Kartini’s thoughts made Kartini’s name immortalized as a street name there. Cities in the Netherlands named Kartini are:

a. In Utrecht

Jalan Kartini in this city is located in middle class housing. The size of Kartini’s street is bigger than the streets with the names of other figures.

b. Venlo

In Venlo, the O-shaped street RA Kartinistraat in the Hagerhof area. Street names in that area are synonymous with female characters, such as Anne Frank and Mathilde Wibaut.

c. Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the Zuidoost area, or better known as Bijlmer, is an area that has Jalan Raden Adjeng Kartini.

Women from all over the world who have had an impact on history, such as Rosa Luxemburg, Nilda Pinto, and Isabella Richards, are indeed used as street names there.

d. Harleem

Jalan RA Kartini in Haarlem is close to Jalan Mohammad Hatta, Jl Sutan Sjahrir

H. Photo gallery

There are quite a lot of photos of RA Kartini that can be enjoyed. As a noble family, it seems that capturing in the form of photos is common.

Here are some photos of Kartini

I. RA Kartini’s film

Kartini’s story has been made into a wide screen version. It was recorded that a film letter to Kartini had been made where Kartini was played by Rania Putri Sari in 2016. The film Letter to Kartini tells the story of a widower named Sawardi who works as a postman who falls in love with Kartini.

Kartini is a smart woman who dares to break with tradition. She didn’t want her fate to be like the women of that time. It’s a shame that Sawardi’s love didn’t come because Kartini was married by the Regent of Rembang.

Then in 2017, Dian Sastro also managed to play Kartini beautifully in a film called Kartini. Hanung the seasoned director made this film extraordinary. We are taken to that time to feel what Kartini’s struggle was like.

J. Lyrics of Our Mother Kartini’s song

WR Supratman’s admiration for Kartini’s thoughts was expressed in a song called KARTINI. In 1929, this beautiful song was created. The song describes the figure of Kartini as an emancipation fighter. Songs that we certainly have memorized by heart

Our Mother Kartini

Our mother Kartini,
the true
daughter of Indonesia,
has a fragrant name

Our mother, Kartini,
the Warrior of the Nation,
the Warrior of her people
, for independence

O our
noble mother Kartini Daughter
What a great dream
for Indonesia

So many biographies about RA Kartini or who is also known as a fighter for women’s emancipation. Hopefully her enthusiasm and struggle can inspire everyone, especially women in modern times.

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