Every year on April 21st Indonesian’s celebrate the life and efforts of Ibu Kartini, an extraordinary woman who was perhaps 100 years ahead of her time. She was a champion of women’s rights and education, and today we remember her as the hero that she was.
As is proper in a healthy democracy there exists some discussion and questioning of who she really was, and what message is being sent to young Indonesian woman in schools today. But such discourse is fine, it shows that we are applying critical thinking to our symbols and heroes. In this case, we remember a young woman who fought against unfair treatment, a young woman, who despite the context of the time and culture wanted more for her, and all women in Indonesia!