Since the downfall of Soeharto in 1998 many autobiographical writings have appeared in Indonesia from the pens of those who were marginalized by his so-called New Order regime. This book examines representative autobiographies of several such individuals: two ex-political prisoners who describe themselves as Muslim Communists; two writers of the left, one a woman in a senior position in the left-wing womens organization, Gerwani, and one a well-known male novelist who spent years in exile in China and Russia; two Muslim opponents of Soeharto, one an intellectual and the other a political campaigner; and finally, two collections of short autobiographies by the younger generation, one a group involved in social welfare action, the other a group of dedicated young Muslims.
The scrutiny of the texts is in all cases preceded by a brief account of the historical and cultural context of the writing of the autobiographies. In the analysis of the works themselves the emphasis is on trying to represent the implicit tone of the narrative as much as its overt contents. Both general and specialist readers are consequently invited to reflect on the memories and experiences of significant participant-observers as a mode of understandig a recent period in Indonesian history.
Kho Ping Hoo (1926–1994) is the most well-known of all Indonesian writers of popular silat stories, largely set in China, which describe the adventures and romances of legendary heroes famed for their skill in martial arts. It is less well-known that he began his career writing critical stories about socioeconomic conditions in the late 50s and early 60s. This paper discusses one of these stories. It places the story in the context of political developments of the time, in particular as they affected the Chinese Indonesian community. The paper argues that this story and one or two others like it come at the end of a tradition of Sino-Indonesian literature which had flourished from the end of the nineteenth century until the mid-1950s. After 1960, Chinese-Indonesian writers cease writing realist fiction of any kind and write either silat stories or romantic stories set in middle class urban environments.
The narratives in this book engage the reader and take him or her on a journey to understanding of what it means to be a male teacher who works in early childhood education or with young children. They passionately share of their challenges to be involved in children’s lives because they are called to do so; this work is part of their life purpose. Their narratives details interactions between the teacher and the day-to-day lives of students, parents, peers and supervisors while sharing what it takes to survive as a man in what is perceived, very often in our post-modern world as women’s work.
In the bigger scheme of things, the men teachers serve as cultural workers with their female peers to educate not only our children but our community and eventually ourselves about gender roles in our society and the need to have more role models during the first years of schooling. A fascinating book and a must read for parents, teachers, administrators, and other human service professionals who want to learn more about how to engage men in the lives of children.