Jathilan – We are what we hide
We are what we hide.
The great Java War (1825-1830) united thieves, artists, ‘santri’, noblemen, peasants, and free-thinkers to fight for one cause. A chance to be independent. When it ended, it left thousands of skeletons. After, we were forbidden to speak of our desire to be free. We became slaves to support the advancement of other nations. We lost sight of our dignity. We forcefully forgot the glory of Javanese civilization. We hid our agility and combat skills in dances, like ‘Jathilan’. We buried our suffering voices in songs and poetry. Today, the dust of the past slowly awakens the sleeping rebels.

Jakarta 2020
–Melissa Sunjaya

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