RA Kartini

Every April 21, people in Indonesia commemorate the Kartini day. It is

a beautiful day for the woman because we celebrate the birth of great

lady, RA. Kartini. Everyone knows who kartini is. She is our national

heroine and a great lady with the bright idea.

Kartini was born in 1879, April 21 in Mayong Jepara. Her father was

RMAA. Sosroningrat, Wedana (assistant of head of regency) in Mayong.

Her mother, MA Ngasirah was a girl from Teluk Awur village in Jepara.

As the daughter of a noble family, she felt luck because she got more

than the ordinary people got. She got better education than other

children. She did anything she wants although it was forbidden. She

passed her childhood with her brother and sister. Because she was very

energetic, her father called her “trinil”

Then her father was chosen as Bupati (the head of regency) in Jepara.

She and her family then moved from Mayong to Jepara. In the same year,

Kartini’s second sister RA Kardinah was born. The environment in Jepara

gave her big chance to develop her idea. She could study at the Dutch

owned school where only children from noble family could study here.

Few years after finishing her study, RA. Kartini was willing to

continue her study in higher level. But the custom of that day forbid a

woman to go to school. A tradition of that time, a teenage girl should

be secluded and limited her activity. So was Kartini. She was secluded

inside the house and forbidden to go out until a man propose her. The

rule could restrict her body but not her mind. During her “pingitan”

time, she spent her time by reading book which she got from her


Although she was not able to continue her study to higher level, she

was smart had a bright idea. She got the knowledge from the books she

read. To express her idea, she established a school for local people on

the backyard of Jepara city hall.

In November 12,1903, she married Adipati Djoyodiningrat, the head of

Rembang regency. According to Javanese tradition Kartini had to follow

her husband. Then she moved to Rembang.
In September 13, 1904 she gave a birth to her son. His name was

Singgih. But after giving birth to a son, her condition was getting

worse and she finally passed away on September 17, 1904 on her 25 years


Now Kartini has gone. But her spirit and dream will always be in our

heart. Nowadays Indonesian women progress is influenced by Kartini’s

spirit stated on collection of letter “Habis gelap terbitlah terang”

from the dusk to the dawn.

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