Ratih Kumala: An instinctive, detailed storyteller
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Ratih Kumala: An instinctive, detailed storyteller

Out and about: Author Ratih Kumala poses for a photograph in front of the ancient Sanchi Buddhist complex in Madhya Pradesh, India, on the sidelines of the first India-ASEAN Youth Summit in mid-August. She joined the summit as an Indonesian delegate. (JP/Sebastian Partogi)

Out and about: Author Ratih Kumala poses for a photograph in front of the ancient Sanchi Buddhist complex in Madhya Pradesh, India, on the sidelines of the first India-ASEAN Youth Summit in mid-August. She joined the summit as an Indonesian delegate. (JP/Sebastian Partogi)

Source: The Jakarta Post, 16 October 2017

Pursuing a career as a writer requires a lot of energy and persistence, according to novelist-scriptwriter Ratih Kumala.

Suppose you are walking to an Indonesian restaurant with a friend. You both sit at a table before taking a glimpse at bottles of sarsaparilla and kerupuk(deep fried crackers) sitting atop it. You might not think too deeply about them.

That is not the case for novelist, short story writer and scriptwriter Ratih Kumala, who said that she had a penchant for developing stories from small, often trivialized things, such as the objects that were sitting on our table during an interview in mid-September.

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1st India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017: History Begins
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1st India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017: History Begins

The morning was partly cloudy when we arrived at the Raja Bhoj Airport. Despite three long flights from Jakarta (Indonesia) to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (India), the expression of our faces did not reflect exhaustion. Instead, we were happy to see new faces. Organizers and volunteers of the first India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017 welcomed us with flowers, took us to the bus headed to our hotel and also the summit’s venue, the Jehan Numa Palace Hotel. There, we met with the rest of delegates from 10 other countries for the first time. Our skin tones and languages might be different, but there was one thing that bound us together: our smiles as we introduced ourselves to one another.

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India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017: Merayakan Kemerdekaan di Negeri Orang
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India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017: Merayakan Kemerdekaan di Negeri Orang

Delegasi Indonesia, India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017

Delegasi Indonesia, India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017

Jakarta – Pada 14-19 Agustus 2017 lalu, saya dan sembilan orang lainnya mendapat kehormatan menjadi delegasi Indonesia untuk India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017 di Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Dihadiri oleh 170 delegasi dari 11 negara ASEAN dan India, acara ini diorganisasi oleh Pemerintah India yang bekerja sama dengan Indian Foundation.

Ada yang spesial dari pilihan tanggal di atas, sebab 15 Agustus adalah Hari Kemerdekaan India. Kami diajak mengikuti upacara Kemerdekaan India yang ke-70 di Museum Indira Gandhi Manav Sanrahalaya, Bhopal. Pengibaran bendera yang diiringi lagu kebangsaan India, Jana-Gana-Mana pun dilakukan.
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Asian Review of Books: “Cigarette Girl” by Ratih Kumala

Asian Review of Books: “Cigarette Girl” by Ratih Kumala

Cigarette Girl, Ratih Kumala, Annie Tucker (trans.) (Monsoon Books, September 2016)

Cigarette Girl, Ratih Kumala, Annie Tucker (trans.) (Monsoon Books, September 2016)

Asian Review of Books, 14 March 2017

Redolent of the ubiquitous Indonesian kreteksCigarette Girlfollows three generations of two Javanese families from the time of the Dutch surrender to the Japanese in 1942, via the crackdown on the communists and the massacres of 1965, to the present.

Written by Ratih Kumala (whose author husband Eka Kurniawan has already made a splash in English-language translation), Cigarette Girl has been fluently translated by Annie Tucker, who made the sensible decision to leave many terms in either Bahasa Indonesia, or in Javanese, most, although not all, with explanations in the text, adding a layer of linguistic richness and interest to an already interesting and absorbing novel.

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REMEMBER THE FLAVOR

REMEMBER THE FLAVOR

Rembember the Flavor, the movie

Rembember the Flavor, the movie

Di awal tahun 2016, saya menulis skenario film ini selama kurang lebih tiga bulan. Bersama sutradara, Dyan Sunu Prastowo, kami berdiskusi tentang alur cerita, lokasi shooting, juga calon-calon pemain. Awalnya, film ini bukan berjudul REMEMBER THE FLAVOR. Pada perjalanannya, tim pra produksi menemukan judul tersebut, yang kemudian kami anggap judul paling pas.

Film ini tentang kenangan, makanya di judul ada kata “remember”-nya. Alkisah Arnesti dan Melodi, dua orang asing yang secara tak sengaja bertemu di kereta yang sama. Melodi kemudian bercerita tentang alasan kenapa dia pulang ke Jogjakarta.

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