Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why is Kartini More Famous Than Dewi Sartika?

There are many similarities between Kartini and Dewi Sartika. Both were from nobles families. Both cared about education of natives women in their time. In the very young age, both had provided significant contributions to the nation of Indonesia. Nevertheless, Kartini is more popular than Dewi Sartika. Why is Kartini more famous than Dewi Sartika? I think the answer is:

  • From the beginning, Kartini had been "goes international" through her letters to her Dutch friends. Kartini also submit her writings to "De Hollandsche Lelie", a Dutch woman magazine.
  • Kartini thoughts and opinions were more well documented. Even though it was not compiled by Kartini herself, her letters were compiled in famous book Door Duisternis tot Licht (Out of Dark Comes Light).
  • WR Supratman, the author of Indonesia national anthem also contribute to Kartini popularity, by composing the song "Ibu Kita Kartini" . Through this song, Kartini name enters the minds of young students of elementary schools or even in kindergartens very much earlier (and easier) than Dewi Sartika. Commonly the students could find Dewi Sartika name and photographs only on history books.
  • Kartini got more support from Dutch Colonial Goverment than Dewi Sartika. Some people said, it because Dewi Sartika father was not loyal to the Goverment.
  • Goverment of Indonesia stated 21st of April, which is Kartini bithday as Hari Kartini ( Kartini Day ). Whereas, Hari Ibu (Indonesia Mother Day) on 22nd December is not Dewi Sartika bithday. Dewi Sartika bithday is on 4th Desember.
  • Indonesian women associated themself with Kartini not Dewi Sartika. The word "Kartini Muda" (Young Kartini) and Kartini Masa Kini (Modern Kartini) are common to address a woman who achieved remarkable success.

It is clear that Kartini has stronger "brand" than Dewi Sartika. It is not because Kartini contributions to this nation is more than Dewi Sartika. It is partly because Kartini is in better communication chanel than Dewi Sartika.


  1. Hallo,

    Wah, udah setahun yang lalu ya, kita ngerayain Hari Kartini. Nice idea...

    Ini ada artikel Kartini juga, di blog yang namanya Cantik Selamanya, "Hari Kartini, Pahlawan Pendidikan".

    Idenya soal perspektif memandang Kartini juga..



  2. Thanks, Bung Amir. Nanti akan saya baca tulisan2 Mbak Dian soal Kartini di blog Cantik Selamanya.

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