vrijdag 5 april 2013

Tinuk (and Philip) Yampolsky

In January this year we met the Yampolskis. They just returned from the end of the world: utmost northeast Timor Leste, where Philip (together with Tinuk) carried out research on traditional music/dance/festivities. Philip is now preparing his PhD: musicologist do not really write books, they do research, make recording, like the twenty CDs made about traditional or folklore music from Indonesia.
I had nice discussion through email with Philip about Pusat Musik Liturgi, PML, in Yogyakarta, where inculturation is the slogan with Karl Prier and the choir Vocalista Sonora, conducted by Paul Widyawan. They use element from traditional music, but it is put in 4-voices harmony and so 'tamed' or at least taken out of context and made useful for the Catholic liturgy.
But now I want also write about his wife Tinuk. She is an artist in her own style: a teacher of Indonesian but also a writer and she wrote a very fine, quite complicated novel, Candik Ala 1965. The title is explained as red light in the air, while the earth is already darkening. (p. 14) Something like a nice sunset. It is a book about the major events of 1965: the coup in Jakarta, the counter-coup by Soeharto and the killings that were ordered by the army. This is a book with the stories seen from the viewpoint of a little girl, only six years old at the time of this event. She has four older brothers. She is the little swan at home. Her parents are teachers, Catholic. That seems to help her from being accused of being a Communist.
Tinuk told me that her father was (one of the) first to use the wayang stories and symbols for expressing the Catholoc faith. P. 28 has such ´Catholic´ stories:  there are four boys and the parents hope that at least one will become a priest, dan berharap paling tidak seorang anaknya akan menerima panggilan menjadi seorang pastor. The parents are, ´of course´ members of the Partai Katolik, at that time very strong against PKI.
P. 38 the army is a tentara semangka green outside, but red inside.
P. 58 the book is not overtly Catholic, and often the call from the minaret is heard for prayers, but the mother prays the rosary.
People disappear, come back only ten years later; at once the mother of the girl who is the center of the story comes back home from work at school and brings a boy who will stay for a long time in the house. Only later it is suggested that his family was 'removed' or 'taken away' apparently by the anti-PKI coalition of army and those who were compelled to join them.

133: quite suddenly the style of writing changes. It is now early 1980s, the girls of six now writes from the I-viewpoint and style; grown up, has become more a personality?

There are some subtle jokes: Lennon= Lenin, Marxis= Markisa. 166: Pemuka Agama or religious leaders do not have any idea of art.

Page 140-1 has a quite difficult poem about Gethsemane:

Sebuah percintaan di taman Getsemani

Kutoreh segala belepot hidup
Ke sekujur tubuh hidupMu
Kucari segenap repot mimpi
Ke dalam kelam mimpiMu
Kutanam resah batinMu
Terlibat sangkawaMu
Gemetaran nestapaku

A love affair in the garden of Getsemane

I plough all the mud of my life
to the fulness of Thy body
I search the troubles of dreams
in the chaos of Thy dreams.
I plant the unrest of Thy soul
involved in Thy doubt
the vibration of my misery.

From young age Tinuk must have been suffering with the uncertainty and the rumour, sometimes also clear information about the disaster that struck Central and East Java. The book is evoking this in a very sensitive way. Next month we will see the new movie: The Act of Killing.

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