zondag 10 januari 2016

Ahmad Wahib and Harry Stolk on Asrama Realino

The last weeks of 2015 I was writing an article about Jesuits in Indonesia. It must be part of a book onthe bibliography of Jesuits worldwide, one volume on Asia. One aspect is of course the rise and decline of the Realino student house in Yogyakarta. Its most glorious period was in the period 1959 until later 1960s.
Realino was built as a mixed Muslim-Christian student house (boys/men only, I suppose). One of the most famous students to live here was Ahmad Wahib (1942-1973). In September 1961 he arrived as a student of science at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. He stayed until 31 October 1964 in the Jesuit-run boarding house of Realino and remained in contact with at least four Jesuits since then until his premature death in a traffic incident in Jakarta. In Yogyakarta he was a prominent member of the Muslim Students' Association (HMI, Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam) and between 1967-1971 of the modernizing 'think tank' called 'Limited Group' under leadership of professor Haji Abdul Mukti Ali who later became Minister of Religion of Indonesia. This was the circle with Nurcholis Madjid, Dawam Rahardjo, Djohan Effendi and others who read books like The Secular City by Harvey Cox and wanted their own style of a positive secularisation, a modern interpretation of the old Islamic values. Ahmad Wahib wrote a diary in this period: Pergolakan Pemikiran Islam. Catatan Harian Ahmad Wahib, published in 1981, Jakarta: LP3ES). These excerpts from the period 1969-1973 were published after his death and became very popular in the 1980s among intellectuals who promoted a liberal style of Islam. Some examples: on 8 September 1969 he visits an exposition of Catholic liturgical renewal where he is overwhelmed by the beauty and expression of the slide show. He meets his former mentor Harry Stolk SJ (1928-2005) and is surprised that this is possible: a meeting of a father and a son, a Christian and a Muslim (p. 40).  On 27 October 1971 (p. 139-140) the Mother Mary appears in his dream and he writes: 'although I am not a Christian, it gave me peace.'
 In the book by A. Budi Susanto, Harta dan Surga: Peziarahan Jesuit dalam Gereja dan Bangsa Indonesia modern, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 1990, I found also a short contribution by Harry Stolk (257-260) with more quotes from Ahmad Wahib. There was a poem , written the evening he left Realino on 31 October 1964, after he stayed here for three years:

Realino
Rain is pouring down,
I can see the light of the lamp between the pine trees:
Realino, when will I be able again
to ejny the beauty of your nature?

Realino, in the wind that is blowing now so mild
the tops of your pine trees are swinging up and down
and between the leaves of your pine trees
I can notice the greeting of the lamps of the Ambarukmo Hotel.

The rice fields on your sideway look vast
how many days can I still enjoy these?
The noise of children who chase away the birds that eat from the rice,
how often shall I still be able to enjoy this?

Good bye Realino, good bye.
When will I again be able to enjoy the beauty of your nature?

In the 1970s part of the boarding house Realino was used by activities for political prisoners and their families under support of Father De Blot de Sauvigny SJ. Another section was used for the extension of the minor seminary. In the 1980s it became more and more a typical boarding house for Catholic students alone. Since 1992 it is the seat of the Realino Foundation for Justice and Peace, concentrating on studies of local problems. This is taken from a long report on Realino by Harry Stolk, in Indonesian (on the website http://forsino.wordpress.com). It was stated here that already at the beginning, in 1959, a conflict had risen between founder Joop Beek and other Jesuits: land the was baught for the Sanata Dharma University was claimed by Beek for realino. This was at that time the reason that Beek was removed to Jakarta te work with youth of the Mary Sodality. Apparently in the 1970s slowly less and less Muslim were living in realino until it became a full Catholic boarding house, which ws changed into a research/study centre. In the period 1985-1987 my two sons had tennis lessons on its tennis court (quite a luxury in Yogyakarta at that time). But they did not like the teacher, did not obey him and it was not a success.

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