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First '€˜Book Night'€™ stuns Harry Potter fans

  • Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, February 22 2016 | 10:09 am
New touch: A new edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, beautifully illustrated by British artist Jim Kay.(Courtesy of hypable.com)" height="336" border="0" width="511">New touch: A new edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, beautifully illustrated by British artist Jim Kay.(Courtesy of hypable.com)

The boy who lived casts his spell again, 19 years after the release of the first book in the Harry Potter saga by British author JK Rowling.

Dozens of witches and wizards in long robes or school uniforms decorated with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry emblems took out their wands and grouped together according to their house dorms, selected by the Sorting Hat.

The reenactment of the first day of school at Hogwarts marked the start of Book Night, an annual gathering for Harry Potter fans held for the first time this year in Indonesia.

Established by the UK-based publishing company Bloomsbury Children’s Books, the event is held worldwide on the first Thursday of February, with this year carrying the theme “A Night of Spells”.

Hosted by Gramedia publishing, the event brought together various fan groups from Greater Jakarta.

“I’ve been looking forward to this event for a long time,” said Sukma, who rushed from work to join the event in the evening.

The 19-year-old, who came dressed with the official Gryffindor robe and wand, became a fan of the books after reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone during his last year in elementary school.

Sukma, bearing the name Seamus Flamel on his robe, eventually joined the fan group Indo Harry Potter two years ago. The group organizes its own version of Book Night, which they call Buck Beak Book.

“At our gatherings, we usually have readings and games, similar with what we have tonight. But the new book makes it a lot different.”

He was talking about the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Indonesian version of which was launched at the event. The original was released last October.

Fans took turns reading their favorite parts from the book, beautifully illustrated by British artist Jim Kay.

Limited buyers could also get the Indonesian edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, also authored by JK Rowling.



“We organized Harry Potter Book Night to provide a forum for fans to refresh the euphoria of reading the magical story, while also introducing it to younger readers,” said Gramedia spokesperson Dionisius Wisnu.

The company’s fiction editorial manager Anastasia Mustika Widjaja said that Rowling’s publicist at last year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy had encouraged all countries to take part in the event.

“We’re testing the waters tonight. Seeing the high enthusiasm of fans, the next event will be even more spectacular and widespread,” she said.

Gramedia published the first Harry Potter book in 2001, translated by the late Listiana Srisanti.

“She was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 but continued working on the Harry Potter books. She was always in high spirits whenever a new book came out,” Anastasia recalled of her former superior.

The spellbinding story is also the one that has tied four friends together.

Rury, 30, is one of the administrators of the Indo Harry Potter website since its establishment on Oct. 1, 2001.

Checking it out: A fan clad in Harry Potter costume checks out the Indonesian version of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, launched at Book Night in Jakarta.(Courtesy of PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama)

New touch: A new edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher'€™s Stone, beautifully illustrated by British artist Jim Kay.(Courtesy of hypable.com)

The boy who lived casts his spell again, 19 years after the release of the first book in the Harry Potter saga by British author JK Rowling.

Dozens of witches and wizards in long robes or school uniforms decorated with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry emblems took out their wands and grouped together according to their house dorms, selected by the Sorting Hat.

The reenactment of the first day of school at Hogwarts marked the start of Book Night, an annual gathering for Harry Potter fans held for the first time this year in Indonesia.

Established by the UK-based publishing company Bloomsbury Children'€™s Books, the event is held worldwide on the first Thursday of February, with this year carrying the theme '€œA Night of Spells'€.

Hosted by Gramedia publishing, the event brought together various fan groups from Greater Jakarta.

'€œI'€™ve been looking forward to this event for a long time,'€ said Sukma, who rushed from work to join the event in the evening.

The 19-year-old, who came dressed with the official Gryffindor robe and wand, became a fan of the books after reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher'€™s Stone during his last year in elementary school.

Sukma, bearing the name Seamus Flamel on his robe, eventually joined the fan group Indo Harry Potter two years ago. The group organizes its own version of Book Night, which they call Buck Beak Book.

'€œAt our gatherings, we usually have readings and games, similar with what we have tonight. But the new book makes it a lot different.'€

He was talking about the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher'€™s Stone, the Indonesian version of which was launched at the event. The original was released last October.

Fans took turns reading their favorite parts from the book, beautifully illustrated by British artist Jim Kay.

Limited buyers could also get the Indonesian edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, also authored by JK Rowling.



'€œWe organized Harry Potter Book Night to provide a forum for fans to refresh the euphoria of reading the magical story, while also introducing it to younger readers,'€ said Gramedia spokesperson Dionisius Wisnu.

The company'€™s fiction editorial manager Anastasia Mustika Widjaja said that Rowling'€™s publicist at last year'€™s Bologna Children'€™s Book Fair in Italy had encouraged all countries to take part in the event.

'€œWe'€™re testing the waters tonight. Seeing the high enthusiasm of fans, the next event will be even more spectacular and widespread,'€ she said.

Gramedia published the first Harry Potter book in 2001, translated by the late Listiana Srisanti.

'€œShe was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 but continued working on the Harry Potter books. She was always in high spirits whenever a new book came out,'€ Anastasia recalled of her former superior.

The spellbinding story is also the one that has tied four friends together.

Rury, 30, is one of the administrators of the Indo Harry Potter website since its establishment on Oct. 1, 2001.

Checking it out: A fan clad in Harry Potter costume checks out the Indonesian version of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher'€™s Stone, launched at Book Night in Jakarta.(Courtesy of PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama)Checking it out: A fan clad in Harry Potter costume checks out the Indonesian version of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher'€™s Stone, launched at Book Night in Jakarta.(Courtesy of PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama)

Phylliang Sangrail and her friends Ratri, alias Rose Weasley, Aya Veela and Mira Nasution, alias Molly Weasley, are among the active members of some 17,000 registered members nationwide.

'€œIn the muggle world, we are busy with work or study, but we always have time for this. We dream about bringing a Harry Potter exhibition or even a theme park over here,'€ said Rury.

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