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Google Doodle celebrates 84th birthday of literary legend NH Dini

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, February 29, 2020  /  02:13 pm
Google Doodle celebrates 84th birthday of literary legend NH Dini

Illustrated by Jakarta-based artist Kathrin Honesta, the doodle has the prolific writer wearing glasses while filling pages upon pages of paper with words. (Google Doodle/File)

Indonesian literary legend Nurhayati Sri Hardini Siti Nukatin, renowned as NH Dini, would have turned 84 on Saturday – an event commemorated with a Google Doodle.

Illustrated by Jakarta-based artist Kathrin Honesta, the doodle has the prolific writer wearing glasses while filling pages upon pages of paper with words.

According to Google’s Doodle page, NH Dini “grew up listening to her mother read stories from local magazines" and later became a famous author whose works mostly focused on gender issues as she was known to resist "the traditional role of women established by Javanese patriarchy".

Born in Semarang on this day in 1936, she met her husband Yves Coffin, a French consul to Japan, in the 1950s while working as an Indonesian carrier's flight attendant. During their marriage, the couple enjoyed living in several countries, including Japan, Cambodia, the Philippines, France and the United States, which later inspired her to write dozens of novels, poems and short stories.

In 1984, the two separated and Dini later returned to Indonesia, got her Indonesian citizenship back and stayed in Kampung Sekayu, Semarang, where she also established Pondok Baca NH Dini (NH Dini’s Reading Hut). 

Among NH Dini's notable works are Namaku Hiroko (My Name is Hiroko) and Pada Sebuah Kapal (Aboard a Ship). Honesta mentioned the latter as her inspiration when creating the doodle. "This book is often mentioned as one of her best works. The story is about a woman named Sri, who lives an unhappy marriage and falls in love with the captain of a ship. There are theories that explain that Sri is actually N.H. Dini herself. ‘Sri’ is her real middle name, and the details of the story are so similar to her true life. So, for this doodle, I illustrated NH Dini sitting beside a porthole, as if she was on a ship, writing her memoirs."

NH Dini passed away on Dec. 4, 2018, following a car crash at the age of 82. The literary icon was survived by her two children, Marie-Claire Lintang and Pierre Louis Padang. (kes)

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