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Potterheads celebrate 20 years of stanning

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, March 1, 2020  /  04:51 pm
Potterheads celebrate 20 years of stanning

Pick your treats: Participants of the “Harry Potter Book Night” could enjoy '"Harry Potter" themed delicacies and snacks. (JP/Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak)

The goblet remains ablaze as Harry Potter fans continue to relive every scene from the novels and films.

The crowd erupted in cheers and applause as the contestants from three big witchcraft and wizardry schools made their entrance at the Triwizard Tournament venue, all ready for the barrage of games and questions.

In a satisfying turn of events, top seeds Viktor Krum of Durmstrang, Fleur Delacour of Beauxbatons and Cedric Diggory of Hogwarts won nothing other than being named the best-dressed contestants.

But worry not, fans of wizardry saga Harry Potter, no one is attempting to rewrite JK Rowling’s The Goblet of Fire, which was picked as the theme of this year’s “Harry Potter Book Night” party.

Celebrated globally on the first Thursday of every February since 2014, the event at Kinokuniya book store in Senayan, Central Jakarta, was attended by dozens of fans from Greater Jakarta.

Children and adults from different walks of life dressed up for the occasion, with this year’s event falling on the 20th anniversary of the release of the first book in the series in Indonesia, with some even cosplaying the main characters.

“It feels like a reunion,” said Dini Pandia, executive editor of the fiction department at publishing company Gramedia Pustaka Utama, which holds the publishing rights for Harry Potter from United Kingdom publisher Bloomsbury.

Since Indonesia joined the list of hosts in 2016, she said, the magical party had never failed to attract around 100 participants.

Fan reunion: Potterheads have a blast at the “Harry Potter Book Night” .Fan reunion: Potterheads have a blast at the “Harry Potter Book Night” . (JP/Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak)

“The decorations and itinerary for the event were all prepared by Bloomsbury, but the fan community and Kinokuniya made it merrier,” she said on the sidelines of the event on Feb. 6.

The venue was decked out with dragon decorations to match the events of the book, in which the tournament contestants are required to retrieve a golden egg guarded by a dragon. A number of clips from The Goblet of Fire movie were also screened as the participants reenacted the scenes.

The store’s merchandise manager Lilik Satrio said that while there were less participants than in 2016, those who attended were real fans, who had read all the books and could even reel off all the spells and memorable quotes.

“This event helps our sales especially because the publishers continue releasing editions with new covers to entice the fans and new readers,” added Lilik.

In conjunction with the event, Gramedia published a limited edition of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with a gold slipcase embossed with a 20th anniversary seal. 

The limited edition Indonesian version of The limited edition Indonesian version of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone". (Gramedia Pustaka Utama/-)

The book, of which only 3,000 copies were printed, comes with a map of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry illustrated by Levi Pinfold. The cover illustration was created by Indonesian artist Nicholas F. Chandrawienata.

“It’s a special gift for Indonesian Potterheads and it will not be reprinted,” said Dini.

The Philosopher’s Stone is among the highest-selling translated books ever published by Gramedia and has been reprinted 30 times since 2001. The publisher used the original cover until 2017 before changing it to its Indonesian version.

To date, at least 105,000 copies of the first book have been sold nationwide. There are seven books in the series with three complementary books and the play script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Globally, the series has been translated into 80 languages since its first international release in 1998 and has sold 500 million copies in both print and digital formats. 

Although the saga reached its conclusion with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011, the time frame of the universe has continued expanding and so has the number of fans.

The Fantastic Beasts movie series, set 70 years before the Harry Potter saga, and the two-part play Cursed Child have encouraged fans, both old and new alike, to revisit the previous books and films.

“We could be the only active book fandom that still exists today,” said Indo Harry Potter prefect Kismanto Hadi. “Our members are increasing as the fans start to introduce Harry Potter to their children.”

With over 8,000 followers of the fandom’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, Indo Harry Potter has held gatherings every two months since its establishment in 2001 at which members discuss the books and trivia about the series.

“The Harry Potter series is magical and has long-lasting appeal. The story is interesting and contains a lot of moral lessons that even young children can understand and relate to. I think with the new developments in the story, this fandom is here to stay,” said Kismanto.


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