The Jakarta Post
Didi Kempot performs at Konser Ambyar in Bali on March 14. (Antara/Fikri Yusuf)
More than 29,000 people have signed an online petition to urge state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) and the administrations of Central Java and Surakarta to build a memorial for the late singer Didi Kempot at the city's Solo Balapan Station.
Hanindha Cholandha, one of Didi’s fans and the petition’s initiator, believes the artist deserves to have his own statue.
“In the United States, artists and prominent figures are honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So we should build a memorial for pakde [uncle] Didi in iconic locations, one of them is at Solo Balapan Station because he wrote the song ‘Stasiun Balapan’," Hanindha said in a statement.
Released in 2016, “Stasiun Balapan” is among Didi’s most popular campursari (a blend of traditional Javanese and modern music) songs. Performed in Javanese, it narrates the story of lovers who get separated at the station.
Hanindha said the memorial could be in the form of a statue of the late singer or “Stasiun Balapan” lyrics inscription. “The purpose is to remind us that Didi Kempot has popularized Surakarta and Solo Balapan Station."
He added that the construction did not have to take place during the COVID-19 outbreak. He just wanted the petition to be responded to as a form of appreciation toward Indonesian musicians and artists.
Since it was posted on May 5, the petition has gathered more than 29,400 signatures of the 35,000 target as of Wednesday afternoon.
Plans are actually already under way for a memorial for the late singer. Previously on May 10, Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi “Rudy” Rudyatmo told kompas.com that his team had sent a letter to the Social Affairs Ministry about honoring Didi Kempot as a talented musician.
“In regard to his memorial, we should decide on the design beforehand,” Rudy said, adding that the statue could be installed at the city's Solo Balapan Station, Tirtonadi bus station or Tirtonadi park. The administration will also discuss the matter with other artists and cultural observers regarding the location of the memorial.
Born in Surakarta in 1966, Didi Kempot passed away on May 5. He was often referred to as the “Godfather of Broken Hearts” for performing songs that are relatable to his fans’ sad love stories, meanwhile his fans are known as “sad boys”, “sad girls” and “sobat ambyar” (friends of the heartbroken). (wir/kes)
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