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Jakarta Post

`Ibu' Ann's legacy to Indonesia

  • Julia Suryakusuma

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Sun, March 21 2010   /  04:21 pm

"When I get back to Indonesia I expect you to cheer me up as I am feeling rather *down' now. Despite 10-hour days, even on weekends, I still have two more chapters of my dissertation to finish. I do wish I had chosen a smaller topic, I would have been finished a year ago." (22 August, 1988) That's from a letter sent to me by my one of my closest friends, Ann Soetoro, who passed away in 1995. Now she's better known to the world as S. Ann Dunham, the mother of US President Barack Obama and author of Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia, published by Duke University Press in November 2009 (http://www.dukeupress.edu/books.php3?isbn=978-0-8223-4687-6). Surviving against the Odds is a condensed version of Ann's PhD on village industries in Java that she says she worked for almost two decades. In the end Ann decided to focus on just one of five crafts - bamboo, cl...