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Jakarta Post

Karna, his identity and complexity

  • Indah Setiawati

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, November 20 2011   /  12:07 pm

Tracing the path of Karna’s life means recounting a tragic life of one of the great warriors from the epic story of Mahabharata.

Hundreds of people packed Salihara Theater in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, on Friday afternoon to enjoy an interpretation of his life and death in the form of a series of monologues. They listened to the story about Karna (played by Sitok Srengenge) from the perspectives of Radha (Sita Nursanti), the woman who found him as a baby in the river; Parashurama (Whani Darmawan), his Brahmin teacher; his mother Kunthi (Niniek L. Karim); and his wife Surtikanti (Putri Ayudya). Although he fought on behalf of the Kurawa, Karna was actually the first son of Kunthi and the brother of the five Pandawa.

Raised by a couple from the lowest caste of sudra, Karna strived against all of his misfortunes in the pursuit of his own identity. He bravely refused to all...