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Jakarta Post

Rewriting history: How Si Pitung 'should' be presented to youngsters

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 23, 2019   /  12:44 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Those interested in learning more about Betawi culture can visit Sanggar Si Pitung, a Betawi workshop located on Jl. Yusuf in Rawa Belong.( Aulia Widadio)

    The legendary Betawi figure of Si Pitung should have his stories rewritten so that the narrative would go beyond Robin Hood-style heroism to reveal more about cultural identity and values. The new narrative should help explore symbols of Pitung’s resistance to oppression rather than solely focus on the collective memory of the man himself. Si Pitung, considered a hero by the Betawi people and dubbed the local Robin Hood, would steal from the wealthy landlords and share the riches with the oppressed poor during the Dutch colonial era. But in the eyes of the Dutch, he was a criminal looting for his own benefit. “The figure of Si Pitung is very important [during his era], making his story not solely a collective memory but a symbol of resistance to colonialism,” University of Indonesia historian Bondan Kanumoyoso said during a discussion tit...