Totto-chan's Children

Remember Totto chan? The Little Girl at the Window? I am sure this book is in everybody's heart. Now other book written by Totto chan aka Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, it's her story as the goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Yes, Toto now is a famous actress. She's also the founder of Totto Foundation that trains deaf actors. This is to implement Totto's vision of bringing theater to the deaf.

In 1984 Totto was appointed as the Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, she was the first person from Asia to hold this position. During the late 1980s until the late 1990s, she visited many developing countries in Asia and Africa for charitable works and helping children who had suffered from disasters and wars.

The book was written down in a simple way but quite touching. From her stories, we learn the consequences of the wars, nothing is good. Nothing at all. All is left only sadness. Feeling totally blue to see the pictures of these poor kids. Totto was also a great ambassador. From the dialogue among Totto and the children, it's obvious that she really has a big heart. No wonder she could do such an amazing works.

The book's already translated in Bahasa Indonesia by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama on February 2010 and reprinted on July 2010.

Sleeping Beauty

My girls always associate their daddy with a car. So every time their daddy is around, they will be busy asking questions, e.g. "where are we going today, Ayah?" This kind of question usually makes my hubby speechless and finally asks the girls to get into the car, drive it and decide the destination at the last minute. Good job, girls:)

The girls enjoy the journey very much. They will be busy playing around in the car, shouting here and there. Fighting now and then. The closing moment will be they will get sleepy and finally fall asleep.

Just like the pictures above. Look at Zea's sleepy face (1st pic). Ouch.. she could not stand it and at last fall asleep (2nd pic). Her elder sister, Najla, joined her and thought Zea's body is a pillow (last pic). Well...sweet dreams, baby.

Pearl of China

Aku adalah bagian dari China karena aku tinggal di sana sejak kanak-kanak hingga dewasa....
My Several Worlds, Pearl S. Buck

Chinese culture and history are always be my cup of tea. I love reading books written by Pearl S. Buck, Amy Tan, Jun Chang and Lisa See. But Pearl S. Buck with her debut novel The Good Earth is always be my all time favorite book. From this book we could get the detail description about Wan Lung's life as a poor farmer in China. This great book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and in 1938 Pearl became the first American woman who was awarded by nobel prize in literature.

Pearl of China is a novel based on Pearl S. Buck memoir. The author, Anchee Min, conveys her story with a factual conditions. She created a friendship between Willow, a Chinese girl, and Pearl. Pearl is a daughter of American missionaries. Her father was stationed in China. Although she was born in US but she knew Chinese language first before she mastered her native language, English.

From this book we know how Pearls spent her childhood and teenage period in China and why she loved China very much and considered it as her homeland. Pearl experienced several dangerous periods in China, the communist, the Boxer Revolution, and many more that forced her to go to US. She had never been allowed to return to China and finally died in US.

In fact, the author, Anchee Min, was also one of the person who joined a demonstration in rejecting Pearl's visa to enter China. According to the author, at that time (1971) as a senior high school student, without knowing the real truth, she just followed Madame Mao's order and considered Pearl as an American Cultural Imperialist. Until one day, when she promoted her own memoir Red Azalea in Chicago, a woman asked her about Pearl and gave Anchee The Good Earth novel. She read it and cried all over it. From then on the idea to write Pearl of China came to her mind.

The book already translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Penerbit Qanita on February 2011. Great story. Good translation. Highly recommended.

Pondok Baca Kembali Ke Semarang

I have read many books written by Nh. Dini. But my favorite is Cerita Kenangan series since it is Nh. Dini's memoir. I always love reading memoir. There is always a lesson there. From her childhood as written in Sebuah Lorong di Kotaku (1986), her experience as a stewardess in Kemayoran (2000), her marriage with a France diplomat and her experience when living in Japan in Jepun Negerinya Hiroko (2002), finally she had a divorce and went back to Indonesia in Argenteuil, Hidup Memisahkan Diri (2008). Pondok Baca is the 12th book from the series, just published by Gramedia on February 2011.

This time Dini tells about her life after returning back to her hometown, Semarang. She started to rearrange her life. At first she stayed at her parents' home and began her Pondok Baca for the kids and teens in the neighborhood. But since her older sister also lives there with her hubby and kids, it seemed that Dini didnot get along well with them. She needed to find a new place to live and also a place for Pondok Baca. With helps from her best friends finally she could get a nice place to live. Unfortunately due to natural disasters, she needed to move 3 times from her homes, until finally she could have her permanent home.

As usual Nh. Dini always writes her story in a slow way. She tells everything in detail. You need patience to finish it. But reading her memoir gives a great lesson of life. I follow her life since she was a little child in a small village, she finally moved to Jakarta and became stewardess, she got married to a France diplomat, having 2 kids and they lived in many countries within 20 years, from Japan, France, USA and many more. After getting divorce, she went back to Indonesia all alone, her adult daughter lives in Canada while her son lives in France. What a long and hard life she has.

Nh. Dini lives her life only by writing. She couldn't depend her life on royalty from her books since the royalty amount is less than tax that she had to pay. No wonder she finally finds difficulties in affording her life and supporting Pondok Baca. Moreover she suffered from serious illnesses. Government also seem not having enough attention to the senior authors. Luckily she has many friends who care about her.

Therefore she finally asks money for every interview, every workshop she attended, every paper she made, etc. In a short time the news about Nh. Dini always asks for money spread among journalists. She admitted it. She isn't ashamed about it. She said that she just wanted to be appreciated. Since 2006 she lives in Wisma Lansia near Ungaran Mount, 30 kilometers from Semarang.

Kicau Kacau

Aren't we all trapped in our little 'prisons'? Jobs, relationships, daily routines. If we can't break free, it's time to decorate them
(Twitter, January 11, 2009)

An anthology of Indra Herlambang's writings. Yes, Indra Herlambang, the host of Insert in Trans TV. I once read his articles in a magazine and enjoyed it. When I found his book in Gramedia, I directly bought it. The book is about Indra's articles from Indra Herlambang's column in several magazines, i.e. Free Magazine, U Magazine and ME.

Indra divided his books into 4 chapters, the life style, the love, Jakarta and family. He started each article with a related tweet like I quoted above. He delivers his thought in a simple yet interesting way. Humorous and witty at the sametime.

I enjoy every article, every sentence and curious about the ending. Most topic are about everyday life. About facebook and why lately people tend to show off there, about his interview with Miyabi, about Obama, about the difference between twitter and the real birds, and many more, but the most touching part is about family. It seems that he is so close to his family. When he wrote about his family particularly his parents, I know it comes from heart.

Never thought that Indra's writings are so entertained. I finished this book in a short time. A perfect companion while sipping my caramel tea.

A Beautiful Package

Yesterday I got a surprising package from Mbak Yana. It's handmade bags. 2 tote bags for my girls, Najla and Zea, and 1 batik handbag for me. They are very pretty. Never thought that Mbak Yana is truly amazing in sewing. She said she's only a beginner. But after checking her works, I guess I don't believe it. Her works are very good . I envy her. Really hope that I could be as good as her. Gosh.. I need to rearrange my schedule and take the sewing class very soon. Anyway, thanks a lot and congrats for your great works, mbak^^

Yasmin Ahmad's Films

It's not the inevitable death that should be mourned.
It's life that must be celebrated, as long as we are open enough to see, hear and love.

A friend lent me this book and 2 DVDs of Yasmin Ahmad films (Mukhsin & Talentime). So now from 6 films of the late Yasmin Ahmad's works (Rabun, Sepet, Gubra, Mukhsin, Muallaf, Talentime), it's only Rabun that I have not watched yet.

The book itself tells about Yasmin Ahmad's 6 films, 2 commercials and 2 internet shorts. Written down in a detail yet witty way by Amir Muhammad, a writer, publisher and occasional movie-maker in Malaysia.

Reading this book will bring memories about Yasmin's lifetime works. Really hope that someday soon we could get all her works here in Indonesia easily.

Minggu Pagi di Victoria Park

Once I felt disappointed when I missed the opportunity to watch this movie since it was only played in certain theater for a short period. Thank God Jive Collection finally released this VCD on December 2010. Beside the VCD, I also got a bookmark perhaps as a compliment. Just a simple thing actually but I always heart bookmarks.

A Fresh Caramel Tea

One of my best friends who just returned from Singapore gave me this caramel flavored tea as a souvenir. The taste of the tea is very rich. I try to add some milk on it and it's just felt heaven. Unfortunately I couldn't find this tea in Jakarta. I have already browsed around the supermarket in Jakarta and get nothing.

The tea is actually produced in Bekasi, Indonesia but it seems it is an exported product. Therefore it is not sold in Indonesia *sigh*. Whoaaa...should I go to Singapore just to buy this super fresh tea? *crying*

It's a 6th Birthday

Yesterday was Najla's 6th birthday. We had a simple birthday party at her school. Surrounded by cheerful classmates could really double her happiness. So, here they are the birthday girl, the birthday party,the birthday cake, the goody bags, the presents and most important things are the birthday wishes.

Happy 6th birthday sweety, how grateful we are to have you, keep shining...^^