Claiming Space

To censor is to say certain voices are not okay. When you don’t see people like yourself represented, you may feel isolated. That’s why intolerant groups must not be allowed to define what it means to be Indonesian. We owe it to ourselves to take care of our diversity—to realize a country where everyone can be true to themselves.

Between Languages Between Worlds

My Javanese father gave me the Javanese name ‘Handayani’—he dislikes going out and likes to eat only Indonesian food; he believes it is his right and obligation to be the head of the family. My Madurese mother gave me the Western name ‘Eliza’—she likes traveling and trying cuisines from around the world; she believes in the values her parents taught her: obedience to husband, submission to God. Fate decided my middle name: I was born on Idul Fitri, but, horrified at the thought of her first-born named like every other baby girl born that day, my mother swapped the F in ‘Fitri’ for a V. ‘Vitri’: fate tweaked by free will.