The 169th birthday of Sundanese author and scholar Lasminingrat, who paved the way for subsequent generations of Indonesian women, is celebrates in today’s handsewn Doodle.
On this date in 1854, Raden Ayu Lasminingrat was born in Garut, Indonesia, to Raden Ayu Ria and Raden Haji Muhamad Musa, a Sundanese scholar and pioneer of printed literature. She was forced to be taken care of by Levyson Norman, a friend of her father, in order to complete her education in Sumedang. He taught her Dutch and helped Lasminingrat become the first Indonesian woman at the time to be able to write and read Dutch fluently. Lasminigrat aspired to achieve gender parity for all Indonesian women after mastering Dutch writing and speaking skills.
Lasminingrat translated European fairy tales into Sundanese using her literacy skills. In 1879, under her father’s direction, she began instructing Indonesian children. She taught basic moral education and psychology and read adaptations aloud. Her work introduced native Indonesian children to other cultures and provided them with education. She continued to translate books into Sundanese, including Warnasari volumes 1 and 2, which were well-liked all over Indonesia.
The Sekolaha Keutamaan Istri was founded in 1907 by Lasminingrat. Women’s literacy and empowerment were promoted in the open environment and learning area. In 1911, the Dutch East Indies government recognized the school, which had 200 students and 5 classes. The school continued to expand over time, eventually reaching Wetan Garut, Cikajang, and Bayongbong in 1934.
Thank you, Lasminingrat for dedicating your life to empowering Indonesian women and being a pioneer in women’s education.
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