Friday, 22 May 2009

An extremely creative teacher, friend and brother

For me Cak Nun is a travelling library. He is an extremely creative teacher, friend and brother. His understanding of politics, social affairs, the economy and culture is as broad as his understanding of sport, especially football. And his grasp of diversity is unique and authentic.
As well as being an intellectual and cultural expert, as a poet Cak Nun occupies a very special position. In the 70s people were shocked at his performance poetry, which was conducted with gamelan onstage. And then, the performances of “Syair Lautan Jilbab”[1] in Makassar (Sulawesi, or the Celebes), attended by audiences of 15,000.
And what makes me so respectful is his consistency in defending the marginalised and the poor. His loyalty and solidarity stand out. I was once stuck for words during a discussion in 1990 in Yogyakarta and Cak Nun helped me with his intelligent contribution, full of wisdom.

[1] Verses from The Sea of Veils
By Jose Rizal Manua, award-winning dramatist, cultural observer and writer.
Translated by Ian L. Betts

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Betts, thank you for all of your works about Cak Nun, your writings help me "understanding" Cak Nun from different side, because until now it's still difficult for me to know how Cak Nun thinks. Thanks a lot.