Het Geihem van Meede - Rahasia Meede
For the last week I've been annoying everyone I met with Rahasia Meede by E. S. Ito. It's a book that I encourage (or sometimes push) people to buy and read. I, myself, needed to be convinced by Kompas' book review section to actually get a copy and read it pages. And it was one of my wisest decisions so far (well, maybe I'm a bit exaggerating).
It's fiction but to be totally honest, I don't feel like I'm reading one. The book is basically about the mystery of VOC's (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) treasure that is believed to be kept somewhere in this archipelago. The characters are strongly depicted and we can't do anything but voluntarily sucked in by their intensities.
But what I love the most about Rahasia Meede is the elaboration of Indonesia's history throughout the colonialism era until the earlier days of independence through a fine tailoring of stories from different characters and point of views.
In my school years, I was not a kid who loved history. I sure did cover the basic things to pass the requested score, such as the existence of VOC as a company, some (very) famous Governor Generals and scarcely on the founding fathers, but there was never a true passion for history. Everything changed the day I read Gadis Pantai by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. And Rahasia Meede reminds me of Pramoedya's works.
Why do you NEED to read Rahasia Meede? Simply because you have to know where you came from and what made you (and the rest of us) who you (and we) are today. The book criticized and challenged your knowledge and intelligence. You might feel offended, but in the end you will know that you can do better, for yourself and for this extraordinary country. I came to realize that it really has been a long road for us, but I also realized that we have not yet crashed and burned (at least not totally) and there is a chance to make live better for all of us. There is! Just read it and you will feel the same way too.