Writer Dea Offers the Open Diary of Her Life

Tasa Nugraza Barley | April 05, 2010 | Jakarta Globe
In her latest offering, the writer Ardea Rhema Sikhar, or Dea, presents a collection of simple, everyday stories drawn from her own life and experiences.

“Salamatahari” (“The Sun Greeting”), volume 2, is a bright and fun read, the sort of book that one wraps in shiny paper and gives to a good friend on her birthday.

“It’s like a diary,” Ardea said. “ Salam matahari is an everyday greeting and a warm greeting, just like the sun.”

The 28-year-old author started writing at the age of 5 and decided she wanted to become a professional writer when she was 14.

Ardea said that with “Salamatahari,” she wanted the world to see what her diary was like. “I’m like an angkot [public minivan],” she said, explaining that an angkot is like a small box full of interesting things, from the passengers themselves to the things they tell each other.

The 27 short, unrelated stories in this new volume recount different experiences from Ardea’s life.

In a story called “The Day When There Were Many Butterflies,” Ardea shares the experience of seeing butterflies in her aunt’s backyard, something she doesn’t often see in Bandung, where she lives. She sees gorgeous butterflies in white, brown, yellow and purple.

“The things that had bothered me before suddenly vanished,” she writes.

In another story, “And Your Positivity,” Ardea writes about seeing a disabled man in a wheelchair on the street. Although he couldn’t move like other men, he looked so happy with his small daughter sitting on his lap.

Ardea is inspired by the man’s courage. “His happiness was contagious to all the people around him,” she writes.

“Salamatahari” uses non-formal language that makes it accessible to all readers. Although the comic illustrations make it look like a children’s book, Ardea said she didn’t have a target readership in mind.

“This book is for everyone out there who believes that special things exist in those small things we see every day,” she said.

“Salamatahari” was released in November and is Ardea’s third book. The first volume of “Salamatahari” was released in 2006. Her second book, “Dunia Adin,” released in 2007, is a children’s book about a 6-year-old girl who draws on walls.

Ardea said everybody would take away a different message from “Salamatahari.” She said the book had elicited different reactions from her readers.

“There are those who think that my book is weird,” she said. “But there are also people who say that they’ve encountered the same experiences and decided to share the book with others.”

source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/arts/writer-dea-offers-the-open-diary-of-her-life/367629