Letters of a Javanese Princess

Through these letters, written between 1899 and 1904, the compassion, growth, humility, and pride of a young Indonesian woman, Raden Adjeng Kartini, reach out for the reader to embrace and hold dear.
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I would go still further, always further. I do not desire to go out to feasts, and little frivolous amusements. That has never been the cause of my longing for freedom. I long to be free, to be able to stand alone, to study, not to be subject to any one, and, above all, never, never to be obliged to marry.
She did not desire to make of her people pseudo-Europeans but better Javanese.
nadiahas quotedlast year
I long to be free, to be able to stand alone, to study, not to be subject to any one, and, above all, never, never to be obliged to marry.
Olliehas quotedlast year
Kartini's best friend at school was a little Hollander, Letsy, the daughter of the head master. A question of Letsy's, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" both puzzled and interested her. When she went home after school was over, she repeated the question anxiously, "What am I going to be when I grow up?" Her father, who loved her very dearly, did not answer but smiled and pinched her cheek. An older brother overheard her and said, "What should a girl become, why a Raden Ajoe of course." Raden Ajoe is the title of a Javanese married woman of high rank, while the unmarried daughter of a regent is Raden Adjeng.
In Kartini a spirit of rebellion was awakened which grew with the years. Even as a child she vowed that she would not become merely a Raden Ajoe, she would be strong, combat all prejudice and shape her own destiny. But she was soon to feel the weight of convention pressing upon her with inexorable force. When she reached the age of twelve and a half she was considered by her parents old enough to leave school and remain at home in seclusion according to the established usage. Some day there would have to be a wedding and a Javanese bridegroom was chosen by the girl's parents and often never seen by his bride until after the ceremony, as her presence was not required at that solemnity.
To my mind there are only two kinds of aristocracy, the aristocracy of the mind, and the aristocracy of the soul—of those who are noble in spirit. I think there is nothing more commonplace than those people who allow themselves to depend upon their so called "high birth

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