Time Travel with Asmara

by Holger

My dearest Ibu Magdalena,

my dearest Nababan siblings Juanita, Natasha, Aviva and Nathan,


Today is October 28.


‘It takes courage to push yourself to places

that you have never been before,

to test your limits,

to break through barriers.

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’

Anaïs Nin


On this special day, I’d like to dare to share some of my thoughts and feelings with you and I hope this is okay for you. My following little story seems to be a story of futility and hope and blossoms as well.

On the one hand it is as sad as true that I will never meet in person your husband – Ibu, and your father – Juanita, Natasha, Aviva, Nathan, and yes, Cupi, your former master (at least as far as I know he was your master once).

On the other hand, all of you Nababans have told me so many beautiful and impressing stories about Pak Asmara (including Cupi who barked them to me secretly via WhatsApp video call), that Asmara seemed to me like a person who I have known somehow in a mysterious way, like in a dream, but a great, majestic and modest dream and yet also real at the same time.

It is in this perspective that I also feel that there is more about it, about him, his legacy – this is true, when anyone of you is speaking reverently of him.

There is this German poem line of Erich Fried. The line says:

It is what it is, love says.”

And in every line of text content, even in every line of code and every pixel of photos and design of asmaranababan.org, it seems to me that it was, it is love to Asmara and his legacy that got this awesome job done. It is thanks to this website, I had the unique chance to time travel to meet Asmara personally and to get to know more about the legacy of his thoughts, feelings and ideas – ideas as fresh as a new morning that ‘has broken like the first morning’.

Enjoying Asmara’s website is a touching experience to me: I am listening to him in interviews, seeing and meeting him with his family. I am reading the impressive Oase book and I am learning many new things about politics, Indonesia, him, also I am admiring his artwork and his merits for children. And last but not least, I am enjoying Pak Asmara and Ibu Magdalena as actors. And so will all the other visitors do as well.

With this website something really great and beautiful has been created by you, Aviva, and all of your supporters. Thanks a lot for this beautiful opportunity for me as a non- Indonesian- speaker.  

The relevance of the site’s content and values go without saying. The messages and love and ideas of Pak Asmara are still more than relevant and outstanding and are blooming since this is and will always be a story of hope and blossoms.


A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Its loveliness increases; it will never

pass into nothingness.’

John Keats


Herzliche regards,


_Penulis: Holger_

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