Soe Hok Gie
Soe Hok Gie was a Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesians, also called the Indonesian Chinese, are an overseas Chinese group whose ancestors emigrated from China to Indonesia, formerly a colony of the Netherlands known as the Dutch East Indies...

Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 who opposed the successive dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

s of Presidents Sukarno
Sukarno, born Kusno Sosrodihardjo was the first President of Indonesia.Sukarno was the leader of his country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands and was Indonesia's first President from 1945 to 1967...

 and Suharto.


Soe was an ethnic Chinese
Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesians, also called the Indonesian Chinese, are an overseas Chinese group whose ancestors emigrated from China to Indonesia, formerly a colony of the Netherlands known as the Dutch East Indies...

 Roman Catholic, the fourth of five children in his family; his elder brother Arief Budiman
Arief Budiman
Arief Budiman , also known as Soe Hok Djin , is the older brother of Soe Hok Gie. He graduated from Kolese Kanisius, a Jesuit high school, and then Universitas Indonesia where he earned a bachelor degree in psychology in 1968. In 1980, he earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, USA...

, a sociologist and lecturer
Lecturer is an academic rank. In the United Kingdom, lecturer is a position at a university or similar institution, often held by academics in their early career stages, who lead research groups and supervise research students, as well as teach...

 at Satya Wacana Christian University, was also quite a vocal critical voice in Indonesian politics.

After spending his final years of senior high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 at Kanisius
Kolese Kanisius is a high school in Menteng, Central Jakarta, Indonesia. It was established in 1927 by a group of Jesuit pastors, and is a Jesuit school...

, Soe attended the University of Indonesia
University of Indonesia
The Universitas Indonesia, is a state, comprehensive world class university located in Depok, West Java and Salemba, Jakarta, Indonesia. Universitas Indonesia is the oldest tertiary-level educational institution in Indonesia...

 (UI) from 1962 until 1969; upon finishing university he became a lecturer at his alma mater
Alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

 until his death. It was during his time as a student that Soe became an active dissident, protesting against President Sukarno and the PKI
Communist Party of Indonesia
The Communist Party of Indonesia was the largest non-ruling communist party in the world prior to being crushed in 1965 and banned the following year.-Forerunners:...

. Soe was a productive writer, with articles published in such newspapers as Kompas
Kompas is the most widely read newspaper in Indonesia. Published by Kompas-Gramedia Group Publishing since June 28, 1965, it has a reputation in Indonesia for high-quality writing and investigative journalism...

, Harian Kami, Sinar Harapan, Mahasiswa Indonesia, and Indonesia Raya
Indonesia Raya (newspaper)
Indonesia Raya was an Indonesian newspaper co-founded in 1949 by Mochtar Lubis. Before its permanent closure in 1974, it was banned numerous times by both the Sukarno and Suharto governments.-History:...

. After the release of Riri Riza's Gie
Gie is a 2005 Indonesian film directed by Riri Riza. The film tells the story of Soe Hok Gie, a graduate from University of Indonesia who is known as an activist and nature lover. The film is based on a diary Catatan Seorang Demonstran written by Soe himself...

in 2005, his articles were compiled by Stanley and Aris Santoso and republished with the title Zaman Peralihan (Transition Era) by publisher GagasMedia.

An avid proponent of living close to nature, Soe quoted Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

 in his diary: "Now I see the secret of the making of the best person. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth". In 1965, Soe helped found Mapala UI, a student environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 organisation. He enjoyed hiking, and indeed died through inhaling poisonous gas while hiking up the volcanic
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 Mount Semeru
Semeru, or Mount Semeru , is a volcano located in East Java, Indonesia. It is the highest mountain on the island of Java...

 on the day before his 27th birthday
A birthday is a day or anniversary where a person celebrates his or her date of birth. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with a gift, party or rite of passage. Although the major religions celebrate the birth of their founders , Christmas – which is celebrated widely by...

. He was laid to rest in what is now the Museum of the Park of Memorial Stones
Taman Prasasti Museum
Taman Prasasti Museum or Museum of Memorial Stone Park is a museum located in Jakarta, Indonesia. The museum was formerly a cemetery, built by the Dutch colonial government in 1795 as a final resting place for noble Dutchmen...

 () in Central Jakarta
Central Jakarta
Central Jakarta is one of the five cities which form Jakarta, Indonesia. It had 898,883 inhabitants at the 2010 Census.Central Jakarta is the smallest in area and population of the five cities of Jakarta. It is the administrative and political center of Jakarta and Indonesia...


Fittingly, Soe once wrote in his diary:
"Seorang filsuf Yunani pernah menulis ... nasib terbaik adalah tidak dilahirkan, yang kedua dilahirkan tapi mati muda, dan yang tersial adalah umur tua. Rasa-rasanya memang begitu. Bahagialah mereka yang mati muda."

This roughly translates to English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as "A Greek philosopher once wrote ... The best fate is that of the unborns, the second one is that of those born yet die young, and the worst is that of those who die in the old age. I feel that this is right: Happy are those who die young." Soe attributed the statement, which echoes similar comments from Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

, to an anonymous Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...


His diary was published in 1983, under the title Catatan Seorang Demonstran
Catatan Seorang Demonstran
Catatan Seorang Demonstran or Catatan Harian Seorang Demonstran is the diary of Indonesian activist Soe Hok Gie, published in 1983....

(English: Annotations of a Demonstrator). Soe's university thesis was also published, as Di Bawah Lantera Merah (Under the Red Lantern).

Soe's diary served as the inspiration for a 2005 film, Gie
Gie is a 2005 Indonesian film directed by Riri Riza. The film tells the story of Soe Hok Gie, a graduate from University of Indonesia who is known as an activist and nature lover. The film is based on a diary Catatan Seorang Demonstran written by Soe himself...

, which was directed by Riri Riza
Riri Riza
Riri Riza is an Indonesian film director, film producer and screenwriter.-Education, early career:Riri graduated in 1993 from the Jakarta Arts Institute, where he majored in film directing. His final film project, Sonata Kampung Bata , won third place in the 1994 Oberhausen short film festival...

 and starred Nicholas Saputra
Nicholas Saputra
Nicholas Schubring Saputra is an Indonesian actor, model and VJ. Saputra is primarily known for his role in the break-out teen movie Ada Apa dengan Cinta?, as well as his role as the activist Soe Hok Gie in the film Gie. Saputra holds a degree in architecture from the University of Indonesia...

 as Soe Hok Gie. Soe is also the subject of a 1997 book, written by Dr John Maxwell
John Maxwell
John Maxwell may refer to:*John Maxwell, 4th Lord Maxwell , Scottish nobleman and head of the Border family of Maxwell*John Maxwell , Scottish prelate, Archbishop of Tuam, Bishop of Ross...

 and entitled Soe Hok-Gie: Diary of a Young Indonesian Intellectual. The book was translated into Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 in 2001, and re-titled Soe Hok-Gie: Pergulatan Intelektual Muda Melawan Tirani (which roughly translates to English as Soe Hok-Gie: A Young Intellectual's Struggle Against Tyranny).

External links

Mapala UI
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