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”Bonntianak”, stories about Bonn and Pontianak

By Carina Lang *

The book Bonntianak Eine Freundschaft zwischen Bonn und Pontianak was published in 2016 by TOP Indonesia in Pontianak. It was written by Mrs. Dwi Syafriyanti, edited by her husband Mr. Nur Iskandar and supervised by Mrs. Yanti Mirdayanti. The book consists of several short stories in which Mrs. Syafriyanti narrates the adventures of German university students in the Indonesian city of Pontianak. The title of the book (Bonntianak) is a combination of the names of the two cities and reflects the friendship between those.

The main part of the book is preceded by two prefaces: one from the writer and one from the supervisor. The prefaces explain how the internship program relating the two cities was created. In 2001 Mrs. Mirdayanti and Mr. Iskandar met at a Journalism Summer Training in the USA. They became friends and stayed in contact when Mrs. Mirdayanti started to work at University Bonn in Germany as a language teacher for Bahasa Indonesia and Mr. Iskandar went back to Pontianak to continue his work as a journalist. Together they developed the idea of an internship program: Mrs. Mirdayanti would send students from her language class to Pontianak, so that the students could live with and learn from Mr. Iskandar and his wife Mrs. Syafriyanti. This internship would not only give the students the opportunity to improve their knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia but also to learn more about Indonesian culture. Consequently several German students visited Pontianak between 2008 and 2010.

Baca Juga:  Keheningan di Aula Balai Benih Ikan Pontianak

Overall the book comprises short stories about 11 German students who came to Pontianak within the framework of this program. From her point of view Mrs. Syafriyanti recounts, in an amusing way, the small and big adventures and accidents of those students and how she grew to like each one of them. Many lasting friendships evolved from this internship program.

The book is concluded by acknowledgments of Mrs. Syafriyanti for the time she could spend with the students and how she could profit from this program as well. The next chapter contains pictures of the students trips within Borneo. The book is completed by a short introduction of the writer Mrs. Syafriyanti. (internship programe from Hamburg University)

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