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Cerita Cisca – encounter with history

She looks back on Apartheid in the colony of the Dutch East Indies, her student days, the Proklamation and the optimism and dynamism of the young Republic of Indonesia. She also talks about her family and the great importance of women’s emancipation.


In 10 episodes, you will listen to moments from the life of Cisca Pattipilohy, who, as a 95-year-old, looks back on various periods in her life. Periods that were partly marked by the great line of history and the various cultural transitions she experienced.


Cisca was born in 1926 in Makasar as the only daughter of Moluccan Bandanese parents in a family with three brothers. She grew up within the hierarchical structure of the colonial society with an exceptional father who, as an ‘inlander’ – an inhabitant of the indigenous group that was on the lowest rung in his own country within the apartheid society – managed to acquire his own business and a position that allowed him to send his children to study in the Netherlands, where he had to pay triple the amount of a Dutch inhabitant. Studying in the Netherlands, Cisca saw that the Dutch did ordinary work here, something that was unthinkable in the class society of the Dutch East Indies colony.