Tuesday 4 June 2013

Multatuli's Love Letters

The Dutch writer Eduard Douwes Dekker (2 March 1820 – 19 February 1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli, published Minnebrieven  Love Letters  in 1861, which, in spite of their  title, were satires about the abuses of the Dutch colonial system in Indonesia.

In one of this love letters Multatuli tells the story of a man with several sons and one daughter. The sons want the world in, they have wishes and desires and a will.  But the daughter is the best worker that his father has and he doesn't want to let her go. So, the father and sons plot together how to keep the girl at home. The sons tell the father not to teach the girl anything. But the father is afraid that she will learn just by looking.
The sons say that the girl is too simple to have wishes, but the father knows that the girl is not dumb.
This time the sons arrived to the perfect solution: Father, tell our sister that to understand, to wish and to know...are all sins.

Why am I telling you this tale? Not only because Multatuli is probably the greatest Dutch writer ever, but because this tale is so very relevant here today.

I cannot tell you anything about what is happening in Istanbul and other Turkish cities right now. You all probably know more than we do, since there is a complete media black out in the country.

Turkey is considered to be a democratic country. The present government  was reelected with more than a 50% majority. What is not understood, is that democracy is not about what the majority wants, but about what the majority does to the other 50% that didn't want that government. Otherwise if it was about the rights of the majority, it would be no different of the rights of the people with the largest army, would it?

But why did the majority choose twice a party that is corrupt and oppressive? Are the Turkish people so dumb?

No, the Turkish people are not specially dumb, but the party in question has God at its side. And they tell the people, as a good father would do,  that to understand, to wish and to know...are all sins.


  1. You are in my thoughts, Esther and Estella. You can imagine how close to my heart the situation is...
    Big hugs to both of you!!!!

  2. Strong and thought provoking post, Estella. It's hard to imagine your actual situation from here, media or not. Faith, strength and hugs!

    And thanks for telling about Multatuli, I will take a closer look on his texts. (As a lighter sidenote, multatuli means soil fire in Finnish.)

  3. Keeping you in our thoughts!Keep safe!AriadnefromGreece!

  4. Wow... Love the story, so sad and machiavellian. Even with the media blocked out, you got it so right. Hang in there, there is nothing stronger than the voice of democracy rising from people standing in the streets. Keeping you in my thoughts, take care!

  5. Sad story!! Cannot believe what is happening in the Middle East, my sister went to Turkey last summer, its such a beautiful country!!You have two interesting blogs, maybe we can follow each other, let us know.
    a beautiful maison