Set in Sumatra in the 1950s, Jaipong Dancer is a story of lost innocence and complex moral dilemmas. It follows the journey of Yahyu, a young Javanese dancer, who runs away from a forced marriage and becomes unwittingly involved in the violent struggle for Sumatra’s independence from Jakarta.
On her long passage from fame to ignominy Yahyu experiences love, hate, sexual slavery and the horror of the rebels’ last bloody struggle deep in the forests of the Barisan Mountains. During her life Yahyu has been a mother, a wife, a murderer and a tramp, while struggling to maintain her basic belief in right and wrong. Could her lost husband and child ever understand and accept her apparent fall from grace?
About the author
Patrick Sweeting worked for the United Nations on issues of conflict prevention and recovery and has been living and working in Asia for over 30 years. He has spent many years in Indonesia, studying behaviour, crime and conflict and speaks several local languages. Patrick studied for a PhD in Social Anthropology at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.