Wise Women Warrior Dance of Mothers

Friday, February 12, 2010

A woman wira behind every great man?

I am sharing with you a summarized and simple list of women fighters in our history, past and present. Some known and some forgotten

From Wikipedia. Tun Fatimah was a well-known Malaysia Heroin and daughter to the Malaccan Bendahara who lived during the 16th century. She was married to Malacca's Sultan Mahmud Shah as one of his consorts after all her male siblings were executed. She was of a Tamil Muslim descent, her father was Tun Mutahir, a Bendahara (Prime Minister) in Sultan Mahmud's time. Tun Mutahir was the descendant of Tun Kudu and Tun Ali's marriage (Both are prominent figures in the times of Sultan Muzzafar Shah, the 5th Sultan of Malacca).
She was the first Malay woman to lead her people like a charismatic sovereign queen. It is said that the Portuguese were more afraid of the Queen than her reigning Sultan husband. She was known to help Tun Perak, a Malaccan bendahara, to lead the Malays in their fight against the invading Portuguese Forces in the early 16th century. Unfortunately, the Malays had later lost the war to the more technologically powerful Portuguese army. According to Malaysian historians it was a sly foreign Datuk of Malacca who gave out the secrets to them to conquer the city, and thus had eventually made the Malays lost their control of it. Perhaps the fall of Malacca is also partly due to the Sultan's cruelty. When Malacca fell to Portugal in 1511, it seemed that it was mainly Tun Fatimah's work that expanded the new Malay Johore-Riau from Johore and the Riau islands to parts of Sumatera and Borneo. The Malaccan Sultan's power was almost restricted to a figurehead. Tun Fatimah created an alliance with neighbouring kingdoms by letting her children marry the royal families of Aceh, Minangkabau and Borneo.

Next refering to the Malaysiakini visit and talk with some of the battle-hardened 'communist insurgents' on their role in gaining independence in Malaya. Here are the Malayan Communist Party women fighters.

For fifty-two years they have been forgotten for their hardships. Their struggle and fight for gaining independence for our country and till today remained unrecognised. They were members and leaders of the fearsome 10th Regiment of the Communist Party of Malaya. They were the communist guerrilla fighters that had waged a war to get rid of the British since the formation of their regiment since May 21, 1949. However, with the declaration of Emergency in 1948, the party was banned for the next 12 years. They were women leaders such Suriani Abdullah, Shamsiah Fakeh, Siti Mariam Idris, Zainab Baginda to name a few. It was said that their involvement in the independence movement in Malaya had paved the way for women participation in politics today.

They played a big role in emancipating the kampung women on issues of being independent and free. They were warriors, heroines forgotten by history. Siti Mariam, known as Atom among her comrades, joined the revolution in May 1949. She was a section leader and was involved in major fights with the enemy. " I took up arms to free my nation, for my race and religion. I have no regrets for doing that". " Women fought just as fearlessly for our ideologies as we had an equal role to paly and were accorded the same level of support and respect. My only regret is that our fight for independence is being sidelined by the others," she said.

From the book The memoirs of Shamsiah Fakeh. She was a leader in the independence women who fought persistently right into the jungles of malaya - know as ratu rimba malaya. She was the head of Angkatan wanita Sedar (AWAS), which joined forces with Angkatan Pemuda Insaf (API) as flag bearers in the demand for independence for the British. Shamsiah is also a member of the 10th Regiment, the Malay wing of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). Her life was filled with thorny obstacles. She got lost a few times in the jungle in pursuit of the armed struggle for independence. Her struggle was regardless of pace, whether in the jungle or the international arena. She and her husband Ibrahim were sent to China, Indonesia and Vietnam within a framework of inflaming the sprit of nationalism among the people of Southeast Asia who were still colonised then. Shamsiah sacrificed her life and limb to free Malaya through a path that was hers to choose. After she was expelled from MCP, she stayed on in China and continued her life there working in a ball-bearing factory. She and her family finally returned to Malaysia on 23 July 1994 . Upon her return home, she lived a moderate life in her old age with her children and grandchildren. She never regretted rising against the British and never regretted going into the jungle to join the Communist Party. She was grateful that her struggle had unsettled the colonisers.

And there is Aung San Su Kyi - a great fighter. The greatest ever wo-man martyrdom the world has seen. She is a courageous personality fighting for Myanmar's independence. She had experienced several years of jail life and was house arrested for more than six years. But that didn't stop her from pursuing her goal. Her hard work and selflessness brought a good image among the public. She fought for them and strived for them.
a note by qdagrist.

* I could only sit in awe reading and observing their history and spirit to fight for what they truly believe. Wishing I was just as brave, but I can only dance and creatively express my fights,... I find that it is a peaceful approach to stir awareness, but others like my ex, his circle of friend and family believes without a doubt that my joy and passion to create change and possess knowledge and attain enlightenment through my expressive 'fights' poses a 'danger' to my daughter and their surroundings, (but I shall not waste my time on the blog harbouring over that) I wonder how it is with the women fighters I mention above. I believe that they were well supported, or else they must have had/have husband, children and family members with strong resilience to cope and endure hardships and struggles ,... and yet standing on guard by their loved one believing, protecting and supporting her cause. Like a pillar of support. So, why not behind every great woman, is a great man? But no its a male dominated world, so I accept that behind every great man there is a great woman. But that does not mean tha I can't sing this song out loud,

Now, there was a time,
when they used to say,
that behind ev'ry great man,
there had to be a great woman.
But oh, in these times of change,
you know that it's no longer true.
So we're comin' out of the kitchen,
'cause there's something we forgot to say to you.
We say, Sisters are doin' it for themselves

Al-Fatihah for all those who have passed, unrecognized and forgotten. I shall dance for them.

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