On February 9, 2019, Dalang Publishing celebrated its publication of Blood Moon over Aceh, Maya Denisa Saputra’s English translation of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur with a Selamatan in San Mateo, California.
Despite the raging storm, about 26 invitees were present. We were honored by the presence of Bapak Hanggiro Setiabudi, Acting Consul General, of the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco; Bapak Susapto Anggoro Broto, Consul of Consulair Affairs; Ibu Riena Dwi Astuty, Consul of Cultural Affairs; and Ibu Cindy German, her assistant.
Sylvia Tiwon, professor of Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley; Virginia Shih, librarian of SOEA Library at UC Berkeley; and Jacqueline Siapno, one of the back cover reviewers of Blood Moon over Aceh, were also among the attendees.
In addition to pointing out the importance of Nur’s work, Siapno generously shared some of her experiences during the time she lived in Aceh.
Ibu Lian started the evening with opening remarks and a presentation of a copy of Lolong Anjing di Bulan and Blood Moon over Aceh to Bapak Hanggiro for the Consulate’s Library.
In turn, Bapak Hanggiro expressed his gratitude and acknowledged Dalang Publishing’s efforts to bring Indonesian literature to the Western world. He also shared his personal ties with Aceh and the government’s continued efforts to develop Aceh.
Dinner was started by Ibu Lian presenting the top of the tumpeng to Bapak Hanggiro as the guest of honor.
Because the novel’s story is set in Aceh, we served ayam tangkap and plik’eu, two authentic Acehnese dishes, as part of the regular side dishes that accompany the nasi tumpeng. Agem was in charge of the food preparation — a delicious spread that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
With her involvement in the publication of Blood Moon over Aceh, Tuti got her feet wet in the real publishing world. Her well-prepared introduction to Blood Moon over Aceh at the Selamatan was her successful debut to present a new title to the public.
The evening ended with Ibu Lian reading a short excerpt of Blood Moon over Aceh.
As usual, the guests were given a copy of the celebrated publication as a party favor.