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When We Became the People from Bloomington

Book Chronicles / Essay


In this article:
People from Bloomington


Written by Tiffany Tsao, originally published in Sydney Review of Books

Feb 07, 2023

In late March 2020, I sent a WhatsApp message to the Indonesian author Budi Darma asking him to be careful about the new virus spreading around the globe. I worried that if he contracted it, the consequences might be dire. By all reports, the elderly were especially susceptible, and he was about to turn 83. I apologised for causing him any alarm. Perhaps I was simply being a worrywart. Budi Darma’s reply was gracious. ‘Don’t apologize, Kak Tiffany. I’m genuinely grateful,’ he replied in Indonesian (which was what we used when speaking with each other). ‘May God protect us all.’ ‘Amen, Pak Budi,’ I replied. ‘Yes, Kak Tiffany. Amen.’

Read the full article here.



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