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UNESCO Designates the Birthdays of 2 National Heroes as International Days

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Jakarta, IO – UNESCO closed its 42nd General Assembly in Paris, Wed (22/11) with the announcement that the birthdays of two Indonesian heroic figures, Keumalahayati and AA Navis, to be celebrated internationally, per Detikcom, Sat (2/12).

The decision took into account UNESCO’s purpose and philosophy in the fields of education, culture, natural sciences, social sciences and humanity, as well as gender representation. The proposal also met the criteria of receiving support from at least two countries and has a major impact on the country or the world.

Keumalahayati is one of the early-day Indonesian heroine. Born on January 1, 1550 in Aceh, she was recognized for her bravery and sacrifice in defending her homeland. She grew up in a region known for its strong maritime traditions. She was introduced to naval warfare from a young age because her father was Admiral Mahmud Syah, a respected naval commander of the Aceh fleet.

When his father died, Keumalahayati was appointed as the new admiral, not least the first female admiral in the history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Ali Akbar Navis, better known as AA Navis, is a prominent Indonesian writer and humanist who has produced a number of major literary works. He also mentored many great writers throughout his life.

AA Navis was born in Padangpanjang, West Sumatra, on November 17, 1924. He is the eldest of 15 siblings. Navis grew up to be an avid reader of short stories and serial. His father supported his hobby by buying him any books he liked. This was how his passion in writing was ignited. One of his most critically-acclaimed works is “Robohnya Surau Kami”. (un)

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