|Lie Kim Hok
|Dutch East Indies (today Indonesia)
|Lie Kim Hok
Tjhit Liap Seng (Perfected Spelling: Chit Liap Seng, Hokkien Chinese for Seven Stars or Pleiades; Chinese :七粒星; Pe̍h-ōe-jī :chhit lia̍p seng), also known as Bintang Toedjoeh in Malay, is an 1886 novel by Lie Kim Hok. It is considered the first Chinese Malay novel.
In Canton, a baby girl is delivered to a group of seven male students who call themselves the "Seven Stars", during their meeting. They name the child Tjhit Seng Nio and agree to raise her together. Eight years later, after the group graduates, Seng Nio is enrolled in a school for girls. Her adoptive fathers find their own employment, but stay in contact. When Seng Nio turns 14, her guardians argue whether to either choose a husband for her, or let her find her own.
Meanwhile, one of Seng Nio's guardians, Tjin Hoe, is unintentionally swept up in the Taiping Rebellion when he mistakenly believes that he is bankrupt. Though Tjin Hoe asks his father's friend Ong Thaj (real name: Thio Giok) to kill him, the latter is unwilling to do so and asks the leader of the rebellion, Lauw Seng, to do so. When Tjin Hoe realises that he is not bankrupt after all, he attempts to prevent his death, tracking Lauw Seng down to the Great Wall of China. The rebel leader captures Tjin Hoe and declares that the former student must die for being so willing to waste his life. He locks Tjin Hoe in a coffin and sends him to Shanghai by boat. There Ong Thaj reveals that the challenge was meant to make Tjin Hoe value his life better.
After her studies, Seng Nio is sent off to be a private teacher. Her student, Bwee Phek, falls in love with her, but as her family's history is not clear – and thus the possibility that she and Bwee Phek have the same family name cannot be ruled out – Seng Nio's guardians decide to send her to another school, to stop the blossoming romance. At the home of Sie Boen Tong, Seng Nio is mistreated and eventually kicked out of the house by Boen Tong's jealous wife. She finds shelter at a house belonging to Entjim Tjoene, who had helped her during her travels, only to find that it is a brothel. With the help of one of her guardians, Na Giam, she manages to leave, avoiding the forceful advances of the self-entitled womaniser Lauw Khok.
In another city, Seng Nio finds protection at the home of Goat Nio, a poor woman whose husband was captured by Taiping rebels. Seng Nio helps an old man, Thio Tian, who is stunned at her resemblance to his dead wife. When Seng Nio falls ill, he agrees to take her and Goat Nio to live at his house. Thio Tian, after a lengthy search, discovers that Seng Nio is his granddaughter, born of Goat Nio and Thio Giok. Finally, with Seng Nio's identity revealed, Thio Tan agrees to have her married to Bwee Phek. Although an upset Lauw Khok refuses to accept this, Seng Nio's guardians take him away so that he cannot bother her anymore; he dies soon afterwards.
Tjhit Liap Seng was written by Lie Kim Hok (1853–1912), a Buitenzorg (today Bogor, Indonesia)-born ethnic Chinese writer. Schooled by missionaries, Lie was well-read in European literature, including the works of Dutch writers such as Anna Louisa Geertruida Bosboom-Toussaint and Jacob van Lennep,as well as works by French authors like Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas and Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail. Lie had previously written a syair (a traditional Malay form of poetry), the four-volume Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari , in 1886; this book, dealing with a gender-disguised warrior who conquers the Sultanate of Hindustan to save her husband, became one of Lie's best-known works. Scholar of Chinese Malay literature Claudine Salmon considers Tjhit Liap Seng the first Chinese Malay novel.
In his 1958 biography of Lie, Tio Ie Soei revealed that the novel was an amalgamation of two European works: Jacob van Lennep's Klaasje Zevenster (1865) and Jules Verne's Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (1879).This was not the only work which Lie had adapted without giving attribution; Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari had been shown to be adapted from Syair Abdul Muluk a quarter of a century earlier. Lie was not the only contemporary ethnic Chinese writer who adapted European stories for audiences in the Indies; Thio Tjin Boen had drawn inspiration from La Dame aux camélias , by Alexandre Dumas, fils, in writing his Sie Tjaij Kim, whilst Chen Wen Zwan had drawn on Leo Tolstoy's Kreitzerova Sonata in writing his story Setan dan Amor.
Claudine Salmon, in her article "Aux origines du roman malais moderne: Tjhit Liap Seng ou les «Pléiades» de Lie Kim Hok (1886–87)", compares Tjhit Liap Seng with van Lennep and Verne's works. She finds numerous changes, including character names (Tjhin Hoe for Kin Fo, for instance) and the combination of two narratives. The most dramatic difference, she finds, is in the conclusion of the novels. In Klaasje Zevenster, Nicolette (Seng Nio in Tjhit Liap Seng) does not regain her status nor live a happy married life. Instead, she dies soon after marriage, still bearing a great degree of shame. Adaptations from Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine are generally more similar to the original work, whereas adaptations from Klaasje Zevenster are more often than not abbreviated.
Unlike contemporary Indies works set in China, which were generally translations of Chinese literature, the chapters in Tjhit Liap Seng do not begin with two parallel lines summarising the chapter's contents.The end of the novel shows influences from detective stories.
Tjhit Liap Seng was published between 1886 and 1887 over eight volumes, totally 500 pages in length.
In the foreword to the second printing of his 1927 novel Boenga Roos dari Tjikembang , the author Kwee Tek Hoay described Tjhit Liap Seng as an example of a high-quality work of Chinese Malay literature, one which was also commercially successful in its time.
Siti Akbari is a 1940 film from the Dutch East Indies directed by Joshua and Othniel Wong and produced by Tan Khoen Yauw. Starring Roekiah and Rd Mochtar, it follows a couple while the husband commits adultery.
Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari is an 1884 Malay-language syair (poem) by Lie Kim Hok. Adapted indirectly from the Sjair Abdoel Moeloek, it tells of a woman who passes as a man to free her husband from the Sultan of Hindustan, who had captured him in an assault on their kingdom.
Lie Kim Hok was a peranakan Chinese teacher, writer, and social worker active in the Dutch East Indies and styled the "father of Chinese Malay literature". Born in Buitenzorg, West Java, Lie received his formal education in missionary schools and by the 1870s was fluent in Sundanese, vernacular Malay, and Dutch, though he was unable to understand Chinese. In the mid-1870s he married and began working as the editor of two periodicals published by his teacher and mentor D. J. van der Linden. Lie left the position in 1880. His wife died the following year. Lie published his first books, including the critically acclaimed syair (poem) Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari and grammar book Malajoe Batawi, in 1884. When van der Linden died the following year, Lie purchased the printing press and opened his own company.
Boenga Roos dari Tjikembang is a 1927 vernacular Malay-language novel written by Kwee Tek Hoay. The seventeen-chapter book follows a plantation manager, Aij Tjeng, who must leave his beloved njai (concubine) Marsiti so that he can be married. Eighteen years later, after Aij Tjeng's daughter Lily dies, her fiancé Bian Koen discovers that Marsiti had a daughter with Aij Tjeng, Roosminah, who greatly resembles Lily. In the end Bian Koen and Roosminah are married.
Tio Ie Soei was a peranakan Chinese writer and journalist active in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia. Born in the capital at Batavia, Tio entered journalism while still a teenager. By 1911 he had begun writing fiction, publishing Sie Po Giok – his first novel – that year. Over the next 50 years Tio wrote extensively in several newspapers and magazines, serving as an editor for some. He also wrote several novels and biographies, including ones on Tan Sie Tat and Lie Kim Hok.
Sjair Abdoel Moeloek is an 1847 syair (poem) credited variously to Raja Ali Haji or his sister Saleha. It tells of a woman who passes as a man to free her husband from the Sultan of Hindustan, who had captured him in an assault on their kingdom. The book, with its theme of gender disguise common to contemporary Javanese and Malay literature, has been read as repositioning the hierarchy of men and women as well as the nobility and servants.
Syair Siti Zubaidah Perang Cina is a 19th-century syair (poem) by an unknown author. Following a gender disguised woman who conquers China to save her husband, the syair has been argued to be based on historical events.
Tjerita Sie Po Giok, atawa Peroentoengannja Satoe Anak Piatoe is a 1911 children's novel from the Dutch East Indies written by Tio Ie Soei in vernacular Malay. It tells the story of Sie Po Giok, a young orphan who faces several challenges while living with his uncle in Batavia. The story, which has been called the only work of children's literature produced by Chinese Malay writers, has been read as promoting traditional gender roles and questioning Chinese identity.
Allah jang Palsoe is a 1919 stage drama from the Dutch East Indies that was written by the ethnic Chinese author Kwee Tek Hoay based on E. Phillips Oppenheim's short story "The False Gods". Over six acts, the Malay-language play follows two brothers, one a devout son who holds firmly to his morals and personal honour, while the other worships money and prioritises personal gain. Over more than a decade, the two learn that money is not the path to happiness.
Tjerita "Oeij-se": Jaitoe Satoe Tjerita jang Amat Endah dan Loetjoe, jang Betoel Soedah Kedjadian di Djawa Tengah is a 1903 Malay-language novel by the ethnic Chinese writer Thio Tjin Boen. It details the rise of a Chinese businessman who becomes rich after finding a kite made of paper money in a village, who then uses dishonesty to advance his personal wealth before disowning his daughter after she converts to Islam and marries a Javanese man.
The njai were women who were kept as housekeepers, companions, and concubines in the Dutch East Indies. In the Javanese language, the word nyai meant "sister", but the term later took a more specific meaning. Author Rob Nieuwenhuys described the position of the njai as always subservient, being the white man's housekeeper and companion, before she was his concubine.
Lauw Giok Lan was a Chinese Indonesian journalist and writer. He was one of the founders of the newspaper Sin Po.
The Cabang Atas — literally 'highest branch' in Indonesian — was the traditional Chinese establishment or gentry of colonial Indonesia. They were the families and descendants of the Chinese officers, high-ranking colonial civil bureaucrats with the ranks of Majoor, Kapitein and Luitenant der Chinezen. They were referred to as the baba bangsawan [‘Chinese gentry’] in Indonesian, and the ba-poco in Java Hokkien.
Tan Tjin Kie, Majoor-titulair der Chinezen was a high-ranking bureaucrat, courtier, sugar baron and head of the prominent Tan family of Cirebon, part of the ‘Cabang Atas’ or Chinese gentry of the Dutch East Indies. He is best remembered today for his lavish, 40-day-long funeral ceremony of 1919, reputedly the most expensive ever held in Java.
Perniagaan was a Malay language Peranakan Chinese newspaper in Batavia, Dutch East Indies from 1907 to 1930. The newspaper was the conservative rival of Sin Po and was closely associated with the Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan and the Chinese Officer system.
Kwee Kek Beng was a Chinese Indonesian journalist and writer, best known for being editor-in-chief of the popular Malay language newspaper Sin Po from 1925 to 1947.
Oey Giok Koen, Kapitein der Chinezen was a Chinese-Indonesian public figure, bureaucrat and Landheer, best known for his role as Kapitein der Chinezen of Tangerang and Meester Cornelis, and as one of the richest landowners in the Dutch East Indies. As Kapitein, he headed the local Chinese civil administration in Tangerang and Meester Cornelis as part of the Dutch colonial system of 'indirect rule'. In 1893, he bought the particuliere landen or private domains of Tigaraksa and Pondok Kosambi.