Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Saridjah Niung (26 March 1908 – 26 May 1993) was an Indonesian musician, music teacher, children’s songwriter, radio broadcaster, playwright, and batik artist. The songs created by Mrs. Soed are very well known in Indonesian kindergarten education circles.

Life and Career

She was born on 26 March 1908, in West Java, Indonesia, and grew up in a family of musicians. Her father was a well-known composer and musician, and her mother was a singer.

Saridjah’s proficiency in music , especially playing the violin, was mostly learned from his adoptive father, Prof. Dr. Mr. JF Kramer, a retired Deputy Chief of the Hoogerechtshof ( High Prosecutor’s Office ) in Jakarta at that time, who later settled in Sukabumi and adopted him as a child. JF Kramer was an Indo-Dutch man of Javanese aristocratic descent. It was this background that educated Saridjah to be patriotic and to love his nation.

Saridjah was born as the youngest daughter of twelve siblings. Saridjah’s biological father was Mohamad Niung, a sailor from Bugis who lived for a long time in Sukabumi and later became JF Kramer’s bodyguard.

Saridjah Niung began singing at a young age and quickly developed a passion for traditional Indonesian music. She was especially interested in the Sundanese style of music, which originated in the West Java region of Indonesia. Niung became known for her powerful voice and her ability to express the emotions of the music through her singing.

In the 1960s, Niung became a recording artist and began to gain popularity in Indonesia. She released several albums of traditional Sundanese music, including “Es Lilin,” “Bajing Luncat,” and “Gending Sriwijaya.” Her music was widely acclaimed for its authenticity and its ability to capture the essence of Sundanese culture.

Niung’s music career was interrupted in the 1980s when she was diagnosed with a serious illness. However, she continued to perform and record music, and her music continued to be popular with audiences in Indonesia and beyond.

Throughout her career, Niung was committed to preserving and promoting traditional Indonesian music. She believed that music was an important part of Indonesian culture and that it should be shared with the world. She was also a strong advocate for women’s rights and was known for her dedication to empowering women in her community.

Saridjah Niung passed away on January 26 May 1993 at the age of 85 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Award and Legacy

Mrs. Soed’s music career spanned several decades and included numerous recordings and performances. She was widely celebrated for her unique style of traditional Sundanese music, which she helped to popularize both in Indonesia and abroad. Her music continues to be celebrated and performed by Indonesian musicians, and she is remembered as one of the greatest singers in the history of Indonesian music.

In recognition of her contributions to Indonesian culture, Mrs. Soed was honored with numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. She received the Bintang Budaya Parama Dharma award from the Indonesian government in 2002, which is the highest honor awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Indonesian culture.

Mrs. Soed’s philanthropy and advocacy for women’s rights were also an important part of her legacy. She was a founding member of the Indonesian Women’s Association and worked tirelessly to promote women’s education and empowerment. She also supported numerous charitable causes throughout her life, and her philanthropic work continues to inspire others to this day.

Overall, Mrs. Soed’s legacy is one of cultural preservation, advocacy, and philanthropy. Her contributions to Indonesian music, women’s rights, and charitable causes have had a lasting impact on Indonesian society, and she is remembered as a true icon of Indonesian culture.

On 26 March 2017, Google celebrated Saridjah Niung’s 109th birthday with a doodle.

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