Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk is a novel written by Ahmad Tohari. The novel tells the story of a young girl named Srintil who lives in Dukuh Paruk, a village in Central Java, Indonesia. Srintil is a talented dancer and becomes a ronggeng, a traditional Javanese dancer who performs for male patrons. The novel tells the story of Srintil’s life and the challenges she faces as she tries to find her place in the world.
The novel is set in the 1960s in Indonesia, during a time of political and social upheaval. The country was in the midst of a struggle for independence from colonial rule, and the novel reflects the tensions and conflicts of that time. The story takes place in the rural village of Dukuh Paruk, which is described in detail in the novel. The village is a close-knit community where everyone knows each other, and social hierarchies are clearly defined.
The novel follows the life of Srintil, a young girl who is chosen to become a ronggeng after the previous dancer dies. Srintil is a talented dancer and quickly becomes popular with the male patrons. However, her success comes at a cost, as she is forced to endure the unwanted attention of some of the men. The novel also explores Srintil’s relationships with the other members of her community, including her family, friends, and fellow dancers.
The novel is divided into several parts, each of which focuses on a different period in Srintil’s life. The first part describes her childhood and early years as a dancer. The second part focuses on her relationship with Kancil, a young man who becomes her close friend and confidant. The third part of the novel explores Srintil’s journey to find her true identity and place in the world.
There are several themes that are explored in the novel. One of the main themes is the struggle for identity and autonomy. Srintil is torn between her desire to be a successful ronggeng and her longing for a more fulfilling life. She is also caught between her loyalty to her community and her desire to break free from its restrictions.
Another theme that is explored in the novel is the role of tradition in modern society. The ronggeng tradition is deeply rooted in Javanese culture, but it is also seen as outdated and oppressive by some of the characters in the novel. The tension between tradition and modernity is a recurring theme throughout the novel.
The novel features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own distinct personality and backstory. Srintil is the protagonist of the novel, and her journey is at the center of the story. Other important characters include Kancil, Srintil’s best friend and confidant, and Rasus, a wealthy patron who becomes infatuated with Srintil.
The novel also features a number of supporting characters, including Srintil’s family members, fellow dancers, and members of the village community. Each of these characters plays a role in shaping the story and helping to reveal the complexities of life in Dukuh Paruk.
Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of life in rural Indonesia during a time of great upheaval. The novel’s vivid descriptions of the setting, richly drawn characters, and compelling storyline make it a must-read for anyone interested in Indonesian literature or culture.