Title: From Golden Bridge to Golden Monument: Essays on Humanity, Fairness, and Peace
Author: Jennie Siat Bev
Publisher: Afton Asia & Afton Institute
Specification: 221 pages, 6 x 9 inch; soft cover
Price: $21.95 (BUY)
We live in an interesting time.
We could be nearing the end of time but intelligent optimists believe that we are embarking on a new beginning, which is more hopeful and meaningful. After all, everything comes in cycles. In grand epic A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” Paradoxes are looming and one has full discretion to stand for anything he or she believes in.
I believe that with conviction and consistency, we can make the world slightly better than yesterday. Thus, we should stand on the side of wisdom, belief, light, hope and abundance rather than on the side of foolishness, incredulity, darkness, despair and nihilism. From time to time, we should remind ourselves to be intelligent optimists, regardless of the current state of the world. Through writing, I believe that I have this option.
Due to the sheer amount of publications produced, I intend to create one anthology every year or every other year as repository. George Orwell said it well in Why I Write that a writer has historical, political, aesthetical, and egoistical impulses. Naturally, it is my ultimate goal to inspire and motivate readers that we can make a difference simply by changing how we see the world –our mind-set. Wars and violent incidents cannot be undone but, surely, future ones can be prevented provided we have better mutual understanding and acceptance of differences.
From Golden Bridge to Golden Monument: Essays on Humanity, Fairness, and Peace is a collection of short essays and opinion articles published in Indonesia, China, and the United States in 2007, 2008, and partial 2009. This anthology is divided into two sections: The Imaginary Homeland and The Faraway Land. In the first section, I write about Indonesia, my birth land. In the second section, I write about the United States, my adopted homeland. In both sections, I share about what I think about and what could be better in terms of humanity, fairness, and peace.
After several revisions on the title, this book is called From Golden Bridge to Golden Monument: Essays on Humanity, Fairness, and Peace. I first visited the Golden Gate Bridge in 1995, when I attended University of California Berkeley for American Studies summer program. Since then, my heart was left in San Francisco. In 1999, after residing in San Diego and other parts of Southern California, I decided to move to San Francisco Bay Area for good and have been calling it my home ever since.
While the reddish golden bridge is located merely 60 miles east away from my current home in Mountain House, another golden architectural landmark sited some 8,700 miles away symbolizes my other home. The National Monument sits merely a few minutes walk away from my childhood home in Menteng, Central Jakarta. The beauty of this monument is the eternal flame made of pure gold topping its apex.
Through words, I attempt to bridge these two beautiful landmarks with invisible strings. Through words, I attempt to heal myself from the longing to be in two places simultaneously. Through words, I attempt to bring two cultures closer with mutual understanding and mutual respect.
This anthology is duly noted as subjective and biased. I do not claim it as a high quality scholarly work. The writing process itself involved utilizing multiple frameworks as influenced by my multi-disciplinary backgrounds, which are law, humanities, education, business, and journalism. Oftentimes, multiple vantage points are combined to get a certain point across. For this, specific wordings believed to create more impact in readers are used to steer perception. And I blame my “activist blood.”
Salman Rushdie’s book Imaginary Homelands has been an influence in how I see myself as a writer with cultural dislocation. He uttered eloquently, “It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity. Which seems to me self-evidently true; but I suggest that the writer who is out-of-country and even out-of-language may experience this loss in an intensified form. It is made more concrete for him by the physical fact of discontinuity, of his present being in a different place from his past, of his being ‘elsewhere.’ This may enable him to speak properly and concretely on a subject of universal significance and appeal.” He further added, “But let me go further. The broken glass is not merely a mirror of nostalgia. It is also, I believe, a useful tool with which to work in the present.”
Broken glasses create beautiful mosaics. This, I believe to be true.
Jennie Siat Bev
Mountain House, Northern California
About the Author
Jennie Siat Bev writes as Jennie S. Bev. She is one of the most prolific female writers born and raised in Indonesia.
Since 1994, she has more than 900 bylined and unbylined essays and feature, journal, and opinion articles, as well as over 80 business reports and non-fiction books in English and Indonesian published under her belt. In 2003, she was named an EPPIE Award (USA) nominee for excellence in electronic publishing under non-fiction how-to category.
Her byline has appeared in numerous publications based in USA, UK, Canada, France, Korea, China, Singapore, and Indonesia. Currently, she writes regularly for The Jakarta Globe, The Jakarta Post, The Women’s International Perspective, Asia Sentinel, Media Bistro, and Tracy Press. Her topics of interest include humanity, human rights, philosophy, politics, social issues, business management, entrepreneurship, electronic business, digital journalism, and writing.
Her story as an out-of-the-box writer and entrepreneur has been cited, featured and profiled in various publications, including San Joaquin The Record, Entrepreneur, Canadian Business, Home Business, San Francisco Chronicle, Tracy Press, Arizona Republic, Femina, Chic, Intisari, Dewi, and many others.
She holds a Law degree from University of Indonesia, an MSc in Education from California State University Hayward (East Bay) and a doctorate in Electronic Business from Northcentral University. She served as a law lecturer in Indonesia and a composition adjunct professor for Western Governors University. She is considering obtaining another doctorate in pursuit of a lifelong idealism.
When not writing, she manages companies and serves as the editor-in-chief of several online publications. She is also an active human rights and multiculturalism activist since 1998. Since November 2008, she has been advocating housing issues in her hometown and lobbying at county, state, and federal levels. She also serves as the Shanghainese Indonesian Association Ambassador for overseas relations.
She resides in Mountain House, Northern California with her college sweetheart husband, two well-behaved dogs, hundreds of books, and beds of roses. She can be reached at JennieSBev.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
She believes that everybody can change the world for the better. One breath at a time, one word at a time, one voice at a time.