TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A senior Indonesian writer Nurhayati Sri Hardini Siti Nukatin, better known as NH Dini, who was also the mother of Minions film director Pierre Coffin, has died at Elizabeth Hospital Semarang, Central Java, on Tuesday, December 4, at 4 p.m.
Goenawan Mohamad confirmed the news through his Twitter account. “NH Dini has died. The 1936-born novelist is a prominent writer of the generation who first appeared in the Kisah magazine. Her works: Pada Sebuah Kapal, Namaku Hiroko. May she rest in peace," Goenawan wrote, adding that Dini has died in a car accident.
Born in Semarang on February 29, 1936, Dini has been diligently writing since she was in grade 3. Her career in the national-level writing began when she sent a poem to a radio program “Prosa Berirama” (Rhythmic Prose), which was broadcasted by Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI), before trying her luck in making short stories for the women’s magazine, Femina.
Dini began writing long stories since she felt that the short story format was not suitable for her. She began writing her first work entitled "Hati yang Damai", then "Pertemuan Dua Hati" (1986) published in Femina.
NH Dini then ventured into biography and novel writing and created two biographies, namely "Amir Hamzah Pangeran dari Negeri Seberang" (1981) and "Dharma Seorang Bhikku" (1997).
However, Dini is better known through her novels such as "Pada Sebuah Kapal" (1973), "La Barka" (1975), "Keberangkatan" (1977), and "Namaku Hiroko" (1977).
The novelist has received a number of awards, such as the Art Award for Literature from the Department of Education and Culture (1989), Bhakti Upapradana Literature from the Central Java regional administration (1991), SEA Write Award from the Thai government (2003), Francophonie Award (2008), and Achmad Bakrie Award in Literature (2011).
In 2017, NH Dini received a lifetime award from the organizer of the 2017 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF), for her contribution as a writer and activist, in the world of literature in Indonesia.
NH Dini was considered central as a pioneer of women’s voices in the 1960s-1980s when not many Indonesian women decided to become writers. “Literature is my world. I have been in this field for 60 years, and I hope to continue to contribute to Indonesian literature,” said the feminist just before receiving the award.
Almost being forgotten, the writer's name resurfaced when her son Pierre Louis Padang became the talk of the world due to characters of Minions in the Despicable Me 1, Despicable Me 2, and Minions film.
Pierre Louis Padang, better known as Pierre Coffin, and Marie Claire Lintang were the children of Dini and French diplomat Yves Coffin. The couple who married in 1960 decided to divorce in 1984. Padang and Lintang then chose to live with their father.
NH Dini is planned to be buried at Harapan Asri Elderly House, Semarang. Her body will be cremated at Kedungmundu cemetery in Semarang, on Wednesday, December 5, 12 p.m.
ANTARA | TEMPO