Suka Duka, his life story
Ida Bagus Sidemen, the eldest of four sons, was born on 20 September 1938 in the village of Nyalian, Klungkung. His father was a primary school teacher and his mother a housewife. He left elementary school in Banjarangkan in 1953, after which he finished Highschool in Singaraja in 1959. He pursued an academic career and in 1980 obtained his S1-title (Drs.) in History at the Faculty of Letters, Udayana University, Denpasar.
Sidemen wrote his thesis 'Masalah pembuangan dalam Abad 19 di Nusa Penida' on the island of Nusa Penida as a place of exile in the XIXth century. After obtaining his S2-degree (MA) in history at Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta, he continued his career as a researcher and writer and has broadened the scope of his way of working, in order for a large audience to appreciate his perspicacity and sense of historically falsifiable truth. Sidemen was a member of the PNI (Partai Nasional Indonesia) from 1959 to 1973, and fulfilled the role as Secretary to PNI's sub-branch of the village of Nyalian, Banjarangkan sub-district (Klungkung), from 1962 to 1968.
When Sidemen was only a boy at the tender age of nine, he saw his father die at the hands of colonial Dutch administration (NEFIS, NICA Police) since his father was accused of undermining colonial rule. Witnessing first-hand the death of his father has haunted him for a long time. At the age of 16, he left his parental home to discover the rest of Bali and Indonesia. From 1959 he became a primary school teacher in Denpasar for six years. He is very proud to have been a teacher, since that is what he likes doing most of all. He felt teaching was an excellent vehicle for expressing his views and he liked to be a source of inspiration for his students. One of his brightest students, Gede Catra, he proudly explains, presently works for Antariksa/NASA in California. They are still in touch. For 38 years, i.e. from 1962 to 2000, Sidemen was a member of the National Students Organisation GMNI (Gerakan Mahasiswa Nasional Indonesia).
The history of Klungkung
From 1968, the year in which he obtained his BA-degree in History, he discovered a delight in doing research and continued this for the rest of his life. He became secretary of the History Department, Faculty of Letters, Udayana University Denpasar from 1970 to 1980. He also participated in a government research project on the history of Klungkung. When the research team in 1983 discussed the papers written by the researchers which were going to be included in the official publication 'Sejarah Klungkung', various parts of Sidemen's contributions were refused. One example of this was the role that I Ketut Karutuk played in the Puputan Klungkung. Karutuk was a Patih of the Rajah of Klungkung and a diplomat in negotiations with the Dutch colonial administration. In his capacity of diplomat, he was fluent in Dutch and was a favoured political player with the Dutch rulers. So much so even, that in retrospect he was accused of making common cause with the enemy. For the government research team, this provided sufficient suspicion for Karutuk's role to be omitted all together. On top of this, Sidemen was accused of relying too much on Dutch sources, and not heeding the klungkung side of the story. There are many more examples. Sidemen felt that the historical truth had not been done justice and wanted to give up his writing. Indeed, he was disappointed to the extend he wanted to put aside his research for good.
Java and Jakarta
Nevertheless, after having held the position of Head of History Department, Faculty of Letters, Udayana University Denpasar from 1980 to 1984, he continued his studies after a few years (1984-1986) and obtained a Master of Arts at Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta in 1986 with his thesis on the Kingdom of Gianyar. The contents of this thesis, however, was contested by the examination commission. Sidemen had to omit certain parts of his thesis and felt he was not able to withstand the pressure exerted on him at the time, but was given excellent final appreciation for his work. Sidemen was determined to go for a PhD on the same subject and continued his studies until the passing away of two of his tutors at Gajah Mada University, Prof. Dr. Sartono Kartodirdjo, and (co-tutor) Prof. Dr. T. Ibrahim Alfian. He left Yogyakarta saddened by the events and as Sidemen was struggling to cope with this, he missed an opportunity to go to Leiden University (The Netherlands) and declined an offer made to him by Henk Schulte Nordholt. This was the cause of even more stress, and at this moment he nearly lost interest in research all together.
Despite the disappointments in not being able to pursue PhD-degree and a missed chance of studying and doing research abroad, he turned his thesis on the Kingdom of Gianyar into a book 'Seribu Tahun Petanu-Pakerisan, lembah Budaya yang Menyejarah (914-1899)' and altered the format to enable a wider audience to read this work of some 500 pages. This, in fact, became his main source of inspiration. He wants to write and publish not just for scholars, and decided to shed the academic straightjacket. He has been writing ever since and has finished an impressive list of books and articles (see bibliography below).
Currently, Sidemen is working on various books, amongst which Historiografi Tradisional Bali on the Babad, Gaguritan and Paswara (State Agreements).
Ida Bagus Sidemen participated in the following seminars:
- International Symposium on Ilmu-ilmu Humaniora III, Gajah Mada University, Yogyakarta, 17-18 October 1996
- Panel discussion on Peranan Pemerintah Sunda Kecil Pada Masa Nasionlal 1945-1946, Faculty of Letters, Udayana University Denpasar, 15 August 1995
- Workshop on Manajemen Investasi dan Penyusunan Laporan Keuangan Dana Pensiun, Indonsian Petrolium Club, Jakarta, 24 May 1995
- National Seminar on Pokok-pokok Ketentuan Baru Menteri Keuangan Tentang Dana Pensiun, Hotel Borobudur Intercontinental, Jakarta, 15 March 1995
- Historiografi Tradisional Bali I, II, III (currently being written), Tungtunging Gesing Asrami Ltd., Denpasar, 2009
- Desa Dalam Senandung Kredit, Tungtunging Gesing Asrami Ltd., Denpasar, 2009
- Dari Wilatikta Ke Swecapura. Perjalanan Seorang Aktor Religius, Tungtunging Gesing Asrami Ltd., Denpasar, 2009
- Nusa Penida Dalam Seratus Tahun (studi tentang kasus pembuangan abad XIX), buku terbitan penulis sendiri [based on Masalah pembuangan dalam Abad 19 di Nusa Penida], privately published, Tungtunging Gesing Asrami Ltd., Denpasar 2006, 170pp.
- Seribu Tahun Petanu-Pakerisan, lembah Budaya yang Menyejarah (914-1899), privately published, Denpasar, 2005, 472pp.
- Masalah pembuangan dalam Abad 19 di Nusa Penida, Sarjana thesis (unpublished), Fakultas Sastra, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, 1980
- Nilai historis uang kepeng, Cet. 1, Larasan Sejarah, 2002
- Merajut Sebuah Masa Depan Buat Kesenian Bali, in: Mudra, Jurnal Seni Budaya (Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia Denpasar, UPT Penerbitan, 2000), no.9 Th.VIII September 2000, p.7-20
- Picis, Mata Uang Logam Majapahit 1292-1525, Sebuah Petunjuk ke Arah Identifikasi Pis Bolong di Bali, in: Prapanca, Media komunikasi Mahasiswa Jurusan Sejarah Fakoltas sastra Universitas Udayana, Edisi khusus, February 2000, ISSN 0854-5731, p.33-64
- Seperempat abad menapak Indrakila: sebuah rekonstruksi sejarah Bank Sri Partha 1969-1994; Cet. 1, Pustaka Pelajar, 1998
- The Development of Traditional Credit Institutions in Bali in the XIXth Century, realised with a grant from the Toyota Foundation, 1993-1995
- Dang Hyang Nirartha dan Kawangsan di Bali, Proyek Inventarisasi dan Dokumentasi Sejarah Nasional, Direktorat Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1990; published in adapted form in magazine Kusumanjadi, Yayasan Dharmodadesa, Denpasar, 2000
- Penjara di tengah samudra: studi tentang Nusa Penida sebagai pulau buangan, Proyek Inventarisasi dan Dokumentasi Sejarah Nasional, Direktorat Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1984
- Sejarah Klungkung, Kabupaten Daerah Tingkat II, Klunkung, Tim Penyusun Drs. Ida Bagus Sidemen, Drs. Anak Agung Bagus Wirawan, Wayan Dunia BA, I Made Kanta, Pemerintah Kabupaten Daerah Tingkat II, Klunkung, 1983/1984, 206pp.
- Sejarah Klungkung (Dari Smarapura sampai Puputan), original unpublished version, Tim Penyusun Drs. Ida Bagus Sidemen, Drs. Anak Agung Bagus Wirawan, Wayan Dunia BA, I Made Kanta, Pemerintah Kabupaten Daerah Tingkat II, Klunkung, 1983, 379pp.
- Perang Kusumba 24 Mei 1849, [disajikan dalam] seminar sejarah nasional ke-3 di Jakarta, tg. 10-14 Nop. 1981, Proyek Inventarisasi dan Dokumentasi Sejarah Nasional, Direktorat Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1981
- Geguritan Rereg Gianyar, Proyek Penerbitan Buku Sastra Indonesia dan Daerah, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1980
Ida Bagus Sidemen can be contacted at: ib.sidemen /at/ gmail dot com