News | Saturday, 25 December 2010 | sundanesecorner.org
I heard a bad news—a very bad news—late last night. I was watching a Christmas movie on TV when my friend Dhipa sent me a short message, telling me that Sundanese playwright Hidayat Suryalaga died that night (Friday, 24 December) at around 24.00 p.m.
Doubting on what I heard, I soon rang one of Hidayat’s close friends, theatre director Dadi P. Danusubrata. In a sad tone he confirmed the news, telling me that the man died at Santo Yusuf Hospital, Bandung. Two days before he met Hidayat at the office of Pikiran Rakyat daily newspaper, in Bandung, where a discussion on cultural subject was organized by the media. Hidayat was one of the speakers at the forum.
Hidayat was born in Banjarsari, Ciamis, West Java, on 16 January 1941. He went to IKIP Bandung (now Indonesian University of Education) and Padjadjaran University. He was a lecturer at Padjadjaran University and Pasundan University. He was also the chairman of Lembaga Budaya Sunda ‘Sundanese Culture Organization’ at Pasundan University. He wrote several dramas, mainly for the production of Teater Sunda Kiwari ‘Contemporary Sundanese Theatre’, of which he was one of the founders. He also adapted The Holy Qur’an into Sundanese poems, which is well-known as Nur Hidayah.
The cause of his death is so far unknown.Dadi said that when Hidayat spoke before the forum, his condition was actually not so well.
As I was hastily writing this news, the body was still at the hospital. Dadi said that the body is likely to be picked up to the family house at Jl. Sukaasih Atas V No. 348, Ujungberung, Bandung.
Since a couple of months ago Dadi and friends of Teater Sunda Kiwari have been preparing their new production. They will perform a play entitled Jendral Nebel nu Debil that is, as usual, written by Hidayat. In the introduction to his new script, Hidayat says, ‘Ieu naskah… moga-moga lain naskah drama nu pamungkas (this script, I hope, … will not be the last script).’