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Papa, Can You Hear Me?

Poem of 12-year-old Balinese Boy Moves Many to Tears at 10th Commemoration Ceremony of Bali Bombing

(10/15/2012) On Friday, October 12, 2012, over a thousand people gathered at a memorial service organized at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument Park (GWK) to honor the 202 who died and the scores of others injured in the terrorist attack on Sari Club and Paddy’s ten years earlier.

Moving speeches were offered by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa together with prayers from major faiths.

But among the moving tributes delivered by survivors of the bombing tragedy, was that delivered by an 11.5 year-old boy that moved many in the audience to tears.

Made Arya Dana was only 1.5 years old when his Father, Gede Badrawan, who worked at the Sari Club, died at the hands of terrorist.

Ten years later, he took the speakers' podium at GWK before over a thousand people and a TV audience of millions to read a letter to his dead father. Accompanied by his Mother, Ni Luh Erniati, who translated his letter in to English, the boy delivered a most moving eulogy to his departed Father.

Below is Balidiscovery.com’s free translation of Made Arya Dana’s letter.


Surat untuk Ayah
(Letter for Daddy)

A Letter for Daddy

I was one-and-a-half then,
I didn’t understand the meaning of tragedy.
I didn’t understand the meaning of my Mother’s tears.
I had only one hope:
That Daddy would come home with a good toy for me.

I looked at the picture of your face.
I listened to Mother’s stories about you.
Daddy was at work and would bring a toy for me.

How much Daddy loved me.
How I missed your hugs.

Days turned into months.
Months turned into years.
My waiting never ended.

I am almost twelve now,
I am beginning to understand what happened.
I can feel the pain in my Mother’s heart.

I also now understand that Daddy will not come home.
That tragedy has separated us forever.

Today I stand here,
on the same day and same month when Daddy left us.

I read this letter for you Daddy.

For all your love and suffering
I promise that my waiting will end here.
I will seek the future you lost,
I will make your dreams come true,
and I will look after Mama for you.

May God hear all my prayers.


12 October 2012
Made Arya Dana, the second son of Gede Badrawan,
who died at the Sari Club.

Photo: Justin McManus