Welcome to my site where I want to invest in writing.
My name is Diyah Hayu Rahmitasari, better known as Hayu Hamemayu which is actually my pen name. I am the author of Circle Route, the co-author of Siklus Cinta and Jendela-jendela Aba (Laki-laki dalam Kereta short story) and the alpha female of the Unsettled Family. My work has appeared in The Jakarta Post, Media Indonesia, Kompas, Majalah Kartini, Medium, The Newbie Guide to Sweden, and Indonesia Travel Magazine among others.
I’m a random thinker who have always been passionate about writing and sharing stories. I remember having this palm-sized diary where I wrote random things during my childhood. When I turned 15, it was solid that I wanted to be a journalist. So I joined school newspapers in high school and later took degrees in media and communications.
But life takes a surprising turn sometimes and I found myself shifting my interest from being a writer to becoming a scholar when I graduated from university. I still wrote occasionally but mostly non-fiction or academic article. For some reasons, I never had a gut to write fiction. Not until 2013 when I first joined a short story competition and placed 4th. It was the moment when I realised that I could really write. And this vision got even firmer when I had to leave my job as a university lecturer in Indonesia to move to Sweden in 2016.
Settling down in a new place gave me the opportunity to meet new people and to experience new things, as well as, the time to observe various cultures and behaviors, to reflect on others’ and my own experiences, and eventually to write stories about them. During that period of transition, I found my remedy in writing. Writing gives me a pause and a distance to see everything clearly. Writing becomes a journey for myself to find what I really want and how I want to see myself in the future. Writing is my attempt to let the world know who I am and what I stand for.
At the same time, I found a new purpose in my writing. Having moving around for quite a while—from a tropical country in the equator, to down under then up north—I realise that stigmatisation is everywhere, and that it can appear so subtly, we don’t even realise we’ve committed to it. From simply avoiding contact to over generalise a group of people, I still can see how people treat each other based on the scenario in their minds.
Growing up as an Asian, Muslim, woman, with a headscarf, I do not just witness stigmatisation with my own eyes, I experience it as well. People tend to judge me based on my appearance, as if I fit all the stereotypes.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said, the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
This single story is then being shared, believed, and reinforced in society causing ignorance, fear, and hatred among people. And that is why we can all use a good and inspirational story. A story that opens a window to another thought and interpretation. A good story that creates positive change, even in a small scale. And I want to have a contribution in it. I want people to learn about “the other” from my writings. I want to give them alternative voices.
Writing had helped me to find myself. Now, through my writings, I would like people to see that everyone fights a battle we know nothing about. And for that reason, we must learn to act justly, not only in our deeds but also in our thoughts.