Ulos are hand woven traditionally of the Batak ethnic of North Sumatra to be worn normally draped over the shoulder at important events such as funerals, weddings and baby borns
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye, as Intan Aprillia M. Kraft, founder of GISP Asia described her story about MAI DOLL of her DREAM World as one of business division of GISP Asia, during a long interview session at her cozy and beautiful house in Jakarta. Married to an Expat German gentleman, she has been traveling to over 24 countries over Asia and Europe together with her husband.
Intan Aprillia M. Kraft was born on 4 April 1969 in Plosodoyong, a very remote mountain village in southern of Jogjakarta – Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, from a Balinese Hindu father and Javanese Muslim mother, but both parent mostly practiced Kejawen ritual.
Kejawen is a Javanese religious tradition, consisting of an amalgam of animistic, Hindu-Buddhist, and Islamic, especially Sufi, beliefs and practices. It is rooted in the Javanese history and aspects of different religions. Since centuries, Java has been a melting pot of religions and cultures, which has created a broad range of religious belief. And Animism was the first religion in Java. Although Java is nominally Islamitic, Kejawen – the syncretic Javanese culture, is a strong undercurrent.
A special Province of Yogyakarta, Java is considerable poverty as the southern coastal of Gunung Kidul is rough and wild but exotic with several beautiful beaches: Baron, Kukup, Krakal, Drini and many more with truly spectacular views. Unfertiles mountain at Plosodoyong, Jogjakarta – Kabupaten Gunung Kidul where Intan Aprillia M. Kraft was born (picture below).
In earlier times, Gunung Kidul was heavily forested. However most of the teak forests have now been removed. The regency has been subject to extensive drought within the last many years. Aside from poverty, the most famous explanation is the serious water shortages in the region. Cassava replaced rice as soils are not very good for growing rice. Some famous Gunung Kidul cuisine includes thiwul, gathot (both are cassava – based food), and a delicacy called walanggoreng (fried grasshopper). As Intan comes from one of the poorest areas of Java, her parent couldn’t even afford to pay her school fee.
Family background and poverty
Intan Aprillia M. Kraft is a diamond of the family and the 3rd child with her two sisters and one brother who spent mostly of her high school at Gunungkidul (Picture left: Intan in the middle – Father, mother her two older sisters, Sulami and Jumi, and the only brother). As a young girl from a small village, she enjoyed performing the drama/theater that commonly call – Drama Ketoprak.
Ketoprak is a traditional art musical folk drama (Picture right: Intan Aprillia M. Kraft in her traditional Ketoprak costumes). It was very popular in Java for such a long time and has been grounded and rooted in community life for centuries. The group moves from one place to another within a certain time. Intan Aprillia M. Kraft loves it as she was able to traveled from one village to other village to perform her Drama Ketoprak and her life was full of adventure activities and presents from huge of her fans.
It has become a part of the culture of the community because of the appearance ketoprak as ‘traditional theatre’ is able to describe a grounded and rooted in community life – through legends, history, folklore, fairy tales, chronicles. The story raised contains the value – the exemplary value of the nation’s noble character of the past and the themes reflect the social issues of the day. These themes are usually placed within the contexts of the old kingdoms of Java, such as Mataram, Demak and Majapahit.
Her father, a Balinese origin worked in a construction company and got all of these experiences just by nature. He also did honey farming, Cow, Lamb and Chicken farming, for family consume or to sell them to the local market. Other than these, her father also great in doing the Wall wooden for commercial wooden house and a Charcoal Barbecue for Grilling needs or for the family used and farming oil cooking from coconut from their own plantation – her father is a really multi talented man.
While her mother was a volunteer for “Family Planning Program” during the era of New Order (Penyuluh KB Lestari) under the government of President Soeharto. To support the family economy, during the night time her mother was doing for Tikar Pandan (Indonesia’s Pandanus Mat). It’s an Integrated green handmade of natural fibers (pandanaceae) with the traditions (Tikar Pandan) and while during the day help her father to work in the rice fields.
Every Balinese expects to marry, and having kids is a must as part of raising a family. Marriages are not, in general, arranged as they are in many other Asian communities although strict rules apply to marriages between the castes.
Everyone has a different idea of their perfect family. After one year of her happy marriage, she found it was very important to fully understand her needs and aspirations in a marriage. Yet having a child (a boy if possible) is the ultimate goal of marriage in Balinese culture and having a son is the only way to complete the duty.
How does Intan describe herself?
Intan Aprillia M. Kraft – as a diamond of the family, is a very confidence, independent and an optimist person. She is great in influencing other, trustworthy and also very loyal person. She feels so grateful to grown up in a very remote mountain Plosodoyong village, Gunung Kidul. She enjoys to explore the surrounding nature and learnt a lot from its surrounding nature, her parent and people around her too. Her sense of empathy is very high and is very strong that drives her to start as MAI DOLL product, due to its connection to her private life.
She is certainly aware that entering into industry of DOLL product is not an easy one. But with her high confidence personality that there is always a market for it, and she will surely make it!
In addition to her love to children and also to love her parents and all age of other people, MAI DOLL product will become a leader in this market. MAI DOLL product is so unique, with her smile and can sing a few of popular or motivator songs. Indonesian children especially need to be motivated to be an independent one to become better quality and better person for our future generation.
MAI DOLL Dream – Mama Anak Indonesia
Intan is an adorable Mom to her “own-dream-kids”! She always had a dream for her own children. However, her married agreement with a German gentleman, stated not to have any kids. As she is very keen to birth her own child, Intan feels that MAI Doll Dream is representing her dream daughter and is in her waking life. The face of MAI Doll Dream comes to her dream almost every day. A few years after her marriage, her husband diagnosed of having cancer in a very danger stage (4 aggressive), and her 1st ever pregnancy been failed at that moment.
For over many years in her dream, she described that “own-child” looks like MAI Doll Dream with mix Asian-Western light skin color (the original doll is more brown color). Intan has to balance her own dreams and passions with taking care of other children through MAI Doll Dream.
The GISP Asia Doll dream world started when her aunty brought her a collectible Mary Poppins Doll! This really inspired Intan by the iconic Mary Poppins Doll! This doll meticulously sculpted in Mr. Van Dyke’s likeness. Colorful suit and matching hair color/style, accessories, shoe or hat are positively adorable. The most adorable doll that Intan ever had in her life. Until one day her house was burned down including her Mary Poppins Doll and all her school certificates!
What is Intan’s other profession?
In fact Intan’s profession is a property consultant for middle upper market covering Jakarta and Bali region. GISP Asia started as an independent Property Consultancy, not just a property search agent, but experts, dedicated to finding and securing a perfect property. GISP Asia handle all the time-consuming searching, locate the property and then manage the purchase or lease arrangement, saving time, stress and expense for expatriates in Jakarta or Bali.
Picture during the Jerin Festival 2013 below: Mrs. Intan Aprillia M. Kraft with Mrs. Petra Bottcher, the German Ambassador Secretary & Mrs. Patricia Clossek the German Embassy Secretary to Political Section.
Her other concerns are education, over population, green environment!
She loves such an out-door sport, enjoy yoga and meditation in her spare time at her cozy home. She also has a desire to write some books. Intan loves eating of sea food but mostly easy to adopt all kind of food including European food, oriental food, and many others. Her favorite daily fashion style is simple and plain bright color, which mostly dominated my fashion. As for music, she likes a cheerful music and and comedian drama for movie.
So, what is Intan’s dream for the future of Indonesia?
The Indonesian future really depends on the mind set of young generations. Their mind set need to be formed from a very young age. Intan’s life started from a dream, so Intan visualizes her dream to encourage other children to have dream of their life. Dreams is free to everyone and all things start from a dream first, and then focus towards those dreams. Intan dreams that Indonesia one day – in over 20 years ahead, will have the opportunity to witness the strongest economy within Asian countries!
In reality, Intan has plenty of dreams and she enjoys to flow with those dreams while she was sharing her sparkling and beautiful smile to close the long and exciting interview session.