In left side of the photo is Adrian B. Lapian (RIP). In my opinion, he was the best and one of world-class historian and king of experts of maritime history in Southeast Asia. He was called as “captain of maritime history”.
During his life, he wrote more than 180 books and articles. Taking aside dozens of his writing during his work as journalist in The Indonesian Observer.
His main and great contribution to the world is “Orang Laut – Bajak Laut – Raja Laut: Sejarah Kawasan Laut Sulawesi Abad XIX” (Seaman, Pirates, King of Sea, History of Sulawesi Sea’s Region in XIX Century).
Lapian passed away in July 11, 2011. I was there. Because for me, it was a big lost.
On his last years, he devoted himself to taught different young people about maritime history and culture. And he was doing it for free. I was one among those lucky bastards who had an opportunity to learn from him. I recognized him as one of my great teacher who saved me from being an asshole and giving up my study.
I was there, next to his body in the last day before he was buried in Tomohon. Witnessed with my own eyes how he was an unknown name those who so-called “the academic society” in his own hometown.
Next to him is Alex J. Ulaen, senior historian cum anthropologist.
He founded Maritime, Indigenous and Culture Research Center (MarIn CRC), a research foundation based in Manado, Indonesia. I used to work there for couple years before went out of Indonesia ’till now. He rejected an offers to become a professor in Sam Ratulangi University as his way protesting against corruption, nepotism and lack of quality in university. He spent his time to taught and trained young students on research methods both in anthropology and history, something that we won’t get during our time studying in university.
From both of them, I learned many things.
I have to say huge thanks to two of them. They taught me to be who I am now. Both, they are great teachers as well as great fathers for young stubborn student like me. I was lucky to have such an opportunity to be trained, to be taught and learned so many things under their guidance for years. Now entering my thesis writing, I remembered all these things I’ve gained from both of them.
For next few months, it will be my time challenging my own. Do I really learn something from two of them or not.