Kartini's letters also expressed her hopes for support from overseas. In her correspondence with Estell "Stella" Zeehandelaar, Kartini expressed her desire to be like a European youth. She depicted the sufferings of Javanese women fettered by tradition, unable to study, secluded, and who must be prepared to participate in polygamous marriages with men they don't know.
Kartini also expressed criticisms about religion. She questioned why the Quran must be memorised and recited without an obligation to actually understand it. She also expressed the view that the world would be more peaceful if there was no religion to provide reasons for disagreements, discord and offence. She wrote "Religion must guard us against committing sins, but more often, sins are committed in the name of religion"
Kartini also raised questions with they way in which religion provided a justification for men to pursue polygamy. For Kartini, the suffering of Javanese women reached a pinnacle when the world was reduced to the walls of their houses and they were prepared for a polygamous marriage.
Kartini was not proud of being set apart from her countrymen as one of the privileged few of the aristocracy. In her writings she described two types of nobility, one of mind and one of deed. Simply being born from a noble line does not make one great; a person needs to do great deeds for humanity to be considered noble.
So, Selamat Hari Kartini, girls! Belatedly, it may be...