Ni Wayan Pasek Ariati: Gender, religion & history

March 26th, 2020   |   Women's History Month

Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change

During Women's History Month, SIT is spotlighting some of our extraordinary academic and program directors across the globe who are making history today through their thinking, their words, and their actions.

What is your academic discipline and what inspired you to pursue it?

I am inter-disciplinary: religion, gender, and history.
I was inspired by the image of a Hindu deity transformed from a beautiful warrior goddess in its original place, India, into a demonic goddess in Indonesia after several centuries through mythology and the politics of the patriarchy.

Who is your hero and why do you admire her?

My mother. She is such a very strong woman with a strong will, and she encourages her children to pursue their future as far as they can within their own struggles.

Why do you teach?

I teach because I would like to share my limited knowledge with my students, and I would like to "produce" young people as agents of change by learning and understanding others so that we can create more peaceful communities through respecting differences.

What advice would you offer young women?

They should be strong and brave in pursuing their dreams in life. Be resilient, culturally sensitive, compassionate, and help others who need our help.

When you go down in history, what do you want to be known for?

I want to be known as a village woman who has traveled around the world thanks to my academic achievement.