Natrah 2009: Torn between 2 Religions

My family and I went to Istana Budaya last 2 weeks to watch Natrah. This is one of the most successful theater in Malaysia. Every night of the show nearly FULL House to the extend the play extended till 13 December 2009.

I choose black dress I have here as the dress code supposed to be a formal one. This is my 1st time to watch theater in Malaysia. Prior to this, I watched Miss Saigon back in Singapore at Kallang Stadium. The play was a superb one!

The play is directed by Erma Fatima, it is about the early life of Maria Hertogh, better known as Natrah, who was left in the care of Che Aminah Mohamad. She was only 13 years old when she was forced to go back to Netherlands. Natrah controversial marriage with a 22 years old teacher Adabi Mansor was ordered by court to be annulled left her a heartache that cannot be undone.

Sergeant Hertogh, Natrah’s father was captured by the Japanese Army and sent to be a slave in Japan until 1945. Adelaine Hertogh asked her good friend Che Aminah to help and look after Maria for a few days. Shortly after the war, the Hertogh’s sought the help of the Dutch authorities to locate their daughter in Bandung, Java. IT seems that, the parents didn’t gave up hope to find back their daughter,Natrah.

By then, Aminah had taken Maria home to Kemaman, Terengganu. Natrah was very happy with her life as a Muslim as she was the center of attention in the whole village.The Dutch authorities in Java found Aminah and Natrah in 1949, but Aminah refused to give Maria up. She still insisted that Adelaine did mentioned that Natrah will be her adopted daughter.

The plot is good as the whole story really impressed me on how a young girl like Natrah really fought to her very end. She was forced to comply with the court order even she voluntarily wanted to be a Muslim.

The main casts of the musical is led by the following actors and actresses:

  • Maya Karin as Natrah,
  • Sofia Jane (Natrah at 70),
  • Umie Aida (Aminah),
  • Remy Ishak (Mansor)
  • Samantha Schubert (Adelaine Hertogh).

I did googled about Natrah and it really made think for a while that human rights could easily being violated. Malaysian youngsters are very lucky as they still have certain level of freedom to pursue their dreams and wants. I will cherish every blessings that I got here as I know there are so many people out there are less fortunate than anyone of us here.


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