A Morning with Dewi Sukarno
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is play with my dogs. I caress them and give them love. Ever since I was a child, I always loved dogs. I currently own fourteen dogs. Toy Poodles, Tea cup Poodles, Japanese Chins, 2 Pugs, 1 Imperial Shih Tzu and the rest are mostly Chihuahuas because they are small and easy to look after. I then have my coffee and watch the news on TV or I will read the newspaper. At ten my staff come to work and we discuss my scheduled television work, talk shows, conferences I have been invited to and so forth. I have two secretaries, one for my social calendar and one for my television work.
Life after the late President Sukarno
I was only thirty years old when I became a widower and my daughter was very young, three and a half. She was an only child and grew up with me and the nanny and I remember thinking it is important for her to have a male figure in her life. She went to kindergarten when she was two years old so she could have playmates. I knew it was good for her brain to have many people to interact with, not just me and
Iwas married to such an accomplished man, the president, he was powerful and charming and had all the wisdom of the world. This allowed me the security to find a partner that I could build a life with, someone a similar age to live with till the end. It would be such great fun to create the most beautiful life together, a companion, I thought. And soon I found someone. We lived in Switzerland for three years. We had a beautiful house with a big garden, like a park, you would see the swans and wake up to birds singing. I had hundreds of roses. It was a dream life but unfortunate things happened and we are no longer together. I realized it was very difficult to be a widow of such a great man because you hesitate to
When I moved back to Paris, I soon found love again. We lived together for seven years, my daughter was very happy, but then in 1981 one of the Sukarno family weddings was taking place in Jakarta and I was invited to attend. From the period of 1970 to 1980, fourteen years under the regime of general Suharto, there had been no word of the late Sukarno. No media was brave enough to write his name. People had been very afraid but things were changing by 1981. When I came back with a child, people were so overwhelmed. We would be walking in the street and they would take my hands, crying, taking pictures. All the newspapers started writing about us. It was my duty to bring my daughter back to Indonesia to meet with her brothers and sisters. I wanted her to learn the language and culture of her father and so we returned to Indonesia.
My Career and ambition
I worked in Indonesia for ten years before I retired from my business but it was not easy to work there. My first home in Jakarta was confiscated from me so I had to work hard to rebuild a life for myself and my daughter. Most Asian women or wives of presidents after they are ousted are dismissed. I was a consultant and agent for European and American construction companies, French, Italian, Spanish, all in heavy industry and machinery. There was an American and English consulting and engineering company that I also worked for. It was a very busy time for me as I was determined to succeed on my own terms.
My energy and ambition came from my anger. When you look at all of the injustices in this world, how can it not make you angry? It made me angry as a child and even now as an adult. I see the world and I want to fight. This is what gives me my drive. I want to fight to solve these injustices, did you see the image of the five-year-old boy in Syria? These atrocities give me energy to keep going. I now work as a television personality in Japan and continue my philanthropy work too. My passions are also artistic. Painting has always been a part of my life and I won many competitions as a child. I am currently part of two exhibition groups and every year we present two paintings. My current inspiration is women or young ladies with their dogs. Poetry is also a big love of mine and something I do too.
Being in the Public Eye
Being in the public eye is part of my life. I enjoy it very much to be in the limelight. But being in the lime light comes with its advantages and disadvantages. When I used to live in Paris that was a very glamorous time in my life. I used to love to dress up in all the the classics like Chanel, YSL, Pier Cardin, Guy Laroche and so forth. It was a very avant-garde period of my life and I had a great time. My social life was exciting and the culture of Paris society was fun back then.
In general, being known affords you some benefits. You can have a good reservation in any restaurant; get invited to great events; explore the world; you have tax advantages too and get to meet influential people. The disadvantage is of course the constant desire from the public to take your photos, especially in Japan where they give you no privacy. You will also struggle to be loved by everyone. When you are popular, I have learned that you should never compare yourself to anyone else. Through my television work people see me on the screen and they put me on a pedestal, they adore me but others who are on that same level of fame, they may not like me because of jealousy or envy. You cannot satisfy everyone and must accept that not everyone will like you.
I am very outspoken and honest. I say what I want. Most Japanese people were taught not to express their feelings. Showing emotion is seen as vulgar or weak, therefore some of what I say is controversial. It has afforded me great strength in some aspects of my life though. There is a proverb; smiling always brings happiness. I have gone through many hard times in my life and my sense of humor has saved me. Even in the most difficult of times when you are hitting your head against the wall, remember that happiness is a state of mind.
I believe everyone is given the chance but if you have no purpose and do not take the opportunity, then you miss it. Struggle is good because it motivates you to better yourself but it is up to you to be happy.
Beauty & Longevity
I am very careful with food and what I eat because when you get older it’s important to keep your blood clean. I eat less meat and take a lot of tofu and soya bean products as it is all the protein without the fat. To keep spiritually young is of vital importance too. You must have emotional drive, strong beliefs, good mood and moves and a heartfelt belief that you are beautiful. Compliment yourself daily and appreciate those times you open a newspaper and an article touches you. Do things that move you. Talk to good friends, discuss positive things. When you surround yourself with beautiful music, conversations, surroundings and people – you become beautiful too. You must also remain interested and curious in everything. Challenge yourself to new things as it will keep you feeling alive. When people complain they have eaten this, tasted that, worn that dress – they get bored of everything –they complain – and then they age very quickly – the skin will become dry and drop. Some people blame everybody or everything: society is wrong, this is wrong, my job is unfair… instead of making the effort themselves. You have to challenge yourself to keep youthful.
I like to explore and go on adventures, this keeps me young. I was surfing on a dolphin during my latest exploration in Japan. I’ve done bungee jumping, I do pole dancing lessons and ballroom dancing too. For me, the greatest luxury is to be mentally, economically and spiritually free. Independence. When you can say what you want to say, do what you want to do and feel how you want to feel. Working for Japanese TV is tough and I do have obligations but I am very grateful. I work hard and will work till my death but I will always find the time to enjoy my life..