On November 7, 2010, one of Indonesia's top sinologist passed away. Ignatius Wibowo, who was lovingly referred to as Romo Bowo, left behind many friends, students, proteges, and family members who had found in him a symbol of honesty, intelligence, hard work, and humility.
I had been introduced to Romo Bowo by my good friend, Victor, who was a former student of Romo Bowo. I, myself, never had the luxury of being his student. Even before meeting him, I had read so much academic literature written by this man of cloth, who had also dedicated his life to making China studies more accessible to all Indonesians. Of course, I was nervous during that first encounter. But all of that disappeared, as I quickly learned about Romo Bowo's kind and generous character.
I had had the chance to visit him during his bout with cancer. And even during those times, he had acted as if nothing could prevent him from continuing on with his passion for the academics, especially for the study of China. Such fighting spirit was what stayed in me after I last talked to him. And, almost two years since his passing away, that spirit remains alive, not only in me, but most likely also in the hearts of his friends and colleagues.
A short while after Romo Bowo's passing away, Natalia Soebagjo and a few of Romo Bowo's colleagues decided to compile a Liber Amicorum, a tribute to this good man. Victor and I were more than happy to be part of the project. Below is our contribution to that effort.