It was June 2008, one day before I leave the Netherlands and back home to Aceh for good, I decided to find a house of a Dutch professor in Leiden. I knew he was no longer there, he passed away long time ago, in 1936. But, finding his house kind of a “must do” for me. J had been in Maastricht for a year and had no chance to visit Leiden, so it would be weird if I do not know where he used to live.
As long as I know, he is not famous at all to the current Dutch, but almost every Acehenese know him. In fact, he is the most hated Dutch by us, the Acehnese. The, who and why?
His name is Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, do not ask me to spell his name twice, even the Dutch difficult to spell it. He is an anthropologist and was a professor at Leiden University, we do not hate his profession, neither his academic career, but what he has done with our kingdom and our ancient is the problem. As an anthropologist, he studied our language, our culture and religion, that is also still OK, BUT then, he use his knowledge to advice his colonial government to use the “apartheid” and propaganda approach to weaken our fighters. In stead of combating in a war, use “pitting against” approach. And unfortunately to some extend it worked.
They separated the king from the people, religious leader and the government and so on, day to day we became weaker, and then the kingdom is gone, until now.
Well, his apartment where he used to live now become part of Leiden University, and they call it “snouck huis”, it is quite easy to find, you can just walk on foot from Leiden Station, and just look at the map, you will find the view like this and finally find home. well, if you are interested.