Episode 5: Dewi - This Is Us

From This Is Us, 12:05 am on 1 March 2020

Series Classification: G (General Programmes)

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Dewi Astutipuji

An Indonesian-Kiwi says her migration to New Zealand for a better life is not unlike the Hijra - the move from Makkah to Medina by followers of the prophet Muhammad to escape persecution, as described in the Koran.

Dewi Astutipuji left Indonesia and settled in Hamilton, determined to build a new life and secure a future for herself and her two daughters.

To do so initially involved leaving her daughters behind, a decision that caused pain and anguish.

Recently Dewi's daughters Kyla and Keiza joined her in New Zealand, so that she now feels free of that haunting memory.

Dewi Astutipuji in her garden at her home in Hamilton.

Dewi Astutipuji in her garden at her home in Hamilton. Photo: Photography by Disorient Pictures Ltd

While in New Zealand, she met her Dutch husband Sjaack on a dating website. "It's a very modern romance," she says.

Dewi believes living in New Zealand has decreased her stress and that she is a calmer and happier person.  

"In Indonesia I was always in a rush. Here, I am learning about patience and I feel peace, I feel happy." 

Just before she left Indonesia she also won a beauty and cosmetic local competition, which has now inspired her to help her friends with tips and tricks on how to create different looks with make-up.

She adores cooking, particularly Indonesian food, as she loves seeing the joy it brings to her family and others. "Anything spicy, I love spicy," she says.

"The first time I cooked I was 16 years old. My family had a small restaurant and I learned most of my mother's recipes."

Her dream is to own her own Indonesian restaurant in Hamilton or further north, proudly re-creating the dishes of her mother's for locals to enjoy.

She says her parents are very happy that she has established a new home for her own family in New Zealand.

Dewi Astutipuji as she prepares Indonesian food as lunch for a big gathering.

Dewi Astutipuji as she prepares Indonesian food as lunch for a big gathering. Photo: Photography by Disorient Pictures Ltd

Dewi Astutipuji and Director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh talking about a frame about to be filmed at Dewi's home in Hamilton.

Dewi Astutipuji and Director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh talking about a frame about to be filmed at Dewi's home in Hamilton. Photo: Photography by Disorient Pictures Ltd

 

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Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Director

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Director Photo: Photography by Sascha Stejko

Series Director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar who has recently completed her PhD in Media and Communications. 

She has written and directed award winning short films.  Ghazaleh is currently developing her first feature screenplay and publishing her first book of personal essays.

| Twitter: @baronessghaz | Instagram: @ghazalehgol |

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