Happy Salma – The Lady of Literature

Written and performance arts are not just a day job for the talented Happy Salma, they’re her love and passion. She takes the time to talk to Asia Dreams about her hopes for Indonesian art scene.

Q: How did you first get into the world of acting?
A: I could go on and on about this, but long story short, I was blessed with parents who gave me freedom to try many things in this life. My parents came from an artistic background, with my father being involved in theatre group since he was young. He’s also a big appreciator of music. Participating in the Gadis Sampul competition and getting the opportunity to star in TV series made me realise that this is something that I like to do. I have developed a penchant for written text, especially stories in Indonesian literature, and this made me love acting even more. 

Q: You are an actor, writer, producer, mother and more. Which one is your favourite role?
A: As a mother, wife, community member and career woman, I can’t just choose one role, as all of those are part of me. I can’t choose, but I can make priorities. What important is how I can juggle and balance my responsibilities. 

Tjokorda Bagus Dwi Santana Kerthyasa, Happy Salma, Tjokorda Sri Kinandari Kerthyasa & Tjokorda Ngurah Rayidaru Kerthyasa

Q: As a public figure, how do you use your influence to bring a positive impact to your fans?
A: I’m really grateful to have the privilege of influence, as it is such a great blessing. However, authenticity is very important for me, so before I try to influence people with what I do or what I like – including my passion in tradition, culture, art and philosophy, I will contemplate first if it’s impactful to myself in a positive way. If what I do brings a positive impact to other people, then I am grateful, but really, it is just a personal process to find the meaning of life inside of me. 

Q: What is your expectation for the art scene in Indonesia?
A: The strength of a country can be appraised by how it appreciates arts. I have seen many significant movements and changes in the world of arts, both from the government and also the private sectors, especially in highlighting the identity of Indonesia through our rich culture.

I just hope people can remember that Indonesia is not just Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, we have more brothers and sisters in the eastern part of the country. We have to realise that we have an abundance of arts, and none of them should be uniformed into one cookie-cutter form. 

I also think it’s important to involve the indigenous people and the cultural grassroots not just in arts, but also in developing the country. Indonesia comprises of strong cultural pockets, and by appreciating and embracing them, I think we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way.

Asia Dreams Volume 51

Happy Salma

IG: @happysalma