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and have your future daughter-in-law respect you, it is important to make a good relationship
with your mother-in-law…If you respect her, you can stop the bad karma in your family.” (ibid.:
225) It is interesting here to note the combination between scientific advancement (i.e.
medicine) and tradition (i.e. karma) in Suryani’s treatment of the patient. It is also interesting
to note that the patient, the woman, is assumed responsible for correcting the behavior and, as
such, changing her family’s destiny. Her husband, on the other hand, is asked to be more
attentive, by taking her out and not leaving her at home with the household responsibilities,
and by making love to her regularly. (ibid) He is, however, not advised on what he can to do
assist in changing the dynamic between his wife and mother-in-law.
The second case study, referred to as “It’s Hard to Be a Woman,” (ibid. 226) concerns a
young woman who becomes pregnant out of wedlock. Her fiancé of one year says he does not
want to marry her and does not love her anymore and urges her to get an abortion, saying she
is “only a bother to him and she has disturbed his life.” Dewi, the young woman, decides she
will keep the child.
Suryani advises Dewi to keep on loving the child. “She should not disgrace the child with
confusion: for the sake of the child, she needs to calm herself. She must be close with
God…[and] must stay active and happy…and keep her mind and will strong.” (ibid. 227) She also
advises Dewi to engage in meditation and relaxation practices that will allow for “self-healing.”
She then advised the boy, Bagus, to be brave and think about his responsibilities. Suryani noted
that the couple already had plans to marry. She felt that Bagus only wanted to change the
plans now because something unexpected had happened. “Try to think clearly for a minute,”