Tag Archives: indonesia

Facing gender inequality In Indonesia, not so different from the West

Last week, I sat on the floor of a community hall watching 12 men devour full plates of steamed corn, sweet potatoes, and bananas, washing down their mouthfuls with swigs of black coffee. The women who had graciously served this … Continue reading

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After tense election season, Indonesians breathe sigh of relief

Today my Indonesian language teacher showed up for our lesson wearing a blue and red checkered shirt, typical of the supporters of the newly elected president Joko Widodo (known by his nickname, Jokowi). Today, it seems like the wait is finally … Continue reading

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Stark contrasts, historical ignorance on display in Indonesian presidential race

Watching the 2014 presidential campaign in Indonesia is sometimes like watching a bad movie’s overwrought metaphor for the tension between democracy and authoritarianism playing out in real life. The choices have narrowed since I last described the presidential candidates, and … Continue reading

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A taste of real democracy in Indonesia’s presidential elections

For the first time, democracy in Indonesia might not be something of a sham. We are living in Indonesia in a fascinating time, as 2014 is an election year (both parliamentary and Presidential). That might sound reasonably interesting anywhere, but … Continue reading

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For Balinese New Year, the meaning is in the doing

On the raucous party island of Bali, Nyepi is a fascinating example of one culture’s sanctity being preserved against the odds. Continue reading

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Volcano’s awakening a reminder of Indonesia’s vulnerabiility

On Thursday night, Mount Kelud, a volcano in eastern Java, blew a plume of smoke and ash 17 km into the air. The eruption shook the surrounding villages, which were soon covered in ash and rock….
In recent history, Indonesia has suffered more deaths due to volcanoes than any other country, or even volcanic region…. Continue reading

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Three years after quake, Christchurch slowly rebuilds

To escape Indonesia’s humid tropical climate, we met Katherine’s parents for a vacation in temperate New Zealand. New Zealand and Indonesia share at least one thing in common: a high level of seismic and volcanic activity. As I write this, … Continue reading

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America is not a “banana republic”: A response to Salon.com

In a recent Salon.com article, “Look at the stats: America resembles a poor country,” writer CJ Werlemen likens America to a Third World nation. Having spent the last three-plus years in developing countries, I feel this deserves comment. I don’t … Continue reading

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Extremists’ moral muscle forces detour for female stars

Jakarta is no stranger to major international events and concerts, such as a recent Metallica concert and the Mixed Martial Arts (cage fighting) world championship. But many events planned for Jakarta are canceled on short notice for vague reasons; some … Continue reading

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This cat is not meant to be a pet

At the Bird Market in Jakarta, you can find (and buy) hundreds of domestic cats. This cat is not one of them. The man who was selling it called it a “forest cat,” but we believe it’s an Asiatic Golden … Continue reading

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