Category: History/Culture

Bandung’s Colonial Legacy

Bandung, with its factory outlets and bakeries selling the ubiquitous brownie, this city has long been a favourite destination for Jakarta folk looking for a cooler...

Do as You’re Told – An Artful Welcome to Bali

“It appears that each Balinese native, from the womb to the tomb is creative,” rhymed Noel Coward in his irreverent 1932 ditty to Charlie Chaplin, now cemented among...

BALI–Before The Tourists Invaded

Traders-colonisers from the coast of Coromandel brought Hinduism to Java. The religion was adopted by the Majapahit kingdom in the eastern part of the island. Bali was a...

Run to New York

The English, bless our little cotton buds, have always loved a gallant loser. Years of feeble cricket and football performances have assured us that we may not be, at...

Not Losing Their Religion

How many people know there’s an Indonesian god at Jakarta’s oldest Chinese temple? And who knew the city’s oldest church was originally built for slaves, who were...

Literary Works Capable of Change

Take an ambitious businessman drunk on being so close to power, a media baron who uses his political acquaintances to strengthen his own newspaper’s position, the...

Bengkulu Blues

At first sight Bengkulu seems an odd place for a trading post. It’s situated on the west coast of Sumatra, maybe three quarters of the way down the mammoth island....

“Bintang, Anyone?”

Indonesia’s Most Loved Beer and the History Behind the Label A holiday spent in Indonesia most likely revolves around a bottle of Bintang. It is a household name and...

Of Spice and Profit

Nearly half a millennium before the world, slowly getting connected by grainy black and white TV images, was entranced by antics of Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and...

Love In The East

An old photograph of ‘Indo’ girls (mixed European and Indonesian) in Batavia The early days of the expatriate in South East Asia, back in the 16th and 17th centuries...

Zheng He, The Chinese Muslim Eunuch

Zheng He is renowned today as a great explorer, honoured by both Chinese and Muslims throughout South East Asia. But while his name may be familiar, details of his...

Uneasy Money

Gambling, like prostitution and corruption, is an age-old vice that is part of Indonesia’s culture. Despite being criminalized in the 1970s, the gaming industry is...

De Boroboedoer

Treading in Jogjakarta’s Ancient History

Jogjakarta and its Hill of Stones Anyone with but the flimsiest knowledge of Indonesia will know the pivotal role Jogjakarta has played. In culture, in rebellion, in...

Plate 2.1

How Indonesia’s Spices Unrolled the Map of the World

  As Indonesia prepares to celebrate 66 years of independence it is an appropriate moment to turn the clock back 560 years to the middle of the 15th century, before...

Education Guide 2017

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