Category: History/Culture

Taman Prasasti |Courtesy of Wikimedia

The Outdoor Museum of Taman Prasasti – a Window to the Past

We take a trip to the Taman Prasasti cemetery in Jakarta, where Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles’ wife, along with many other famous or well-known historical figures, are...

Gunung Padang, Cianjur

The Ancient Temple of Gunung Padang

The recent revelation that Gunung Padang, a megalithic site south of Cianjur in West Java, almost certainly conceals a step pyramid dating back to beyond the Ice Age, is...

ca. 1840-1930, Java, Indonesia --- Two men smoke opium in Java, Indonesia. --- Image by ©Sean Sexton Collection/CORBIS

Indonesia’s War on Drugs

Nearly all UN members have endorsed the 1961, 1971 and 1988 conventions on the prohibition of the main illegal recreational drugs. The objective of these mandates was,...

A sketch of the lost city of Atlantis CMYK

Swapping shirts with Plato: Kicking the Atlantis Football Around

In academic circles, the dreaded ‘A’ word (Atlantis) in a book title is guaranteed to deter serious respectable consideration. In contrast, popular publishers love...

Bana Neira from the book Geologische Beschrijvingen van de Banda-Eilanden by Dr. R.D.M. Verbeek, published in 1901. Courtesy of Bartele Gallery

The Big Apple and the Spice Islands

For whatever reason, New York picked up the appellation ‘Big Apple’ – is it even appropriate? Unbeknownst to most people, and as a result of a remarkable twist in...

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West of the South-Eastern Islands

Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) is one of Indonesia’s 34 provinces. Wedged between Bali and the tiny island of Komodo, it is trying to carve itself a spot on the tourist...

Indonesia Expat - NTT issue - Ende Rahim Pancasila - Gunung Meja by Grace Susetyo

Ende, Flores: The Womb that Conceived Indonesia

Grace Susetyo takes a trip to Ende, where Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, was exiled between 1934-1938. President Sukarno used his time on the island to write...

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Going, Going, Gone: In Search of the Ultimate Longhouse

Along with blowpipes, traditional tattooing, mastery of plaiting crafts, canoe-building and the custom of wearing huge bunches of metal earrings to elongate earlobes,...

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The Mysterious, Phantasmagoric World of Javanese Wayang Theatre

The morality and messages conveyed in Wayang Kulit plays still permeate Javanese thought and daily life. The spellbound audience is the best show of all. A wayang show...

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Operation Starfish: The Untold Story of Australian Commandos in Lombok, 1945

The Lombok Strait averages about a thousand metres in depth, though in places it is far deeper. And not only is the strait deep, it is treacherous. Its southern entrance...

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The Pasola Festival of Sumba | When the Worms Didn’t Come

In 1994, when travel journalist Ron Gluckman observed the Pasola ritual in Sumba, all of the “signs” were good – the precious nyale worms were abundant, suggesting...

Sins of the Father

Sins of the Father?

“The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.” – Bible: Ezekiel 18:20  When I was 17 in mid-sixties London, I was at school studying for my GCE...

Roehana Koeddoes

Roehana Koeddoes: A Heroine of Education and Journalism

In Indonesia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on 22 December. Although it is neither a major celebration nor part of the nation’s culture, many consider this occasion...

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Galungan: Biggest Day of the Year

Celebrating the creation of the world by the supreme god and the victory of goodness or virtue (dharma) over evil (adharma), the Balinese religious festival of Galungan...