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Indonesia in Focus

Archive for the History of Indonesia Category

Celebrating a Hundred Years of Maritime Nation

April 26th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Nenek moyangku orang pelaut/Gemar mengarung luas samudera/Menerjang ombak tiada takut/Menempuh badai sudah biasa ….”
(Our ancestors were sailors/ They sailed across the oceans/ Challenged the waves fearlessly/Surfed the storm familiarly.)

In the early 1990s or before, the above song was popular in Indonesia. I wonder whether Indonesian children nowadays still sing this song. One thing for sure, children seem to be more interested in drawing mountain views rather than seas. Does it indicate a degradation of the maritime spirit? Let us go back a while.


Torture Still Widespread in Indonesia

April 17th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Torture and other human rights abuses are still rampant in Indonesia 10 years after the fall of Soeharto, Amnesty International said Wednesday. Though the government ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and instituted key legal reforms after Soeharto’s demise, Amnesty receives reports of abuse “on a regular basis,” a briefing paper by the rights group said.


Book Review:The Indonesian Presidency

March 30th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

The highly personal nature of Indonesia’s two longest tenured presidencies, Sukarno (1949-66) and Suharto (1966-1998), is widely recognised in the study of its political history. Indeed, political or ‘presidential’ biography has a strong presence within the field of Indonesian studies.


Indonesians in Focus: Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana

March 2nd, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

The late Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana, who was born in Natal, North Sumatra on Feb. 11, 1908, is recognized not only as one of Indonesia’s great writers but also as a philosopher whose ideas still exert a considerable influence in Indonesia’s contemporary literary studies and the development of modern Indonesian Language.


Revenge of the Teak Forests

January 1st, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

Can Mother Nature take revenge for the way humans have been treating her? Obviously not directly. The torrential rains of the last two weeks have claimed 65 lives in the regency of Karanganyar, on the slopes of Central Java’s Mount Lawu. The resulting floods and landslides have caused property damage and disrupted transportation in at least 35 regencies and municipalities in Central and East Java, as well as the Yogyakarta regencies of Bantul and Sleman.


Chinese National Heroes in Indonesia

November 9th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Indonesia’s first official appointment of national heroes was made in 1959 and to date 137 individuals have been nominated for the title. For more than 30 years during the New Order regime, ethnic Chinese were not mentioned in Indonesian history books. Any Chinese-related festivities or cultural performances were prohibited.


Sangiran Museum: Sragen, Central Java

November 9th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

A student group entered Sangiran Museum in Sragen, Central Java, and enthusiastically looked at the various fossils on display, which date back from hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago. All of the fossils are kept in 15 vitrines at the museum, which is also called the Conservation Center of Early Man Site.


Paying Homage to the King of Banawa: Sulawesi

November 5th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Bearing gifts, a group of Tobaku and Sarudu traditional leaders approached the house of Datu Wajar Lamarauna, son and heir of the late king, Adam Ardjad Lamarauna. As per custom, the gifts included betel nut, a sack of rice, 14 eggs, four black and white chickens and a white cow.


Indigenous Languages in Danger of Disappearing

November 1st, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Indonesia is known not only for its multiethnic richness, but also for its linguistically diversified provinces and regions. Recent documented records by the National Education Ministry indicate there are 746 indigenous languages in the country, 10 of which have died out.


Ampel Mosque: Surabaya, East Java

October 26th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

mini-ampel-mosque-surabaya.jpgAmpel Mosque is believed to be the oldest in the country. Its founder, Sunan Ampel (otherwise known as Raden Ahmad Rachmatulloh), was one of nine figures who played a leading role in spreading Islam across Java. Sunan Ampel was born in 1401 in Champa, Cambodia. He is a descendant of Ibrahim Asmarakandi, or Maulana Malik Ibrahim, a Champa ruler. When he was 20 years old, Sunan Ampel moved to Surabaya in East Java, which was then ruled by Raja Brawijaya, a Majapahit king.


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