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In Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia, much of August has been filled with activities linked to the 18th Asian Games (also known as Asiad) which are now taking place in Jakarta and Palembang. Never have the two cities looked so spic and span, festooned with flags of participating nations, the main streets cleared of knotty traffic jams and unseemly
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The small town of Cazenovia, Wisconsin, where I was raised—population 318 according to the 2010 census—is more than a hop, skip, and jump away from the megacity of Jakarta—population of 30 million plus in the metropolitan area—where I have spent most of my adult life, but every year, if possible, and usually in the month
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No other episode in the history of modern Indonesia evokes so much sentiment as the annual commemoration of Independence Day on August 17. That was the day in 1945 when the nation’s founders declared our freedom from 300 years of Dutch colonial rule. However, it took four more years before the new republic of Indonesia achieved de jure recognition by the
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I didn’t realize it at the time but, in 1980 when the Pustaka Jaya publishing house of Jakarta released the bilingual collection of women’s poetry, A Taste of Betel and Lime (Seserpih Pinang Sepucuk Sirih), this was a historic moment for Indonesian women authors. No such a book had ever been published before. The book,
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No less than 20 Indonesian media organizations covered the two-day Hadhrami (Indonesian of Arab descent) Festival organized by Lontar and the Cultural Faculty of the University of Indonesia in early May. A range of print media, from Kompas – the country’s largest daily newspaper to religious and women’s affairs magazines in addition to assorted online news
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A recent article in The Jakarta Post caught my eye: “Taking Action to Preserve Javanese Language.” It was about a youth community in Yogyakarta, working with Wikipedia in an effort to revitalize the Javanese vernacular. Such ventures are nothing new in linguistically-diverse Indonesia where, since even before independence in 1945, the credo of “One Language,
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