Category Archives: Literary

Fear Not the Label, Hear the Dragon Ladies Roar

Last weekend over a million women marched on the US capital and world’s major cities the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration to protest against Trump’s repeated racist and misogynist comments, including his threat to meddle with women’s reproductive rights, which, … Continue reading

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Mata Hari and Pham Xuan An: The Spies Who Loved Differently

The most intriguing souvenir I picked up during my recent Vietnam trip was Larry Berman’s Perfect Spy, a biography of Pham Xuan An, a journalist working clandestinely as spy during the Vietnam War. Hanoi’s H.63 intelligence network maneuvered to make … Continue reading

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The Acehnese Man Guarding Chinese Manuscripts

Believe in momentums? I do. After reading an ethnographic book I discovered the author’s Twitter handle, on which I found a link to someone’s blogpost about a museum of diaspora Chinese literature in Indonesia.   Museum of what?   Yeah, … Continue reading

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From ‘Kafir’ to ‘Komunis’: The Bogeyman Lives On

A long while ago I read somewhere that the more diverse a group, the stronger the bond must be created to hold them together as a group. Logical. In the case of The Prince and the Pauper, or Beauty and the Beast, it … Continue reading

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Postcards from Milan and Frankfurt

Supporting one’s country means different things to different people. For Mom, at least this time around, supporting Indonesia on global stages mean physically being there. After some debate she finally put her foot down—so we hurriedly applied for visas, bought … Continue reading

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For Nobody Can Take Away The Dances We and Gabo Have Already Had

I woke up yesterday morning, on what was technically a Good Friday in Jakarta, to learn that he had passed away. Mi maestro más magical… muerto. Shouldn’t have been surprising as 1.5 years ago his family already issued a statement … Continue reading

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Between, and Among, Words and Wordsmiths

How quick a year flies. I still remembered my first Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) last year, already on its 9th by then, and suddenly I was there again for the 10th UWRF last week. Flying in rather tired … Continue reading

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Mother Tongue? Whose Mother?

Since I was a kid I often wondered the origin and questioned the accuracy of the term ‘mother tongue’. If it was meant to refer to the language a person was raised in (usually based on parental heritage), I thought … Continue reading

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For the Love of Literary

At some point in our lives we all pay homage to something dear and near, like Mom and I paid homage to The Beatles in Liverpool last year, or Dad to Rio’s Copacabana beach the year before (don’t ask). This … Continue reading

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