Category Archives: Religion

Seamless Semarang, Seemingly

When you travel with the genuine willingness to soak in the atmosphere of the destination, there are almost no boundaries of what you can enjoy. That’s the quality I value more on travel mates—the ones who aren’t boxed in just … Continue reading

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Fire Sale: Muslim Voters and the Chinese Bogeyman

Jakarta’s politics never ceased to amaze me. Just when I thought the religion card couldn’t have been used more coarsely, Instagram delivered a surprise earlier this week. And to think I actually logged into Instagram to avoid the highly-political Twitter. … 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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71 Years On: The Crossroads of Identity?

It started off years ago as Independence Day lunch with some diplomat friends; they’d just returned from State Palace for the ceremony, I’d just finished watching it on TV. Since they’d be in formalwear, I’d dress accordingly in variations of red-white … Continue reading

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A Festival of Fasting, Fear and Factions

A festival Ramadan has become. For the urbanites, it’s an endless series of retail sales, grocery hunts and iftar invitations, that an atheist friend of mine had busier Ramadan than I did. Add in the nightly firecrackers, once a merriment only in villages without … 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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In Madge We Forever Trust

It was all a series of coincidence. I rarely check social media while traveling, but I happened to log into Twitter while on road in October to find people talking about the concert. The concert trip happened to be organized … Continue reading

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O Clutter, Beware the Holy Cleansing Month

Some people asked me why in the last column I was being too forthcoming about packing too much fat in my mid-section. They’re in for another surprise for now I’m going to be forthcoming about my other shortcoming– too much … Continue reading

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Eid Is Where You Find Your Peace

“So, where are you mudik to during Lebaran?” The question thrown at me on the last week of Ramadhan by colleagues, security guard, hairstylist and everyone in between. Had they expected an exotic destination as an answer they would have … Continue reading

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The Soothing Sounds of Spirit

Ramadhan is in full swing, which means the whole caboodle of paraphernalia is in full display—mall décor, endless fast-breaking events and the ubiquitous religious songs on TV, radio, building lobbies and, sometimes, elevators. I’m not sure exactly when the tradition … Continue reading

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