Category Archives: Society

Old Nusantara in New Singapore

One of the reasons many Indonesians love to come to Singapore is to enjoy newer, better, often more advanced things. Things like underground subway, fully-automated system of whatnots, or tropical gardens hanging up in the sky.   I do, too, … Continue reading

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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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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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New Year and the Surreal New Normal

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s word of last year was “surreal”, which perfectly sums up how 2016 was pretty much worldwide and, like it or not, prepares us for 2017 onward. I personally think Merriam-Webster was being kind, because I would have … Continue reading

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As the World Keeps Tilting to the Right

When Donald Trump was formally nominated earlier this year by the Republican National Convention to run for president, to the dismay of many Republicans nonetheless, an article appeared on my Twitter feed. It was a long read about how J.D … 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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Jakarta Socialites: Right Dress Code, Wrong Code of Conduct

I’ll start by saying that I don’t typically frown upon people just because they’re wealthy and well-connected or, for the sake of the argument, deprived and doomed. Yet sometimes, some people just keep behaving in certain ways that I can’t … Continue reading

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