Celebrating Muhammad’s Birthday in Yogyakarta

The festival of the birth of the Prophet in Indonesia begins on the sixth day of the month of Mawlid and ends on the twelfth day. It is one of the most important religious festivals in the world’s largest Muslim country. This religious celebration is held in three Indonesian royal courts: Yogyakarta, Surakarta, and Cirebon. My paper is a brief ethnographic account of the Muhammad’s birthday [...]

The rise of mass-mobilizing politics in Indonesia

Indonesia prepares for “war!” The glorious time of the “peace dividend” following the 2005 Aceh conflict settlement seems to be over (Honna 2008). The “enemy” has succeeded in weakening the country’s political, economic and social structure with continuous terrorist threats, youth radicalization, the resurgence of communists, and by foreign companies extracting Indonesia’s natural [...]

Living in a State of Suspension: Emotional Dimensions of Normative Violence Towards Indonesian Queers in Islamic Legal Discourse

Debates on homosexuality and religion in Indonesia have moved onto centre stage following recent announcements of two Islamic legal proposals to prosecute nonnormative sexualities in the country. The two developments have been the passing of a criminal bylaw under the Syariah implementation in Aceh Province (, 29/09/2014), which penalises people who are caught engaging in same-sex [...]

Inequality and democracy in Indonesia

In the years leading to the downfall of President Suharto in 1998, there was growing public debate about the rise of a so-called kesenjangan sosial – or social gap – in the Indonesian media. Economic liberalisation measures in the 1980s had been followed by rapid growth of manufacturing and financial services, and signs of middle class affluence were increasingly visible in Indonesia’s [...]

REVIEW: Ilusi Demokrasi Lokal: Refleksi Gerakan Antikorupsi Organisasi Masyarakat Sipil

Pandu Wicaksono, (eds.). Ilusi Demokrasi Lokal: Refleksi Gerakan Antikorupsi Organisasi Masyarakat Sipil(Illusion of Local Democracy: Reflections on the Anti-Corruption Movement of Civil Society Organizations) Malang: Intrans Publishing and Malang Corruption Watch, 2014. 138pp. Local Corruption, Local Resistance: a Glimpse of Story from Indonesia Following the resignation of president [...]

Review— Paradox of Democratization: The deep Structure of Asian Politics from the Indonesian Case

Jun Honna, Paradox of Democratization: The deep structure of Asian politics from Indonesian caseTokyo: Iwanami Shoten. 2013Original title in Japanese: 民主化のパラドックスーインドネシアにみるアジア政治の深層Reviewed by Akiko Morishita The book begins with Honna’s real experience during his fieldwork when he interviewed a lawyer on local political corruption in [...]

Planting the Culture of Democracy: Kaliurang, Yogyakarta and Padang, West Sumatra Post-2010 Merapi Volcano Eruption and 2009 Sumatran Earthquake

Yogyakarta and West Sumatra are amongst the provinces in Indonesia that are prone to natural disasters. Generally, both are seen to be very different in terms of social culture. Yogyakarta is identical with Javanese culture, and known to have the mixed characteristics of both an urban and rural society. Fast growth of the city and the impacts of increased urbanization can be seen in the center as [...]

Djinah 1965, Years of Silence, bagian I, and, Sepenggal Catatan Merah, Sebuah Komik tentang Tragedi Mei 1998

Djinah 1965, Years of Silence, bagian I (first part) By Evans Poton.(Jakarta: Menara Warungku, IKJ-TIM, Interrographic, 2011, 101 pages), and: Sepenggal Catatan Merah, Sebuah Komik tentang Tragedi Mei 1998(A red note’s fragment, a comic book on the Tragedy of May 1998)By Hendra Bhakti(Jakarta: Grafiti Sosial, Gema INTI, Aikon, 2013, 102 pages) In recent years we have seen a number of important [...]

G30S 1965, Perang Dingin & Kehancuran Nasionalisme: Pemikiran Cina Jelata Korban Orba

Tan Swie Ling . 2010.G30S 1965, Perang Dingin & Kehancuran Nasionalisme: Pemikiran Cina Jelata Korban Orba[30 September 1965, the Cold War and the destruction of Nationalism: Thoughts of an ordinary Chinese as a victim of the New Order]. Depok: Komunitas Bambu bekerja sama dengan Lembaga Kajian Sinergi Indonesia, 2010   Reading Tan Swie Ling’s book is a challenge. From its title, readers [...]

REVIEW: Perang Dingin & Kehancuran Nasionalisme: Pemikiran Cina Jelata Korban Orba

Tan Swie Ling . 2010.G30S 1965, Perang Dingin & Kehancuran Nasionalisme: Pemikiran Cina Jelata Korban OrbaDepok: Komunitas Bambu bekerja sama dengan Lembaga Kajian Sinergi Indonesia, 2010  Membaca buku karangan Tan Swie Ling ini merupakan sebuah tantangan. Dari judulnya saja, pembaca bisa mengintip topik yang yang selalu kontroversial. Juga, tebalnya yang hampir 600 halaman, bikin pembaca [...]

Shaman and Politics in Indonesia

The role of the shaman is barely mentioned in the spotlight of political studies of post New Order Indonesia. The fact is, shaman has been involved in contestation for power in Indonesian politics and thus, its role cannot be ignored. [...]

Suicide Among Indonesian Children/Teenagers

       Suicide among Indonesian children/teenagers is apparently increasing every year. This phenomenon started to catch the public attention only after 1998. Komnas Anak (National Commission for Child Protection) in its 2012 mid annual-report mentions that between January – July 2012, there were 20 cases of child/ teen suicide. According to the chairperson of the Commission, Arist [...]

Labor Relations in Korean Companies in Indonesia: Focusing on the Early Period

Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. Issue 11 (March 2011). Southeast Asian Studies in Korea 1. Foreign Investment and Labor Issues Since the late 1980s, Korean firms have begun to aggressively invest abroad following the process of democratization and the rise of labour activities in Korea. In the past, Korean investments abroad tended to be limited only to the industrial sector, natural resource [...]

Aspek Hubungan Perburuhan Perusahaan Korea di Indonesia pada Awal 1990-an: Manajemen al a Korea dan Wacana Buruh

Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia Issue 11 (March 2011): Southeast Asian Studies in Korea Investasi Luar Negeri dan Persoalan Perburuhan Sejak akhir tahun 1980-an perusahaan Korea mulai gencar berinvestasi ke luar negeri menyusul terjadinya proses demokratisasi dan aktivasi perburuhan di Korea. Pada masa lalu, investasi Korea ke luar negeri cenderung terbatas pada sektor industri perkembangan sumber [...]

Beyond Orientalism? Another Look at Orientalism in Indonesian and Philippine Studies

 Orientalism…is not just a complicated reworking of theories about imperialism or of ‘culture bias’: Said … uses the production of the ‘knowledge’ called ‘Orientalism’ to raise questions about the production of any knowledge, and the meaning of any interpretation in any scholarly discipline. Birch (1983, 12)  Edward Said’s Orientalism was a watershed in the development of area [...]

Chinese-Indonesians in Local Politics: A Review Essay

 Despite various changes that happened after the tragic event of May 1998, including the latest revision of Citizenship Law (issued as No. 12/2006) which have given the Chinese-Indonesians social and political space to express their cultural identity, the situation is still regarded by some Chinese-Indonesians as potentially dangerous as during the New Order period. Anti-Chinese sentiment shown [...]

Catatan Tentang Orang Cina Indonesia dalam Politik Lokal

 Pendahuluan  Walaupun banyak perubahan yang telah terjadi setelah peristiwa tragis pada Mei 1998, termasuk revisi paling terbaru dalam Udang-Undang Kewarga-negaraan (terbit Nomor12/2006) yang telah memberikan kalangan Cina Indonesia ruang sosial and politk untuk mengekspresikan identitas budaya mereka, kenyataanya situasi saat ini dianggap masih mempunyai potensi yang membahayakan seperti pada [...]

The Social Origins and Political Power of Blaters (Thugs) in Madura

      The symbolic image of Madurese is associated with violence and religiosity. But in fact, these words theoretically represent different, even contradictory meanings. Religious people live ascetically and steer away from committing bad deeds and violent acts. By contrast, people accustomed to violence tend to stay away from ascetic lives. Yet, social reality presents complex problems [...]

On the Relationship between Cheng Ho and Islam in Southeast Asia

 From 1405 to 1433, during his seven expeditions overseas, did Cheng Ho participate in spreading Islam? While there is no relevant record in historical archives in China, many records and tales in Southeast Asian countries demonstrate well that Cheng Ho did help the spread of Islam there. However, do these records and tales really match the historical facts? The questions above merit further [...]

Museum as the Representation of Ethnicity: The Construction of Chinese Indonesian Ethnic Identity in post-Suharto Indonesia

             Introduction The purpose of this paper is to define the processes and techniques used in trial of the visualization of ethnic identity by examining the case of Chinese Indonesian Cultural Park (Taman Budaya Tionghoa Indonesia).  Chinese Indonesian Cultural Park is an ongoing museum building project by one of the Chinese Indonesians social organization, Paguyuban Sosial [...]

Tracing The Roots of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals: A Bibliographical Survey

   This essay provides a sketch of Indonesian Muslim intellectuals of the 1990s and offers a comprehensive explanation of their reformist approach to Islam from the 1970s to the 1980s. 1 It argues that there is a continuation in their regard of Islamic thought for the last three decades. I utilize a bibliographical approach to the works of these intellectuals. It is an approach that neither [...]

The Indonesian Migrants of Davao and Cotabato

The more recent Indonesian migrants to the Philippines are collectively called Maroris by the natives of Davao. They are called Maroris because in coming to southern Mindanao, a lot of them went by way of Marori Island, the northernmost island of the Sangihe Island chain in Indonesia. Marori was designated as the exit point for Indonesians from the Sangihe Islands, with the point of entry at [...]

Book Review— Beginning to Remember: The Past in Indonesian Present

Mary Zurbuchen (ed.) Beginning to Remember: The Past in Indonesian PresentSingapore and Seattle: Singapore University Press, with University of Washington Press, 2005 The past decade or so has seen proliferation of studies on different facets of memory and history. The rise to increasing prominence of memory studies coincides with the mounting recognition of the limits within which conventional [...]

Vigilantes and Gangsters in the Borderland of West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Persons who find it politic to hurriedly shift from one side of the border to the other can hardly be considered as valuable citizens of either State. 1 Borderlands have long been the sites of violence, the result either of government incapacity or disinterest in peripheral regions, or of occasional attempts by states to assert control over “recalcitrant” border peoples (Paredes 1958; Wadley [...]

A Friendship, Some Mediated Imaginations, and Religiosity in Java/Elsewhere

         Jumpa Lagi I have been coming to Indonesia for over twenty years, and for twelve of those years I’ve been involved in research as a cultural anthropologist on the island of Java, in the city of Yogyakarta (Yogya). In summer 2002 I was back for another visit, and an old friend that I’ve known both professionally and personally stopped by the house on the southside of Yogya [...]

Vedi Hadiz on Indonesia

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As you know, we are having parliamentary elections in Indonesia on the 5th of April, and this should actually be a very good time to talk about leadership in Indonesia. The problem is, I’ve been looking at the advertisements and campaigns of this election campaign period, looking at all the clowns in the advertisements and all the funny things going on in the [...]
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