Indonesia’s Minangkabau culture promotes empowered Muslim women

By Sadiq Bhanbhro, Sheffield Hallam University In most of the Western world, the image of Muslim women is often distorted Muslim women have been represented as homogeneous, veiled, submissive, helpless, oppressed and powerless victims Across Europe, countries are placing bans on veils on the grounds that they are symbols of oppression against Muslim women The construction and representation of Muslim women...

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Jakarta We Love You: 8 Reasons This City Rules

Remembering Riyanto, the Muslim youth who sacrificed himself to save a church from a bomb on Christmas Eve

Between the massive protests against Jakarta Governor Ahok for his alleged blasphemy, the recent shutdown of a Christmas service in Bandung by religious extremists and the bombing...

Remembering Riyanto, the Muslim youth who sacrificed himself to save a church from a bomb on Christmas Eve

Indonesian government says it is not to blame for missing WWII shipwrecks

Indonesia refused to take the blame Thursday for the disappearance of at least six British and Dutch World War II shipwrecks -- considered war graves -- that investigators believe...

Indonesian government says it is not to blame for missing WWII shipwrecks

WATCH: Rare color film from the 1930s documents life in Jakarta and Indonesia pre-Independence

It is always interesting to get cinematic glimpses into Indonesia’s past, to see the ways things really used to be (FYI if you haven't seen it, be sure to check out this...

WATCH: Rare color film from the 1930s documents life in Jakarta and Indonesia pre-Independence

The Conversation: What we know about Indonesia’s 1965 ‘anti-communist’ purge

By Baskara T Wardaya, Universitas Sanata Dharma International audiences were introduced to Indonesia’s 1965-66 massacre of “communists” by the multi award-winning...

The Conversation: What we know about Indonesia’s 1965 ‘anti-communist’ purge

New fossils may settle debate over ‘Hobbit’ people’s ancestry

By Will Dunham Fossils unearthed on the Indonesian island of Flores may resolve one of the most intriguing mysteries in anthropology: the ancestry of the extraordinary...

New fossils may settle debate over ‘Hobbit’ people’s ancestry

WATCH: Fascinating doc about Jakarta from 1971 shows how much the capital has changed, and hasn’t 

“Wet Earth, Warm People” was produced in 1971 by Australian filmmaker Michael Rubbo for the National Film Board of Canada and is absolutely worth watching for anybody...

WATCH: Fascinating doc about Jakarta from 1971 shows how much the capital has changed, and hasn’t 

Golkar’s bid to name Suharto a national hero sparks anger

A proposal to transform Indonesia's former leader Suharto, one of the 20th century's most brutal dictators, into a national hero sparked anger Tuesday from rights activists and...

Golkar’s bid to name Suharto a national hero sparks anger

Indonesian who died fighting the Nazis honored as a war hero in the Netherlands

There are unfortunately a few people in Indonesia who have a distorted view of history and actually admire the genocidal Nazi party But there were also many Indonesians who fought...

Indonesian who died fighting the Nazis honored as a war hero in the Netherlands

How influential scholar Ben Anderson’s works on Indonesia challenged Suharto’s military rule

By Asvi Warman Adam, Indonesian Institute of Sciences The study of Indonesia’s modern history owes much to the prominent scholar Ben Anderson, who died last Thursday while...

How influential scholar Ben Anderson’s works on Indonesia challenged Suharto’s military rule

Coconuts Jakarta History

Indonesia has an incredible history that stretches all the way back to the very dawn of humankind, with some of the oldest humanoid fossils having being found in Java and Flores. Jumping ahead several thousand years, Indonesia’s early history has been heavily influenced by its location and its rich natural resources, which brought traders from across the region that in turn brought their cultures to be incorporated into Indonesia’s melting pot. Powerful dynasties, such as the Srivijaya Empire and later the Majapahit empire, dominated much of what we now call Indonesia from the 7th century BC until the late 13th century, when Islam was first introduced to the land and slowly become the dominant religious and cultural force. Europeans arrived in Indonesia from the 16th century, and in 1602 the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company which would eventually lead the Dutch Government to take control over what they called the Dutch East Indies and hold it as a colony until the Japanese invasion and occupation from 1942-45. This ended after the defeat of Japan and the declaration of Indonesian independence by Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. In 1965, an attempted coup by the Indonesian Communist Party led to the rise of General Suharto as Indonesia’s dictator and a violent anti-communist purge that historians believe led to the mass killings of around one million people, paving the way for Suharto’s new order which would last until he was forced to step down in 1998. Suharto’s downfall led to an era of democracy in Indonesia, one that has been characterized by increasing freedoms and prosperity but also old powerful elites clinging to the past in order to maintain their power. Nowhere is this more evident in the struggle to find truth over the 1965 mass killings, a historical issue that remains incredibly controversial today as activists fight to reveal what really happened so that Indonesia can move forward from its dark past.