Indonesia’s Minangkabau culture promotes empowered Muslim women

Anyone visiting West Sumatra, Indonesia, would be amazed – not so much by the beauty of its lakes and mountains, but by the prominent role women play in almost all spheres of life in the Minangkabau community. From the household to the marketplace, Minangkabau women hold pride of

History

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

The kind of hero we need right

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

Former colonial ruler The Netherlands has launched a probe into how three Dutch navy ships seemingly vanished from the bed of the Java Sea, while Britain has urged Indonesia to...

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

From Batavia to

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

On September 30 1965, a group of left-wing soldiers calling themselves the September 30th Movement abducted six army generals and a first officer from their

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

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

Scientists on Wednesday described bone fragments and teeth about 700,000 years old retrieved from an ancient river bed that appear to belong to the extinct Hobbit

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

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.