As Minang dance shows, the guiding rules of culture are often unspoken
The arts scene has changed radically since 1998, but some of the old uncertainties remain
Journalists strike after West Java’s most famous newspaper ‘withdraws’ poem.
Subversive ‘underground’ voices in Indonesian rap
It’s Jakarta, June 2004 and the boom box is playing a hip-hop beat. It’s a far cry from the meditative gamelan music, saccharine love songs or even the sensual dangdut one expects to hear in Java. The rapper is Xaqhala and he spins a gritty, rhythmic poem of everyday youth experience.