Sep 20, 2020 Last Updated 7:31 AM, Sep 18, 2020

A veneer of tradition

How strong is local tradition in the face of the modern state?ARIANNE VAN DER MEER attends a ceremony in Sumatra's Minangkabau area, famous for its matrilineal culture. She finds that the cultural symbols do survive. But they are now also tools in the hands of the central government.

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Schooling in Aceh

Education should open doors to a brighter future. But when school costs the earth yet yields only failure, is the price too high? BARBARA LEIGH talks with Raziah, a poor mother in Aceh.

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Battle for the pews

GERRY VAN KLINKEN explores the dramatic conflict within the Batak Protestant Church (HKBP). Environmental protest, military-backed thugs, and guerilla tactics to attend Sunday worship - these are the ingredients of a bizarre story.

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Two Sumatran films

The National Library of Australia now has the most comprehensive collection of Indonesian films available outside of Indonesia. Two films in this collection come from Sumatra.

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Colonial legacy

It may be true that Java rules Indonesia. But Javanese labourers in Sumatra, writes BUDI AGUSTONO, have been at the bottom of the heap for generations.

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Latest Articles

A 150-year old obstacle to land rights 

Sep 18, 2020 - AHMAD DHIAULHAQ & WARD BERENSCHOT

Protestors calling for land reform, Jakarta, September 2019 / Dhemas Reviyanto / ANTARA FOTO

The Dutch colonialists adopted the concept of domein verklaring (domain declaration) to claim control over a large part of Indonesia’s land. This act lives on in modern-day Indonesia, causing conflict...

Thoughts for Lance Castles

Sep 14, 2020 - ANTHONY REID

Lance Castles, painted by Yasin Tiar in 1999

Obituary: Remembering Lance Castles (1937–2020)

Sep 13, 2020 - MARGARET KARTOMI et al

Lance in a seminar in Jakarta / TEMPO/NIHIL PAKURIL

Book Review: Man of Contradictions

Sep 07, 2020 - MARCUS MIETZNER

 / @jokowi Instagram

Photo Essay: From the field

Sep 07, 2020 - GIULIA ZANINELLI

 / Author

Be there! Exploring small oil palm plantations from Riau (not Europe)

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A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar