Oct 18, 2021 Last Updated 1:13 AM, Oct 14, 2021

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

The isolation poems by Putu Oka Sukanta

Oct 09, 2021 - PUTU OKA SUKANTA, VANNESSA HEARMAN & KIERNAN BOX

Supplied by Putu Oka Sukanta. Photograph by Lara Norgaard.

Poems by Putu Oka Sukanta were translated by Vannessa Hearman and Kiernan Box with commentary written by Vannessa Hearman based on her interview with the poet.

Reshaping masculine cultures of terrorism

Sep 20, 2021 - NOOR HUDA ISMAIL

Young men gather at Monas, Jakarta / Francisco Anzola @Flickr creative commons

Former members of terror networks are focussing on masculinity’s role in encouraging violent extremism in Indonesia

A lost generation

Sep 01, 2021 - ANTON LUCANUS

'Where we used to be', Central Jakarta, 2020 / ATH

Thousands of children have been orphaned and ostracised as the pandemic crisis continues to spiral

Film review: Kinipan

Aug 31, 2021 - ARFAN AZIZ

How forest restoration and food estate policies affect local communities

Photo essay: Banyutowo harmony

Aug 28, 2021 - HUTAMA LIMARTA

Locally bought fishermen’s catch at Banyutowo Fish Auction House

A fishing village on the northern tip of Java stays true to its roots

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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