Category Archives: culture

Women empowerment is wanted

It’s not restricted to the UK. On the contrary. Though every decent individual will vehemently reject sexism, sexual harassment, rape and violence against women and children, it happens all the time.

In modern societies the law protects women and children against violence and rape. But usually that  is no  protection ex ante and often not even  ex post. Only if victims are willing and able to file charges, the socio-cultural setting is one of gender equality and a functioning state of law is present, adequate laws are effective. Which is not self-evident in for instance Latin American cultures of machoism or patriarchal societies – which to some extent still applies to large parts of Indonesia- where all social mechanisms reproduce and exert male dominance over women. Moreover this case of a young woman who was raped in Cologne (Germany) and afterwards was denied medically examination and a morning-after-pill, proves that even if the objective conditions appear to be favourable, female victims of male aggression still may meet insensitive, bad treatment.

Indonesian media frequently report about cases of violence and abuse.

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Wonderful Indonesia & Cultural Tourists

President SBY will be happy.

He said the tourist industry is important to the national GPD. It contributes some 4% directly and 9% indirectly he said recently. So I guess it’s good news to him Henk and Gerrie, my two theatre-buddies and real addicted culture-consumers, decided to spend a month in Indonesia.My globe-trotting friends will soon tour the “tropic of emerald“. But rather than enjoying the still abundant beauty of fauna, flora, sea and scenery in the empire of islands, they are hoping to find new cultural experiences.

Henk and Gerrie waited long.Too long in my opinion. Though I’ve often tried before to convince them, they have not spent one day in Indonesia in he past. Never seemed inclined at all to go there. Latin America, China, India, the Middle East – they have been hunting for cultural experiences everywhere. They recently even preferred Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia over holidays in Indonesia. When I asked them why their answers were evasive and ambiguous.

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Read “A make-belief nation”.

It’s gradually getting through. Today a Dutch on line news site reported unrest in Papua is growing. What’s going on in the tropical empire?

I’ve always kept my slightly worn old school atlas. It’s the at the time famous Bos “Atlas der gehele aarde” ( Atlas of all the world), 37th print, 1947, Groningen – Batavia.There are several maps, nrs 33 – 36, dedicated to the archipelago. Each island named by it’s colonial name: Borneo, Celebes, Nieuw Guinea. No surprise here.The war of independence was still fought.The Dutch  government officially still referred to what it considered to be a colony as “Nederlands Indië’ ( Dutch Indies). But the Bos Atlas obviously had a slightly subversive trait; two years before transfer of sovereignty would take place the name of the country in our school atlas was Indonesia already.

Actually it’s remarkable we today can put an equation mark between Nederlands Indië ( the colony) and Indonesia (the thriving regional power): NI = RI. For what else but a hotchpotch of peoples and cultures the colony was. An administrative reality only. It was far from being a nation. It actually was a huge gamble when the revolutionaries opted for turning that hotchpotch  integrally into one new independent nation practically over night. I guess primarily thanks to the political genius of Soekarno and his companions that merely administrative unity didn’t fall apart. It even became a unitary state with a supreme central government.

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The Lady said No.

Lately the over-the-top Lady Gaga was trending topic. Her planned performance was thwarted by FPI and other radicals. The concerts on Indonesian soil were temporarily cancelled. Till yesterday the question was whether she, even after originally having dropped her gigs in the archipelago because of the Police’s stiff opposition,would perform in Jakarta after all ???? Would promoter “Big Daddy”  talk her management into complying with a few of Jakarta Police’s  petty face-saving censor-demands in time????

Well, today the Lady said no.  The concert of June the 3rd is off the agenda. No compromise on her part to appease  the Islamic Defense Front and save the Police’s face.

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