GABY RUSLI WRITES (in an on-going series of reviews of Indonesian classics) — A grandfather who seeks to marry off his granddaughters to his wealthy friends for connections. A young, successful model who suffered the consequences of her early success. A Chinese-Indonesian family was left with the scars and traumas…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: FAMILY ROOM (2010) BY LILY YULIANTI FARID — THE MANY FACES OF A FAMILY UNRAVELED
KEZIA LAKSMONO WRITES – Tesla cars roaming the streets are a common sight for the average Angeleno. Public parking lots with charging stations for electric cars are now the norm here. But for a typical Indonesian like me? I am fascinated by this. While renewable energy has become the second-most…Full Article INDONESIA: THE ROAD AHEAD LOOKS GOOD FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND CLEAN, GREEN ENERGY
GABY RUSLI WRITES — “You can turn her into a prostitute and take the money she earns for as long as she lives,” said the old man. “Or, if there’s no man who wants to be with her, you can chop her up into bits and sell her flesh at…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: BEAUTY IS A WOUND (2002) BY EKA KURNIAWAN – A TRAGIC STORY OF INDONESIA’S EARLY YEARS
GABY RUSLI WRITES – Faith teaches us that all men are created equal, yet we choose to enslave one another. European empires have colonized almost every country globally, and while colonialism has been linked to progress, it has left nations scarred and changed. For Indonesia, the foreign occupation has inspired…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THIS EARTH OF MANKIND (1996) BY PRAMOEDYA ANATA TOER – THE AWAKENING OF A NATION ENSLAVED IN ITS OWN LAND
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Beggars roam the busiest streets of Indonesia’s capital cities, some with the intent to gather funds for a cause no one really knows much about, while others simply out of a desperate desire to survive. Imagine you’re a typical driver running errands on a Wednesday. You’ve…Full Article INDONESIA: A GENERATION’S FUTURE COMES OUT TO BEG
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Indonesia has become one of the world’s epicenters for COVID-19 in recent weeks. With a dramatic surge in cases-averaging 50,000 per day-as well as bed and oxygen scarcity, the country’s Third World history and residual characteristics have thrust it into an especially damaging, vulnerable position. While…Full Article INDONESIA: WHERE CRAZY, RICH PEOPLE, POLITICS AND THE PRESS HELP SPREAD COVID
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Was it my clothes? Did I make the mistake of dressing slightly more provocatively today without realizing it? Why are people so hostile to women? Why do they stare at me as if I am walking around with a target on my back? These questions have…Full Article INDONESIA: WHERE SEXUAL HARASSMENT NEITHER STOPS NOR STARTS
KEZIA LAKSMONO WRITES — I was reminded of “Pantun,” an oral literary form of expression traditionally used amongst Indonesians, during this pandemic. In its most basic form, it consists of even-numbered lines which are recited according to a fixed rhythm. For example: “Kalau ada sumur di ladang, bolehlah kita menumpang…Full Article CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES: POETRY FOR THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND
KEZIA LAKSMONO WRITES — My home country is known for many cultural myths and rich folklore. I’ve always been skeptical of such stories. But folklore about New Year’s Day weather? For me, that’s always been an exception. Historically, rain comes pouring down on the city of Jakarta – the place…Full Article INDONESIA: CORONAVIRUS CRISIS TURNS INTO COMPOUNDED CATASTROPHE
GABY RUSLI WRITES — The sweet, milky, smooth, light brown tea. The dark brown, chewy, little bubble-like goodness at the bottom of the plastic cup. The excitement you feel when you’ve stuck your straw into the cup, ready to enjoy this drink that will satisfy your thirst and craving for…Full Article INDONESIA: BOBA TEA DRINKS MAKE MY HEART BUBBLE WITH JOY
SIANY GUNAWAN WRITES –Even though I don’t share some of her beliefs, as an Asian American I respect Kamala Harris’s assertive nature, and I am proud of her achievement in smashing through the largest glass ceiling for people of color. Harris, a senator from California, is of Indian and Jamaican…Full Article INDONESIA: AS VICE-PRESIDENT, KAMALA HARRIS MAY HELP RAISE THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN MY HOME COUNTRY
SIANY GUNAWAN WRITES – For Indonesia, the world’s two major trading partners -China and the US- and the multiplier effects of their trade war- have intensified pressure on Indonesia’s aim to accomplish its targeted growth goal in Jakarta. Yes, the US-China trade war could end up benefiting the Indonesian economy…Full Article INDONESIA: CAN OPPORTUNITIES BE GAINED FROM THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR?
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Protests have erupted in cities across Indonesia ever since a new labor law was passed on October 5th, 2020. This new piece of legislation, known as the “omnibus law,” significantly affects Indonesian worker rights. The omnibus law was passed in an attempt to create more jobs…Full Article INDONESIA: LABORING AGAINST THE NEW LABOR LAW
SIANY GUNAWAN WRITES – In Indonesia, the debate on women’s rights has accelerated in response to political and social challenges. More and more women are being sexually abused and, according to women’s legal counselors, the alleged violence had continued for years. The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) recorded…Full Article INDONESIA: WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS…AREN’T THEY?
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Beautiful beaches, divine seafood, welcoming people, a wide array of flavors-those are the words I would use to describe Indonesia, my birthplace. I take pride in having lived there most of my life, but at the same time, I grieve the lack of progress in certain…Full Article INDONESIA: WHY I LEFT THE COUNTRY WHERE I WAS BORN
FIONNA ANGELICA WIJAYA WRITES – The ongoing epidemic that is currently spreading across the globe becomes more threatening every single day. The government policy that requires us to be inside the house or apartment has become more challenging for me personally. This is my first time being quarantined during a…Full Article CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES: ‘THE SITUATION IN INDONESIA HAS NOT IMPROVED’