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Culture

  • Dance Day

    Dancers perform the Banceuy Spirit Performance to mark International Dance Day at the Banceuy Prison Monument in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday. International Dance Day is commemorated every April 29. (Antara/Agus Bebeng)

  • In Pontinanak, a very Dayak batik

    Near the Catholic church on Jl. Pattimura in Pontianak, visitors can find a host of stores selling traditional handicrafts of the province’s Dayak people — along with a surprising addition: batik.

  • France wants to legalize terminal sedation

    France's president wants to allow doctors to keep terminally ill patients sedated until death comes, amid a national debate about whether to legalize euthanasia.

  • Warrior princess

    Miss Tourism of Indonesia 2014, Estelita Liana, wears the warrior princess of Borneo costume during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday. Estelita won the Best National Costume category in the 2014 Miss Supranational contest, which was held in Krynica Zdroj, Poland on Dec.5. (Antara)

  • In Bali, balancing the universe

    Balinese Hindus believe that prayer is needed to create the power to balance our world as it traverses the Kali Yuga.

  • In traditional twist, cross-gender troupe dances ’legong’

    Backstage concentration is broken by giggles as a group of dancers dot rouge to cheeks, glue false eyelashes like butterfly wings to painted eyelids and dab at perspiration beginning to pour down elegant necks.

  • In praise of puppets

    This is true of parents and puppeteers; apart from the means of reproduction there seems to be little difference. It’s a point proved by the work of Ardian Purwoseputro, the author and principal photographer of a splendidly illustrated text on the subject — Wayang Potehi of Java. 

  • Performing Bali on Wall Street

    Three dancers rehearse in an unfinished industrial space in downtown New York. The concrete floor is painted with an elaborate pattern of circles and squares that simulates the Balinese tika calendar.

  • Art and dance as a state of being

    Made Djimat smiles as he discusses preserving the arts. “It’s important to care for culture, because the arts have softness,” the 65-year-old says. “They don’t want war.”

  • The sleeping beauty slumbers still

    According to the city managers of Old Town (Kota Tua), there are hundreds of heritage buildings in Kota Tua, owned by state-owned companies, private companies and individuals.

  • Wayang Museum: Of heroes and grand tales

    Arya shakes his head when asked about who Kresna from the Baratayuda is while he browses the Wayang Museum in Kota, West Jakarta.

  • A bloodline of legend and legacy

    At first appearance, Bali in the 21st century has been blighted by the same issues facing much of Indonesia and dozens of other nations.

  • Lost puppet theater art

    Language barriers, declining viewers lead wayang potehi to oblivion.

  • The beauty, ritual and art of Dayak dance

    The renowned choreographer Dedy Lutan recently presented his latest work, Hutan Pasir Sunyi, or The Silent Sand Forest, at Galeri Indonesia Kaya in the Grand Indonesia shopping center in Central Jakarta.

  • ‘Barong’ dance for Bali’s heritage

    Weighing in at 70 kilograms of fur, leather and gilt with a great carved wooden head, the barong costume calls for extreme stamina to bring it to its animate life.

  • Demystifying ‘kerokan’ a Surakarta palace healing tradition

    Kerokan— or scraping the skin with oil and a coin —is a traditional Javanese healing therapy.

    Some, however, say the therapy might be harmful, causing skin to thin and opening up pores and blood vessels.

  • Sacred dagger

    Kris have been forged from iron by master craftsmen, known locally as empu, for hundreds of years.

  • Amid the winds of change

    The Ternate sultanate in Maluku has played an important role in the history of Indonesia.

    In its heyday, the sultanate was a magnet for Portuguese and Spanish colonists who were eager to fight and die for the chance to control its strategic position and natural resources.

  • Making batik, Druju style

    Several women are singing out of tune, breaking the prevailing silence, while their skillful hands draw with ink — following the lines and motifs on silk fabrics.

  • ‘Ogoh-ogoh’ dolls keep tradition alive

    Over the past several years, some Balinese have turned their hands to making miniature ogoh-ogoh dolls for local children.