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Culture

  • Graying Japan eyes cheaper gifts for centenarians

    Japan said Thursday it is eyeing a cheaper alternative to the pricey gift that it gives to people turning 100 each year, in a nation famous for its long-living population.

  • Devout

    An Indian Parsi girl prays near relief figures of knights at a fire temple on the Parsi New Year known as Navroze in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday.

  • Mystics dance

    Sudanese Sufi mystics dance and chant during a weekly Sufi religious ceremony at the tomb of Sheikh Hamed al-Nil, a 19th-century Sufi leader of the Qadiri Sufi order, in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on Friday. (AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

  • 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.

  • Welcoming Year of Wooden Goat

    Millions of Indonesians of Chinese descent joyfully celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year across the country on Thursday. They anxiously welcomed the arrival of the Wooden Goat on Wednesday night with fireworks and colorful lanterns. This Lunar Year is the Year of the Wooden Goat, named after one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese New Year festival is steeped in symbolism and tradition.

  • A celebration of pluralism in Banyuwangi

    US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake celebrated for the first time Thanksgiving Day with members of the Osing ethnic group in Banyuwangi, East Java, as part of a visit in November.

  • 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.

  • Malang’s mask dances for modern tastes

    With slow, confident steps, a player portraying Prabu Klono Sewandono danced to the stage, passing guests seated at dining tables.

  • After a tough election, Yogya artists build bridges

    The recently concluded presidential election divided the nation into two camps. A similar schism also separated the nation’s cultural community, leaving tensions among friends and collaborators in the wake of the democratic exercise of the franchise.

  • 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.