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Culture

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ‘DRUPADI’: The classic role of women

    Master gamelan musician and composer Rahayu “Panggah” Supanggah has been on a new project that he sees as a challenge.

  • In Timika, women work to save the ‘noken’

    A noken woven bag is one of the best known pieces of Papua’s cultural heritage — and is a symbol of good life, peace and fertility.

  • In Solo, a Chinese and Javanese melange

    Eight people carrying two huge piles (gunungan) of kue keranjang were recently seen running along Jl. Urip Sumoharjo to reach Tien Kok Sie Chinese Temple in Pasar Gede in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java.

  • Pomp for the Prophet in Yogyakarta

    The Yogyakarta Palace, as the successor of the Demak and Mataram sultanates, has always worked to preserve and promote religious ceremonies, albeit with a distinctly Javanese touch.

  • In South Lampung, a very Sundanese New Year

    There is something different about the village of Sumurkumbang, located at the foot of Mount Rajabasa in South Lampung, at the tip of Sumatra.

  • The hidden glory of Dharmasraya Kingdom

    Not many Indonesians know of the Dharmasraya Kingdom and its relics these days. But when they are reminded of the statues of Bhairawa, Amoghapasa and the Pamalayu expedition of 1294, they will surely recall the three historical landmarks of the Nusantara ( archipelago) studied in high school.

  • Blessings up for grabs

    Hundreds of people from various cities in Java and other regions were packed into the tomb of Ki Ageng Balak in Mertan village, Bendosari, Sukoharjo, Central Java, on Sunday.

  • Temples supporting communities

    Heritage and religious tradition run deep in Bali. On the island, temples have been the accidental protectors of ancient crafts and arts, keeping people in jobs in villages across the predominantly Hindu province.

  • Giving a thousand cakes in Solo

    An elderly woman walked along the banks of the Solo River in Kampung Beton in Surakarta, Central Java. She and her friends were on the way to Taman Tempuran, carrying woven bamboo trays with about 1,000 apem, or round rice-flour cakes, and offerings of flowers.

  • Fit for the Queen

    So impressed was Queen Elizabeth II with the Balinese art of weaving baskets from lontar leaves that rice fields and rivers were once forded in a Land Rover for the British monarch to meet a master of the craft.

  • Dayak ‘sumpit’ from war to traditional sport

    Four men in traditional ethnic Dayak clothing concentrated on targets that were 30 meters from where they were standing. Behind them, judges were ready to record their scores.

  • Business, the sacred and the Balinese cockfight

    Drive through any given village in Bali and you’ll see vibrantly colored fighting roosters in woven cages pecking at the green-tipped grass at their feet.