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Jakarta Post

Commentary: Today’s Minkes: Racism at heart of Jakarta-Papua conflict

  • Evi Mariani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 20 2019   /  12:20 am

Around Aug. 17 every year, Indonesians brim with nationalism. This year, one of the nationalism-evoking events was the launch of Bumi Manusia, a film by Hanung Bramantyo adapted from Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s legendary novel of the same title, about a love story between a young Javanese hero called Minke and the mixed-blood Annelies.The bearer of the nickname believed that the name Minke, given by his condescending Dutch teacher, means “monkey”. The way the teacher said it, with bulging eyes and certain impatience, led Minke to believe he meant “monkey” not in a good way and he was called that because he was the only brown-skinned Javanese boy in the school.While the fictional drama of colonial racism and love unfolds in big city cinemas, a real drama of racism, sans the love story, unfolds in Surabaya. The reaction was no less dramatic as on Monday dozens of Papuans in the West ...