Religious extremism: vulnerability and resistance among Indonesian migrant workers in Asia

By Yudha Dewanto  After turning 16, never having stepped a foot outside of her province, Katri pushed herself to go to Malaysia. Seeking a solution to family problems, seeing the new outfits, fancy gadgets and even leased cars of friends who migrated to Malaysia earlier, and feeling that her junior high school diploma would not be sufficient to get a local job, part of her was saying, “just go!” She went to Warsan, a rich tobacco farmer who often sponsored those willing to depart to Malaysia as domestic workers. Warsan did not just finance the departure, but also connected them …

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Yellow fragmentation

By Irene Stengs. Bangkok, Sunday May 5. With hundreds of others, I am queuing to enter the restricted area around the Grand Palace where the Royal Land Procession will start at 4 PM. In this seven-kilometer procession, Thailand’s new king Vajiralongkorn (Rama X), seated on the Royal Palanquin carried by sixteen royal guards, will halt at three royal temples to pay respect to the temples’ Buddha images. The procession is part of the three-days coronation ceremonies and offers ‘the people’ the opportunity to see their monarch in real life and to pay their respect. The entrances are check points: before …

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Schilderij van Thomas Matulesia (Pattimura) en medestrijders in het Museum Siwalima, Ambon (Indonesië). Foto uit collectie Moluks Historisch Museum, Den Haag.

Pattimura dag en een complexe Molukse loyaliteit

Door Fridus Steylen. April en juni zijn hoogtijmaanden voor aandacht voor de geschiedenis van Molukkers in Nederland. Op 25 april wordt de proclamatie van de Republik Maluku Selatan, de vrije Zuid-Molukse republiek, in 1950 gevierd. Op 11 juni 1977 werd de gekaapte trein in De Punt gewelddadig ontzet, waarbij zes kapers en twee gegijzelden omkwamen. Publiciteit is gegarandeerd, zeker als er nog meer gebeurt. Zo was er dit jaar als een opwarmertje begin april protest tegen de mogelijke komst van een niet-Molukse huurder in de Molukse wijk in Heer/Maastricht. De RMS-viering in Apeldoorn kreeg extra publiciteit omdat theater Orpheus de …

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The Car Free Day in Surabaya: a pro-environment event?

By Freek Colombijn Every Sunday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. part of the main street of Surabaya is closed for all motorized traffic for an event that is called ‘Car Free Day’ (often abbreviated as CFD, Chay-Ef-Day). Car Free Days are organized in Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia too, but I know the event best in Surabaya. I first attended the CFD as part of my research on pro-environmental behavior, but as it has turned out, it has little to do with the desire to reduce the use of the car. On the contrary. It attracts many …

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Hodeidah is being attacked, but the Western media are silent

By Marina de Regt. “Hodeidah is empty, Marina, there is no one there anymore”, says Noura to me this morning, in a short telephone conversation that is repeatedly interrupted because of the bad connection. Noura moved to Sana’a a week ago, fleeing the horrendous violence that has exploded in the city of Hodeidah since Thursday 14 June, the day before the start of Eid Al-Fitr. On that day the Saudi Led Coalition, mainly consisting of mercenaries and ground troops of the United Arab Emirates army, soldiers of the Yemeni National Army and Hiraak al-Tihama started the long planned attack on …

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Try a Little Legal Tenderness

By Jane M. Ferguson This financial speculation essay acknowledges the inspiration of the Dick Jensen version of the song, “Try a Little Tenderness,” in its principal guiding pun; it is a suggested pairing to savour while reading. Oh, they may be weary. You’ve reached the end of your stay at a small hotel in Myanmar. Your bags are packed; you’re ready to go. The manager at the desk, Ma Thuzar presents you a carefully handwritten invoice in English, with the total amount written at the bottom in US dollars. Fishing into your billfold, you retrieve your US cash and present …

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Unpicking an (A)moral Anthropological Stance: Ongoing Violence in Myanmar

Introduction by Maaike Matelski In June 2015 the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology organized a seminar on account of the increasing number of Rohingya refugees in South East Asia. Since 2016 and in particular since August 2017 the violence against Rohingya in Myanmar has intensified. More and more horrific stories about murder and torture have come out, and more than 600.000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. As the most prominent representative of the Myanmar government, Aung San Suu Kyi receives fierce criticism, because she does not speak out against these criminal acts. In the meantime the Myanmar government even has …

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‘What if they were really extreme’

Hayate Ait Bouzid is a Master student Anthropology at the VU who did her research about the environmental behaviour of middle-class people in Brunei Darussalam. A country that is often not known by the large public or at best misconceived. She is sharing her story about how the preconceived view of Brunei made her question her trip to this Southeast Asian country. Being back from my three months fieldwork in Brunei Darussalam, it feels like I have never been there really, it all seems like a dream. With emphasis on the word dream, not nightmare. To be honest, in the beginning I was quite afraid of this country, …

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Dancing to the State: Ethnic Compulsions of the Tangsa in Assam

By Meenaxi Barkataki-Ruscheweyh            Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself, the region and the people — the Tangsa — with whom I worked and some of the questions that I explored. Although I live in Germany now, I am Indian, more specifically an Assamese from the state of Assam in northeast India. Northeast India is a region which is geographically (and according to many, also emotionally) remote from the national capital at New Delhi. Separated from the rest of India except at a corridor, not much more than 20 kms at its narrowest, this region is …

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