Kidal and Proud

— By Bryan Howard — “Dua belas ribu,” he says. I reach for my wallet in my left pocket—it’s always in my left pocket and if it’s ever not there I feel naked and scared and like the world is ending and I’ve been robbed. I open it and count out the notes, flipping through…

Siraman: The Indonesian Bachelorette Party?

Indonesians celebrate the day before a wedding a little differently than do most Americans. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to witness a Siraman ceremony, the traditional Javanese event that precedes a wedding. Siraman represents a physical and spiritual cleansing. It is not tied to any one religious tradition but instead to Javanese…

Something for everyone: An introduction to Indonesian music

Indonesian music isn’t terribly well-known outside of academic circles, which is truly a shame — as one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries, Indonesia is also incredibly musically diverse, and there’s something for everyone. Here’s a sampling of some of Indonesia’s most interesting musical styles: Balinese Gamelan You can’t get very far in Bali without…