Stories, Articles and Stuff to Read.

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544

Image:Ellie McManus

Girl Gone Wild – My Life in the Sumatran Jungle, Indonesia

Ellie McManus
24th January 2020


...after just two days of clearing, replacing the grass roof slats and making good the rotting bamboo walls, our house appeared ready to move into. Were we mad?

I love adventure but even my wildest dreams could never ever match the amazing experiences that lay ahead of me. I have a Sumatran partner, Teson. He and I decided to purchase a rante of Sumatran land; a rante measures 20 x 20 metres. We chose a patch of earth located approximately 3 kilometres away from the bustling tourist village of Bukit Lawang, nestled between a cocoa and a rubber tree plantation, next to the Bohorok River.

Our first project was to create a “garden toilet”. We dug a hole 2 metres deep and placed wooden slats to cover the hole, leaving just a small opening. Since squat toilets are common across Asia, using the garden toilet didn’t take much adjustment. With four bamboo walls but no roof, you have to time your toilet visits to avoid the rain!

After the third or fourth ghost story and wanting to be careful of the spirits, I decided to purchase an energy-saving bulb as apparently spirits won’t come close to your house if you have a light on. In the daytime, I could charge it at the cafe or local guesthouse.

From my wooden hut experience, I gained a deeper insight into not only Sumatran culture but also in the hardship many people in this part of the world experience. Life can be tough when you live without luxuries and Sumatran’s have large families to support as there are no provision systems or pension schemes.

full https://southeastasiabackpacker.com/living-wild-sumatra/
 

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544

The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our Worldby Vincent Bevins

The Jakarta Method

Andre Pagliarini
June 5, 2020

"There is no such thing as being half free, as there is no such thing as being half alive,” proclaimed Sukarno, Indonesia’s charismatic first president...

In The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World, journalist Vincent Bevins, who has covered Latin America and Southeast Asia extensively, argues that Cold War battles in Brazil and Indonesia, big influential countries in the global south, produced devastating and enduring effects not only for those countries but for the world.

By rooting the pursuit of social justice within a broad anti-colonial struggle rather than anti-imperialism per se, Sukarno sought to rally nonaligned nations while not antagonizing the U.S., which had recently engineered coups in Guatemala and Iran.

The following year, 11,000 miles away, the Indonesian Communist Party, or PKI, the largest in the world outside of China and the Soviet Union, was targeted in an exhaustive and extremely brutal crackdown. The PKI had played an influential, if not leading, role in national politics since its creation in 1914 and had been, Bevins explains, “part of Sukarno’s new Indonesia.” The 1965–66 massacre decimated the party faithful but did not stop there. Members of the PKI and countless others were swept up in a murderous dragnet that forever reshaped Indonesian society.

As Washington saw it, military interventions in the Third World were a blessing to forestall a curse. But Communist parties in places like Brazil and Indonesia for the most part opposed armed insurrection in the early 1960s. Even the Cuban Communist Party had disavowed Fidel’s early attempts to seize power through force.

Indeed, as Greg Grandin has written, “secular ideologies of nationalism, socialism, Marxism, and communism—those dangerous scions of liberalism—did motivate and give solace to people’s lives … by providing the fuel and steel needed to contest the terms of nearly intolerable conditions.”

full https://newrepublic.com/article/158...te-violence-jakarta-method-bevins-book-review
 

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544


‘It’s bullshit’: Inside the weird, get-rich-quick world of dropshipping

By Sirin Kale
May 2020

Inside the city’s co-working spaces (Dojo is the oldest in Canggu, Outpost the new challenger), people are building business empires selling products they’ve never handled, from countries they’ve never visited, to consumers they’ve never met. Welcome to the world of dropshipping.

Canggu is a place where people go to feel rich. The clicking of keyboards in the Balinese town’s co-working spaces is drowned out only by the roar of mopeds. Over smoothie bowls and lattes, western immigrants – expats, as they prefer to be known – talk about themselves, loudly.

Louden talks me through their strategy in a nearby coffee shop. The best dropshippers will run “funnels”: repeatedly targeting the same consumers over a period of time in order to coax them through the various stages of purchase – add to cart, enter card details, check out. “We run funnels to let the Facebook algorithm figure everything out,” he says. “We may burn through a few thousand dollars before we start doing consistent sales.”

I am bone-tired when I arrive at Bukabuka island, in Central Sulawesi. The journey was long: three flights, over the course of one night, through airports that grow progressively smaller. At Palu airport, where I am the only bule, smiling immigration officers question me more out of curiosity than suspicion. I then board the prop plane to the administrative centre of Ampana, before embarking on the final bit of the journey: a white motorboat that skims across water that is clear, turquoise and warm. Thirty minutes later, we’re pulling up at Bukabuka. On a wooden pier that juts out from a white sand beach, a white hammock swings in the breeze.

The 28-year-old Frenchman lives alone in a hut that serves as the island’s official base. On the porch are jerry cans full of water, a gas hob, cooking equipment, and sacks of rice. Inside, a bed, a fridge, a plastic table and chairs, and an electrical converter. Outside his hut is the island’s only bathroom: a cold-water bucket shower and toilet you manually flush with sea water.

Despin shuttered his dropshipping store while it was still profitable – effectively reaching into the belly of an ATM that was belching notes, and switching it off. Why? Firstly, he hated his clients. “French people like to complain a lot,” he says. “Fuck! So we were basically targeting older, fat Frenchwomen – you’re talking to people who complain the most, ever.”

Full https://www.wired.co.uk/article/dropshipping-instagram-ads
 

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544
ORANG RIMBA.jpg

IMAGE. JAKARTA POST.

Sumatran forest people adapt ancient health rules for pandemic.

Harry Jacques, Thomson Reuters Foundation
June 25, 2020


When an Orang Rimba baby is born, the umbilical cord linking mother and child is buried beneath a newly planted tree.

Jangat Pico, a member of the Orang Rimba indigenous people who live on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, was reluctant to say the name of the new coronavirus when he heard it for the first time.

“In Orang Rimba custom, the name of a disease cannot be said aloud,” Pico, 24, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by video call. “If we say (it), then that disease will come to us.”

Superstitions around illness are embedded in a belief system practiced by Pico and about 5,000 other tribe members.

When the Orang Rimba first heard of a new infectious disease spreading across much of the world in March, elders immediately tightened their existing quarantine rules.

Now Pico must walk for six hours to visit his family, who have retreated deeper into the forest in response to the pandemic. He last saw his parents about a month ago.

Orang Rimba members in self-imposed isolation in the forest today said coronavirus is reinforcing a customary way of life that had waned due to contact with outside settlements.

Neliti, 45, who lives in the forest and goes by one name, said trade with neighbouring villages had declined due to falling prices for rubber and fruit, while Orang Rimba are also afraid to visit nearby settlements due to the virus.

“They have started to revert back to ancient knowledge,” said Butet Manurung, founder of Sokola, an Indonesian education nonprofit that works with indigenous communities. “Twenty years ago, they were self-sustained, but a lot has changed.”

full https://in.reuters.com/article/heal...cient-health-rules-for-pandemic-idINL8N2DV0FM
 
Last edited:

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544
Why do young Indonesian women marry older Western men?

Deborah Cassrels
Jul 31, 2020

The book Gods and Demons delves into the reasons for bicultural marriages. The men look happy; It's not as one-sided a deal as it looks from the outside.

For 10 years, journalist Deborah Cassrels was a foreign correspondent based in Bali. Her new memoir describes many of the stories she covered in that time, from the Bali Nine drug traffickers to terrorism and refugees.

In this extract, she delves into the dynamic that attracts Indonesian women to Western men.


Since I’d first settled in Bali, in 2009, one social issue had piqued my interest: the romantic dynamic between Western men and Indonesian women. The rules seemed basic: men were providers, women subordinate. In reality, it was like a poker game – if you play, be prepared to get burnt.

When I met Australian property developer Stuart Smith, a tanned, fit and energetic 54-year-old, he was sitting in his Seminyak resort office eating nasi goreng and juggling business decisions on the phone. He abruptly turned his attention to me. “It’s hard to see an old, out-of-shape, fat guy with absolutely nothing to offer anyone in the West, or here, with a very young girl,” he began. “Sure, I had those feelings; that’s off, it’s not right, there’s something wrong with that scene, isn’t there? Is that what you think?”

“It doesn’t look good,” I conceded.

Fifteen years later, when I spoke to him, the temple still adjoined what was by then their marital home. Smith was uncommitted to a faith; nevertheless, he embraced Balinese Hindu values and believed they imbued their sons Shelby, then 10, and Jet, 11, with a deep sense of morality. Made’s journey into Western culture, including periods in Australia and extensive travel, was, she told me, a steep learning curve.

She felt the envy of other Indonesian women eyeing her lifestyle, her husband and her home. “It’s not an easy life, with all the differences,” the 34-year-old confided. Yet over time they have become much more understanding towards each other. “Stuart speaks my language fluently and more importantly, understands and respects the way of the Balinese,” she said. "Our children have benefited from a cross culture [influence] and better schooling."

Melbourne landscape gardener Warren was one. In my email exchange with the 63-year-old, he told me he was living in penury in the wake of his failed marriage to an Indonesian woman. When they met in Sulawesi in 2006, he was on an adventure to see traditional pinisi yachts and plan a sailing trip. Instead he became entranced with a nurse 10 years his junior – despite having a girlfriend in Australia – and within five months the couple had married in Melbourne, returning to Sulawesi for a traditional Muslim wedding.

Two years later they moved to Australia after Warren’s wife was granted a spouse visa. In Melbourne, she worked in aged care. “For the first year, things were OK,” he told me. “But the relationship deteriorated and one day she walked out, taking all our savings and the title to a beautiful piece of land in Sulawesi – in her name, but paid for by me. I was left with nothing but a broken heart and no finances.”

Psychologist Fiona Paton had counselled couples in cross-cultural marriages in Bali for five years and in an email exchange she cautiously wrote it was too easy to peg female stereotypes as subservient or to assert cultural mores as the root of problems.

But the distinction between acceptable and taboo behaviour was blurred, as far I saw. Men, I learnt, have a free rein in marriages. In my interviews I was told infidelity was quite rampant. Wives generally turned a blind eye unless they lost face with their Indonesian peers who found out and gossiped.

full article https://www.afr.com/world/asia/why-do-young-indonesian-women-marry-older-western-men-20200710-p55b09
 

Puspawarna

Moderator
Moderator
Cager
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
2,560
I don't know if it's brave or foolhardy for a foreign writer to tackle that question. The full article is behind a paywall, unfortunately.
 

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544
trees.jpg

Indonesia has been losing its mature forests at an alarming rate, but recently, it’s losing them less quickly, with loss in 2019 slowing by 5 percent compared with 2018, according to the Global Forest Watch. Forests in Kalimantan, Indonesia are shown here.
GEMILANG AR-RASYID


By Megan Sever
JUNE 12, 2020

How giving cash to poor families may also save trees in Indonesia

A poverty reduction program is associated with a 30 percent drop in deforestation

In 2007, Indonesia started phasing in a program that gives money to its poorest residents under certain conditions, such as requiring people to keep kids in school or get regular medical care. Called conditional cash transfers or CCTs, these social assistance programs are designed to reduce inequality and break the cycle of poverty. They’re already used in dozens of countries worldwide. In Indonesia, the program has provided enough food and medicine to substantially reduce severe growth problems among children.

Ferraro and Rhita Simorangkir, an applied microeconomist at the National University of Singapore, wanted to see if Indonesia’s poverty-alleviation program was affecting deforestation.

Ferraro and Simorangkir analyzed satellite data showing annual forest loss from 2008 to 2012 — including during Indonesia’s phase-in of the antipoverty program — in 7,468 forested villages across 15 provinces and multiple islands. The duo separated the effects of the CCT program on forest loss from other factors, like weather and macroeconomic changes, which were also affecting forest loss. With that, “we see that the program is associated with a 30 percent reduction in deforestation,” Ferraro says. “And half or more [of that reduction] is coming from primary forests.”

Ferraro and Simorangkir present “good evidence” that, at least in rural villages in Indonesia, giving people a helping hand helps them cut down fewer trees, Busch says.

That’s likely because the rural poor are using the money as makeshift insurance policies against inclement weather, Ferraro says. Typically, if rains are delayed, people may clear land to plant more rice to supplement their harvests, he says. With the CCTs, individuals instead can use the money to supplement their harvests instead.

People often think of environmental protection as a moral objective, rather than an economic objective, Ferraro says. “But just on economics, this intervention would make sense.”

full
 

Vanhelsing

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,544
Screen Shot 2020-08-17 at 8.41.44 pm.png


By CNN
August 17, 2020


Today, jails in East and Southeast Asia hold the world's biggest proportions of female prisoners.

It was dark when the plane touched down in Hong Kong from Phnom Penh. Noor Yuni swiftly cleared immigration and collected her luggage.
But as she approached the "nothing to declare" lane, a customs officer pulled her aside, she says

The 21-year-old Indonesian's bag was put into the security scanner and she remembers agreeing to be searched.

By the time officers had slashed open the lining of her backpack and dislodged the white crystals concealed inside, Yuni said she knew she'd been tricked.

In recent years, its opium poppy fields have been giving way to jungle laboratories, as the demand for synthetic drugs outstrips the demand for heroin. Today, Southeast Asia is the epicenter of the global methamphetamine trade, which is worth up to $61 billion a year in Asia Pacific alone.

A 2018 report she co-authored found pervasive gender inequality in prosecutions of women for capital drug offenses including women's poorer access to legal representation and bail. Women accused of low-level drug trafficking sometimes received longer sentences than men up the chain, it said, as they had less information to trade for plea deals.

The impact of this on foreign women has been staggering. Of the 141 women on death row in Malaysia, as of February 2019, 95% were sentenced for trafficking drugs, compared to 70% of men, found Amnesty. And 90% of the women sentenced to death for drug trafficking were foreigners.

"Your access to justice is pretty much dependent on how deep your pockets are," says N Sivananthan, a criminal lawyer who's represented hundreds of drug trafficking-accused in Malaysia. He calls some "active participants" who swallowed cocaine in plastic bags or strapped meth to their thighs, qualifying they could have been coerced. But many were "duped," he says.

Jeremy Douglas, a regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), says many countries "continue to sentence couriers and people with low threshold amounts as traffickers -- which they are not." The UNODC is pushing for sentencing reform to focus on "traffickers that run the drug trade" not the couriers "disposable to organized crime," he said.

full article.https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/16/asia ... index.html
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,331
I don't know if it's brave or foolhardy for a foreign writer to tackle that question. The full article is behind a paywall, unfortunately.
If you Google the author with a few key words from the excerpt title, you can find it, but don't bother. Its just a rehash of the usual stereo-types.
 

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Follow Us

Latest Expat Indo Articles

Latest Tweets by Expat Indo

Online Now

Newest Members

Forum Statistics

Threads
4,540
Messages
69,051
Members
1,918
Latest member
labelslabeling
Top Bottom