Celebrating Imlek, Embracing Identity

It’s not that many years ago that anything even vaguely Chinese was absolutely forbidden in Indonesia, even though for literally hundreds of years there has been a strong presence of ethnic Chinese people here. There was no visible Chinese language anywhere public or published, and certainly celebrations were not allowed in public places. Even the

Rebound and Revival, but no Rethink or Redesign. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but life in Jakarta has rebounded to pre-covid levels, and perhaps more. Cafes and restaurants are busy, with the tables quite often full of laptops and notepads, as people take their negotiations to their favourite coffee shops. And there are more and more of them: PIM III is bursting

Gift, Hampers and a Taste of Swiss Diversity

We at NOW! Jakarta have been the very lucky recipient of a lot of gifts and hampers from our partner hotels and restaurants over the last few weeks, for which we are very grateful. And we have to say the standard of preparation and presentation seems to be higher than ever before. Notable for their

Is Travel ‘Necessary’ Amidst Increasing Climate Change?

One hundred and fifty years ago, in the late 1870’s there were no cars, few trains and definitely no airplanes. People travelled locally by coach and horse, or on horseback, or by that much forgotten method: walking. Can you imagine a world that essentially lived within its village, town or city limits, only venturing forth

Terry Burkin and Friends Cianjur Relief: Part 2

We include the second part of this marvellous effort by Terry and now 100 donors and sponsors, with our thanks for their dedication and effort to help. Well done guys! Another long but fulfilling day on our second run up to Cianjur. For this trip, we had 3 cars and a box truck kindly lent

The Cianjur Earthquake and One Group’s Amazing Response.

Indonesia is no stranger to earthquakes and while we are all “ready” for them to strike at any time, none of us are actually prepared. We have seen this time and time again, in Sulawesi, Lombok and Yogyakarta to name three still in vivid living memory, and the story is so often the same: the

Getting to Know Your Neighbours

There used to be a really popular Australian TV program called “Neighbours” which followed the lives of a particular set of (beautiful, dramatic, emotional, successful and the opposite) people who knew each other very well and lived in each others’ pockets, well, beds too as I recall!  But perhaps you don’t know that here in Indonesia there

More Good Ideas We Need To Adopt And Adapt!

Last month I wrote an extensive piece on the great ideas coming out of tiny Palau: The Palau Pledge and the “Ol’au Palau”program  which is described as: “The first tourism initiative that unlocks new experiences and places through sustainable action.” In this article I urged the Indonesia tourism authorities, either national in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy

Return to Lombok: The Cultural and the Modern 

This 5,435 km² tropical island located to the west of Bali, is actually a part of a province called West Nusa Tenggara or Nusa Tenggara Barat, and is surrounded by many small islands that are called “Gilis” by the local people, and which may be even better known than the main island since Gili Air, Gili

Julia Suryakusuma: Still Fighting for What is Right

Julia Suryakusuma, who was born on 19th July 1954, is considered one of the most influential feminist scholars of Indonesia and her writings are cited widely, both nationally and internationally.  As one of the intellectual pioneers of the feminist movement, she has influenced three generations of feminists, and is often considered the “grandmother” of Indonesian

It Won’t Happen To Us!

“Are we nearing the end of the pandemic? I certainly hope so, but are we prepared for the next crisis? I can pretty much guarantee that when the masks come off and the social distancing stops, the whole country will relax and say ‘whew’ and forget the whole thing”. “But with my background in insurance

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