Gudskul: Jakarta’s Evolving Art Ecosystem Nurtures a Thriving Creative Community

Jakarta is a fusion of rich ethnic diversity from across the archipelago, merging local Indonesian distinctions with international cultures and ideas. At the grassroots levels, there is a flourishing creative community, with abundant human potential, a dynamic and evolving infrastructure, and increasingly diverse opportunities.  A healthy art and creative scene is essential to any modern megacity

Richard Horstman

History and Importance of Rice in Indonesia

Rice holds a special place in the heart of Indonesia. It is a staple in the Indonesian diet, making up half the calories in the average diet and contributes significantly to the livelihoods of millions of Indonesians. Indonesia is the third largest producer of rice in the world. From ancient agricultural practices to modern-day culinary

Cultural Imlek Celebrations and Destinations in Jakarta

What is Imlek? This auspicious day, locally known as ‘Imlek’, is enthusiastically celebrated by the majority of the ethnic Chinese community across Indonesia, with festivities spanning from vibrant decorations and culinary delights to cultural traditions. These celebrations draw people from diverse backgrounds, creating an atmosphere of joy and unity.  In Jakarta, the jubilation extends to


Indonesian Jamu Officially Recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

On 6 December 2023, during the 18th Convention Committee of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Kasane, Botswana, ‘Indonesian Jamu Wellness Culture’ was officially recognised by as one of the world’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. For Indonesia, Jamu is the 13th Intangible Cultural Heritage which was successfully inscribed into UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list.  The news was

Wedding celebrations

A Historic Look into Indonesian Wedding Traditions, A Fusion of Cultures

In a rapidly modernising Indonesia, many old traditions and attire have gradually faded from daily life. However, wedding celebrations still show a vital link to the past, where old customs, some centuries old, remain a testament to Indonesia’s rich heritage, showcasing the diverse influences that have shaped the nation’s identity. In this article, Sake Santema

UNESCO Grants World Heritage Status to Yogyakarta’s Cosmological Axis and Historic Landmarks

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has officially recognised the Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta and its Historic Landmarks (Sumbu Filosofi Yogyakarta) as a distinguished world heritage site from Indonesia. This historic designation occurred during the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, September 18, 2023.

Silat Beksi: Betawi’s Pencak Silat

If Korea has taekwondo and Japan has karate, Indonesia has pencak silat. This martial art has been officially recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural World Heritage since 13 December 2019. As a culture that grew from the Nusantara Archipelago, the many versions and forms of pencak silat can also be found in neighbouring countries such

Indonesian Fruits Through the Eyes of Early Explorers and Botanists

Indonesia is known for its vibrant markets which boast a rich variety of fruits, or ‘buah’. From luscious mangosteens to spiky durian, fruits play an important part in Indonesian cuisine. While Indonesians have cherished these delights for centuries, it was the first European explorers and botanists who introduced these exotic fruits to the rest of

Belantara Budaya Indonesia: A Cultural Education

Understanding that education goes beyond academia, the organisation Belantara Budaya Indonesia focuses on the continuation of Indonesian culture, providing free traditional dance and music classes across the generations. It was started ten years ago when Diah Kusumawardani set up Belantara Budaya Indonesia (BBI). In an era of widespread technological and digital adoption, Diah was worried

A Historic Look at the Majestic Prambanan Temple in Java 

Indonesia is a country rich in history and culture, with many ancient temples scattered throughout the archipelago. One of them is the majestic Prambanan temple located in Central Java, which is considered one of the most important Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. The complex is a testament to the ancient Javanese civilisation, and is a


Capturing Indonesia in the Mid-19th Century

Up until the 19th century, just before the invention of photography, the only way to show what people, landscapes and objects looked like was by painting, sketching or printing them. In the Netherlands many prints were published of their far east colonies, or nowadays, Indonesia.  “De Typen van Nederlandsch Oost-Indië” (Types of the Dutch East

Ancient Javanese Indigo Batik Explored in Zahir Widadi’s New Book

Indonesia commemorates National Batik Day every 2 October after UNESCO designated batik as a Humanitarian Heritage for Oral Tradition and Intangible Culture. In order to celebrate the day, there are many activities held to reinforce batik as Indonesian culture and heritage during the month, one of them is about natural-dyed indigo batik.  In October, the Indonesian Heritage

Putu Oka Sukanta Receives The UWRF 2022’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The legendary poet and writer Putu Oka Sukanta has been named the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for his incredible contribution to literature and his lifelong writing. | Photos Ubud Writers & Readers Festival The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) is here again, after two years of being held online and

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