Learning from Japan

Four things struck me as I returned from a trip to Japan. The first was a car, well nearly. I was crossing the street between Plaza Indonesia and Kempinski on a zebra crossing and it never entered my mind that a car, in clear sight of me, would not stop, having spent a week under

Indoswing: A Swing Dance Community in Jakarta

Java Jazz Festival, Prambanan Jazz, and many jazz bars permeate Indonesia’s musical interests, but who here knows what the Lindy Hop is? Whilst the enthusiasm for jazz is alive and well in the country, the accompanying dances aren’t nearly as popular. Indoswing is here to change that. Indoswing is a community built around the Lindy


Indonesian Comedians Take Stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023

Indonesia’s stand-up comedy industry reached a new milestone in 2023 as a delegation of local comedians led by veteran comic Mo Sidik represented Indonesia at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This momentous achievement served as the international launch of Indonesia’s forthcoming IndoFringe Festival of Performing Arts, scheduled for November 2023, which will put a spotlight

Indonesian Heritage Society: Preserving Culture Through Community

The Indonesian Heritage Society (“IHS”) is a non-profit organisation established in 1970, by Indonesian and ex-pat volunteers, providing support and assistance to Indonesia’s cultural institutions. The 60s was a challenging  period for the history of Indonesia. The instability of the era narrowed the government’s focus on pure survival and financial development. Thus, there was very


Jakarta’s Bulk Stores, A Battle for Survival

In 2018, bulk stores began to mushroom across the city, many established by young, hopeful entrepreneurs. With a growing awareness of plastic pollution, and a collective mission to reduce single-use plastic products (grocery bags, straws, sachets, product packaging), bulk stores seemed to be the perfect business trend, set to ride the swell of this new


Smoke and Mirrors in the City of Smog

Over the last few months, Jakarta residents have once again come face-to-face with difficulties posed by intensifying air pollution. On 13 August 2023, the city’s air quality was ranked worst in the world according to data from organisations like IQAir, sparking serious concern among citizens. Whilst the smog itself is quite visible across the city’s

Rahel Stephanie: Reclaiming Indonesian Food Abroad

From supper clubs to Sunday morning TV shows, Rahel Stephanie is on a quest to educate Londoners and the British public on Indonesian cuisine. Tempe has started to really kick off in the UK. With plant-based lifestyles becoming the norm, the fermented soybean has become a go-to protein alternative. The irony? No one knows its


Kevindra Soemantri Explores Dining in Jakarta Through the Ages

‘Jakarta: A Dining History’ is a book by Kevindra Soemantri that explores the development of the city’s restaurant scene from the 1820s through to the 1990s. Published back in 2021, the book outlines ‘eras’ in Jakarta’s distinct dining past, and presents how the socio-cultural, political and economic shifts at the times transformed the food and


Meet Charles Toto: The Jungle Chef

“The forest, for Papuan people, is a market where they can get their daily needs such as vegetables and side dishes, all for free.” – Charles Toto Compared to other large islands in Indonesia, Papua’s forest cover figure is the largest. The area reaches 34,4 million hectares or around 82% of the area of Papua.


The American Women’s Association of Indonesia: Building Community Together

The American Women’s Association (AWA) has long been a favourite organisation for American expatriates living in Jakarta. Over the years, the Indonesia-based AWA opened its arms to a wide variety of nationalities, and not just women, but anyone looking to engage in cultural activities and help social welfare programs whilst meeting others through a variety

Making Bali an International Dining Destination

With so many reasons to come to Bali, the local food and beverage industry believes that they should certainly be high on that list. Does the now thriving restaurant scene have what it takes to attract visitors to the island in its own right? The recently formed Bali Restaurant and Café Association believes that it

A Birthday Wish for DKI Jakarta

How should cities “develop”? And what can we do to ensure it is done correctly? Those are probably the questions that many people inside – and outside – the city government are asking. What do we have to do to ensure a good future for the citizens of the city of Jakarta, especially when it

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