Coronation of the Sultan of Yogyakarta, 1989

Photo: Enny Nuraheni

Slideshow: Albinos, dwarves and royalty: the magic of Java
Last month was the 15th anniversary of the coronation of the Sultan of Yogyakarta; here’s a belated tribute. I covered the coronation for Reuters in Indonesia, accompanied by the fabulous photographer Enny Nuraheni. Here are some of her pictures, rescued from the trash. See the slideshow and read more...
Stations of the cross: Sintang, West Kalimantan

Stations of the cross: Sintang, West Kalimantan (Photo: Melanie Whitmarsh)

Slideshow: An Easter treat: Catholic kitsch from around Indonesia
There are just seven million Catholics in Indonesia — a drop in a mainly Moslem ocean. Yet they have managed to make their mark aesthetically, with an astoundingly wide variety of statues, murals, graveyards and churches that range between Kitsch and High Kitsch. See slideshow and read more...
Pelipus, 1991 - Under-age warrior

Pelipus, 1991 - Under-age warrior (Photo: Enny Nuraheni)

Rediscovering Sumba
I was first invited to take tea with a corpse in Sumba, in southeastern Indonesia, some 23 years ago. It was also in 1991 that I first attended a pasola, a wonderful jousting match which aims to secure a good harvest by spilling human blood. During that visit to Sumba, my friend Enny and I both photographed a boy wearing primary school uniform shorts and the head-dress of a jouster. He was too young to go riding out, but his “don’t mess with me” look advertised his intention to become a warrior to be feared. See the slideshow and read more...
Indonesian market, Semarang, Java

Semarang, Java

The Market Rules
Turtle eggs, medicines, woks, spices, crabs - you can find them all in the markets of Indonesia.
Barbie Factory - Photo: Enny Nuraheni

Barbie Factory - Photo: Enny Nuraheni

Barbie Factory
A Barbie factory illustrates some of Indonesia's wonderful contradictions.
Weda, Halmahera

Weda, Halmahera

Itinerant Vendors
Can't get to the shops? The shops will come to you!
Mama Lina

Mama Lina

Mama Lina's Family
On the island of Adonara, Mama Lina's family showed Indonesia's typical hospitality.
Sleeping on a bemo

Sleeping on a bemo

The National Sport
"In Indonesia, time is sleep"
Last week's catch - Whale bones on beach at Lamalera, Indonesia

Last week's catch

Whale hunting in Lamalera
Bupati's office - Sumba Barat Daya, NTT

Sumba Barat Daya, NTT - Population: 290,000

Politician's Palaces: Bupati's offices around Indonesia
Each District must outdo the next, no matter the cost.
Colorful stilt house - Banggai

Colorful stilt house - Banggai

Water world in Banggai
The people of Banggai live in house constructed on stilts. Sometimes they move the whole house.
The mudslide crashed through several houses - Ternate

The mudslide crashed through several houses

The wrath of the land
Parts of Indonesia are on the Pacific "Ring of Fire". Living near volcanoes can be hazardous.
Road to asphalt mines, Buton, South Sulawesi

Road to asphalt mines, Buton, South Sulawesi

Asphalt aspirations
Road building is difficult wherever you are. In Indonesia there are even more challenges.
New road in Sangihe, North Sulawesi

New road in Sangihe, North Sulawesi

Infrastructure in Indonesia
Indonesia's infrastructure faces many challenges.
Partai Aceh election rally, Lhokseumawe

Partai Aceh election rally, Lhokseumawe

Aceh elections
The Tangse valley, Aceh, 1990

The Tangse valley, Aceh, 1990

Tangse, then and now
Tangse has changed. But only so much.
A Rimba man carries material to build a house

Gentar helps build my house

The Rimba - Nomads of the plantation
The Rimba welcome Elizabeth to the jungle. And build her a house.
The communal verandah of a Dyak longhouse

The communal verandah of this Dyak longhouse is quiet - Photo: Melanie Whitmarsh

Life in the longhouse
The Dayak lonnghouse.
A sculpture in Sintang shows soldiers saluting

The army, we salute you

Our beloved army
Murals and sculptures celebrate the Army.
Batik tools hanging out to dry

Batik tools airing out - Photo: Melanie Witmarsh

Beautiful Batik
The methods and tools for making batik are exquisitely evolved.
Polling station Menteng

Polling station Menteng

A Tale of two cities
Polling stations in Menteng and Tanah Tinggi
A building in Semarang is a little the worse for wear

Photo Melanie Whitmarsh

Sinking Semarang
Semarang, a colonial Dutch city, is slowly sinking.
The Sultans coronation 1989 - Photo Enny Nuraheni

The Sultans coronation 1989 - Photo Enny Nuraheni

The Sultan's coronation, 1989
Dwarves, albinos, albino dwarves, and colonial headwear are all part of this 1989 ceremony to mark a Sultan's Coronation.
River Singkawang, Kalimantan

River Singkawang, Kalimantan Photo: Melanie Whitmarsh

Indonesia is rubbish
Indonesia has a difficult relationship with garbage and recycling.

3 Comments on "Slideshows"

  1. I read the Chinese version of Indonesia Etc. and enjoying it a lot. I had never been in this country except a short vacation in Bintan. Tsunami, rain forest, wild animals and race slaughter were the only impression towards this country. Thanks to the writer, I started to learn the chaos and order of Indonesia.

  2. Absolutely amazing! Such a fascinating book! Such wonderful pictures and videos! I finished reading the book (Chinese version) almost at one go when I was supposed to finish my assignment (well, that can wait…) I started the book almost knowing nothing about the country, but now, I am so eager to see the country with my eyes (although I am 100% sure that I get to know the country much better through your book and multimedia than my visiting/traveling there). Now I am more convinced that when you speak the language, you can enter people’s heart and see a completely different world. While there are so many misunderstandings and disinformation about foreign countries, I wish there can be books on each and every country just like Indonesia Etc to introduce us to the diversity of the world.

    Many nuances you mentioned in the book or videos are food for thought to me. I only found the slideshow and videos after I finished reading the book, which are superb supplements. What a pity the Chinese version does not include many photos. But on the other hand it also stimulates me to search online for more details such as architectures, marriage institutions. I also wonder why Indonesia is less visible globally when it is such a diverse, lively, interesting, different and populous country. I do agree democracy system you mentioned in TED talk partially contributes to its invisibility in International communities. But coming down to the micro level, as a Chinese student pursuing Master study in Europe, I find fewer Indonesian students compared to Chinese and Indians when Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. This is also very interesting.

    I have to say, Elizabeth, you are my dream! I also speak Hindi. When I traveled in India, Hindi connects me with locals, brings me closer to their life and culture, and consequently, makes me kind of a local too. However, my stay in India was short. I hope one day I can also dive deeper and summarize my Indian experience with a book just like you!

  3. One suggestion, perhaps you can discuss with editors of the Chinese version to have a Chinese version of website which at least contains some slideshows and videos? Reading + Watching make a better understanding.

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