This photo was taken last Tuesday, the day after the horrendous bombing of the Erawan shrine in the centre of Bangkok.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Note: If I had found this image earlier, this would undoubtedly have been posted yesterday. Yesterday’s image has been put into the reserved folder for a later date.
Tomorrow is Indonesia’s Independence Day and our flag is fluttering in front of Jakartass Towers. The Proclamation of Indonesian Independence (Indonesian: Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia) was read by Soekarno at 10.00 a.m. on Friday, August 17, 1945.
However, simply stating that Indonesia was independent did not make it so. The Dutch colonial rulers and pro-Dutch civilians did not accept it and faced the armed resistance of the Indonesian National Revolution.
It was not until December 27, 1949 that Indonesia truly became independent thanks to international diplomatic efforts and the mediation of the United Nations. That is the date that the United Nations formally acknowledge as the date of Indonesia’s independence.
It wasn’t until 2005 during a period of introspection about their colonial history, and after some prodding from Indonesian nationalists, that the Netherlands declared that they had decided to accept de facto August 17, 1945 as Indonesia’s independence date. What they seemed to have overlooked is that the Netherlands had always considered Indonesia to have become independent on 29 December 1949 because it was on that date that Queen Wilhelmina formally handed over sovereignty to Indonesia.
Indonesia becomes 60th member of the United Nations
Independence from colonial rule is one thing, but Merdeka translates as ‘freedom’, and the key question remains: “What is ‘freedom’?”
On any search engine you’ll get a variety of definitions. I like this one: Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, and the absence of a despotic government (or anyone one else) telling you how to act, speak or think.
Suharto’s despotic government is no more, but Jokowi’s government is an apparent front for Sukarno’s daughter. His government and the self-seeking members of parliament want to ‘build character’ by telling citizens and residents how to act by curtailing, for example, the right to buy legal alcohol, now calling for a lèse-majesté law so that no-one can be rude about the President, and even forming a reservist force of 100 million to face “real and latent threats”.
On August 28 1963, Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech, that “all men should be treated equally.” (Watch it here.) “Men” can be taken inclusively to include gender, class, race, religion, and colour, and he was addressing Afro-Americans, “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners.”
Photograph: Antara Foto/Reuters
These job seekers were free to dream about an income at Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta, last Tuesday. They were more fortunate than the many hundreds of thousands worldwide who are still slaves, entrapped by human traffickers.
And those who have had to leave their lands without compensation because of blind religious fanaticism, deforestation, property speculators ..,
And those still seeking an act of repentance from the authorities who’ve committed human rights abuses through successive years in the past seventy years …
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Tomorrow, on my music blog, feel free to download a selection of songs and music about freedom, none of which you can expect to hear on TV, the radio, or blaring out from loudspeakers at the family fun celebrations held throughout the nation.
A [barefooted] man leads a goat down Mount Bromo after preventing it from being thrown into the live volcano’s crater as an offering on the 14th day of the month long festival.
Tenggerese people, an isolated community of roughly 600,000, primarily live in thirty villages in the isolated Tengger mountains within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java.
Their religion is predominantly Hinduism, with aspects of Islam, Buddhism, and Animism which is clearly demonstrated through this festival.
The Yadnya Kasada festival honours the 15th century princess Roro Anteng and her husband Joko Seger, said to be the founders of the community. According to legend, the couple asked the Gods for children and were granted 24 children on the condition that the 25th be thrown into the volcano Mount Bromo as a sacrifice.
There are more pictures here from last year’s festival.
Because I need extra sources of income, I’m looking for products and services which would be unique in Indonesia.
This probably wouldn’t be allowed here, not even for consenting adults.
I’m not sure about this, even though I don’t think it’s illegal – yet.
Whereas this would undoubtedly appeal to the extremely rich and gullible…
Whilst you’re pondering the possibilities, you might like to take advantage of a free … yes …FREE … download of my latest music compilation which is all about a perennial quest which I’m usually too reticent to mention.
This week’s gratuitous titillating image comes courtesy of Mr. Weird & Wacky whose blog offers downloads of deservedly rarely bought albums unless the purchaser was a collector of ‘cheesecake’ images, like the one above.
It is often said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The same can be said for LPs and CDs. You might wish to listen to Daniel Barenboim playing or conducting Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3, but does the sleeve entice you?
Coincidentally, having discovered Mr. W & W this past week, I then found this article extolling the virtues of a creative synergy between label, composer and artist in Friday’s Guardian .
ECM is one notable example of the excellence which can sell the music and, furthermore, create ‘brand’ loyalty. Thankfully too, by and large, Indonesian jazz artists have not overlooked this.
I’ve only once placed a bet on a horse race and won. I learnt in the winning that gambling is for losers.
The occasion and the opportunity came when I was 15 or 16 staying with a French family on an exchange programme organised through my school. Pierre in return stayed with my family. That we came to dislike each other intensely I put down to class differences, although I did learn that wine at meals was pleasurable. (My parents were teetotal except for a bottle of sweet sickly Sauternes as a Xmas ritual.)
Pierre’s family lived in Beauvais, and the nearest race course was at Deauville, on the coast of the Calvados region of Normandy, northern France. (It must have been then that I first drank Calvados, a delightful apple cider liqueur.)
Our day at the races was an annual outing for Pierre’s family, and carefully orchestrated by papa. The whole family was encouraged to ‘have a flutter’, so I picked a horse because … I liked the name? It won, and I was the only one to actually show a profit, much to Papa’s disgust.
I’ve never placed a bet since, not at a UK betting shop, nor online. Nor did I waste my money during my 24 hour visit to Las Vegas back in ’83. I was then travelling with a Malaysian student whose ambition was to lose $100 playing Blackjack at the tables. That he initially tripled his stake meant that I had to stand stoically beside him … bringing him luck?
My only interest in UK horse racing would have been the Grand National. This was “first run in 1839, [and]is a handicap steeplechase over 4 miles 3½ furlongs (7.141 km) with horses jumping 30 fences over two laps. It is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million in 2015.“
My interest in that race would have been because I’d randomly picked the name of a horse out of a ‘hat’ in the office sweepstake. The holders of the names of the first three placed horses would share the pot.
And that is why I’m familiar with the name and voice of (Sir) Peter O’Sullevan who died yesterday aged 97.
Members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir look on during the funeral of L. Tom Perry, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ highest governing body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rather than having empty seats disguised as a crowd, a Korean baseball team recently installed three rows of robotic fans at their stadium.
It’s the first day of the new school year tomorrow here in Indonesia. A new regulation from the Ministry of Education and Culture Regulation Number 21 year 2015 on Character Building is supposed to instil Character Building and a Spirit of Nationalism through having teachers and learners (plus parents tomorrow) singing the national anthem ‘Indonesia Raya’, holding a flag raising ceremony every Monday, and the teaching of national and regional songs to students.
In other news, according to the Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Marwan Jafar, the government intends to move four million people from the over-crowded islands of Java and Bali. However, President Jokowi has ruled out Papua as a recipient of more immigrants on the grounds that inter-communal strife is the result of the indigenous population now being out-numbered.
Surely the much-criticised Transmigration Programme should be replaced with access to better family planning; since reformasi the family planning programme has been a failure in its inability to control the country’s fertility rate. Whereas Suharto suggested that Dua Anak Cukup (Two Children are Enough), with nationwide publicity via TV ads and a statue of the two-fingered V for Victory salute in every kampung, there is little evidence of that now. The current slogan is Dua Anak Lebih Baik (Two Children Are Better), implying an opinion rather than an instruction.