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Illegal abortions in Indonesia, the story of a brave woman.

I’m pregnant. I need someone to talk to.


Sanne van Oosten

A quaint house in the middle of a rice field, not really the place where one would expect the headquarters of the Indonesian women’s reproductive rights movement to be. But it is. When you walk inside, women’s rights posters from all over the world decorate the house. The founder and leader of Samsara, Inna Hudaya, welcomed us into her house in the middle of a rice field. She lives in a small remote village to be able to be as anonymous as possible. The village doesn’t know about her work, and she’d like to keep it that way. They think she works in educating women on sexuality. For her own safety, that’s all they should know.

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Are You Sure You Are Pretty?

Whitening lotion

Efi Yanuar

We all know that the media always has their own perspective about the perfect girl/woman. But, I hope you will not get bored if I tell you how media in Indonesia always change their ideal girl/woman.

For the past, maybe, 10-15 years, media in Indonesia changed the criteria of beauty several times. No matter how many times it changes, I’ve never matched their criteria.

When I was 10-12 years old, there was one commercial that I still remember untill now. There were twin girls, Santi and Sinta. They were walking by the beach, but Santi didn’t feel comfortable to walk with her sister. The main reason is she is not as white as Sinta. All eyes (read: boys) are on Sinta.

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Jakarta on top

Efi Januar

People say the number of skyscrapers in a city’s skyline is a sign of development. The more skyscrapers a region has, the more developed it is. Is it true? I spent almost all of my life in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I lived in the outskirts of Jakarta. The highest building I see the most is the tip of the mosque in neighborhood, if we put the tower of base transceiver stations aside. Being in my neighborhood is bliss for me. Why? Because we “stay” on the ground, me and my neighbors are equal, we stand on the same ground.

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Tragic traffic in Jakarta

Destyan Prabowo

Offering all the luxury to be called as a world class metropolitan city, Jakarta soon becomes disoriented by lack of adequate masterplan, but the biggest problem of all seems to be its traffic.

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The diversity of Asian drinking cultures

Drinking culture_BloggersWithoutBorders

Sanne van Oosten

Yes, drinking cultures, plural. There is no way to speak of one typical way of drinking alcohol throughout Asia. Some just don’t drink, some drink obsessively, others only drink obsessively on special occasions and then there’s the ones that use drunkenness as a way to make important decisions.  Please allow me to explain with some drunken examples.

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Journalist kryptonite

Efi Yanuar

What is the relationship between journalists and superheroes? What do Superman and Spiderman have in common? That’s right, they are both journalists. I never understood why these superheroes were journalists, of all professions. Since I studied journalism at college in Indonesia, I found out the reason.

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Exporting Amsterdam to Asia

Droog design heater, a great export product of Amsterdam

Sanne van Oosten

It’s good to be back. After nine months of traveling through Asia I’m so happy to be in good ole Amsterdam again. In Dutch I’d say: Oost, West, Mokum best. Even though we had an amazing time in Asia, this trip has made me appreciate all those little things from home just a little bit more. Biking through the city, the view of the windmill from my window, Old Amsterdam cheese, and last but not least, delicious water straight from the tap.

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Asian football fever – Euro 2012

Davey Meelker

“Sports brings people together” is often said. This doesn’t only count for people actually playing the sport. Likewise, it isn’t even limited by the fact that your team or country is participating the games, I recently found out. Asia is infected by the European Championship fever.

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Maids plummeting to their death is their own uneducated fault?

Sanne van Oosten

Once again, Singapore manages to shock me with its complete lack of human decency and civilization. The Bangkok Post featured an article which revealed a shocking statistic: “Eight Indonesian maids have fallen to their deaths from high-rise apartments in Singapore this year.” But not only this, it is seen as their own uneducated fault.

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WATCH: What is left of the concentration camps of my grandparents in 2012?

Sanne van Oosten

During the Second World War my Dutch grandparents lived in Indonesia. As happened to many other Dutch people there in that time, they were incarcerated at Japanese concentration camps. My grandparents were newlyweds and had just been blessed with their first child, my aunt Corrie, when their family was ripped apart.

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