“One of the most famous, if not the most famous, islands in Indonesia is Bali. And Bali is a Hindu enclave in Muslim-majority Indonesia. And I think it says a lot about our respect for religious freedom that the statue in front of the country with the largest Muslim population is a Hindu statue.”
Indonesian Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal tells NPR about the new Hindu statue sitting in front of the Indonesian embassy. Now he has something to point to whenever anyone accuses Indonesia of religious intolerance. 

noodlekind:

‘Dangdut is the Music of My Country’

Old song, new to me.

Like if 311 if had a wild night at Asmoro.

Forget the haze, it’s Hello Kitty time in Singapore.

Reuters writes:

Singapore residents braved hazardous air, bid hundreds of dollars and queued for hours to lay their hands on a special Hello Kitty stuffed toy, swept up in a craze for the mouthless Japanese cat that peaked this week in the city-state. 

From Time Magazine’s cover archives. Top: Soekarno, Dec. 23, 1946, Bottom Left: Soekarno, March 19, 1958, Bottom Right: Suharto, July 15, 1966. From Time Magazine’s cover archives. Top: Soekarno, Dec. 23, 1946, Bottom Left: Soekarno, March 19, 1958, Bottom Right: Suharto, July 15, 1966. From Time Magazine’s cover archives. Top: Soekarno, Dec. 23, 1946, Bottom Left: Soekarno, March 19, 1958, Bottom Right: Suharto, July 15, 1966.

From Time Magazine’s cover archives. Top: Soekarno, Dec. 23, 1946, Bottom Left: Soekarno, March 19, 1958, Bottom Right: Suharto, July 15, 1966.

“What time is it in Indonesia? Last week the public clocks which the punctual Dutch had placed along Batavia’s sweltering, mosquito-infested streets did not say; nobody had wound them. Nobody collected electric bills, because the electrical engineers are Dutch and the company accountants Indonesian; they could not decide who should get the receipts. Batavia had two mayors, one Dutch, one Indonesian; two flags, one Queen Wilhelmina’s and one Ir. Soekarno’s; two currencies, neither of which could buy much, and two possible destinies: it might become the chief city of the first great Moslem colony to free itself from European rule, or it might come to symbolize the first wave of Asiatic nationalism to break into chaos.”

Time Magazine on Indonesia, 1943.

(Link only works if you are a subscriber)

Cetho, Central Java

The abandoned apartments of Keelung City, Taiwan. 

From Messy Nessy Chic:

“It’s an uncompleted community and I really don’t know why it’s been abandoned,” says the photographer, Flickr user ‘cock_a_doodle_do

image

The Malaysian government, in a characteristically bizarre misstep, is backing a star-studded musical spectacular warning children about the dangers of homosexuality.

The musical, “Asmara Songsang” (“Abnormal Desire”), follows three freewheeling queer friends on a journey so jam-packed with drugs and casual sex that they literally incur the wrath of God.

The Guardian reports:

A government-backed musical in Malaysia that aims to warn young people about the perils of being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) in this Muslim-majority country has sparked controversy over its “state-sponsored bigotry” and potential to incite hatred.

Asmara Songsang (Abnormal Desire) follows the lives of three LGBT friends who throw loud parties, take drugs and have casual sex, thereby incurring the wrath of their religious neighbours, who attempt to reintroduce them to the teachings of Islam. Those who repent are spared, while those who don’t are killed in a lightning storm.

Critics are calling the musical another example of government-backed bigotry. I tend to agree.

Alia Ali responds to the play on the blog Kakiseni:

This is as narrow-minded and bigoted a view as one could get.

Remember this is the same government that levied sodomy charges against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim twice. The same people who brought you the “anti-gay paintball camp for effeminate boys” and the eight-point list for identifying a homosexual.

Director Rahman Adam on the play:

"Nowadays in Malaysia you read so many things in newspaper articles or write-ups about LGBT … because [LGBT] are going into schools and influencing the children," he said. "Children need to recognise that men are for women, and women are for men. They [LGBT] are all out to have homosexual and lesbian sex, and although right now it is not so serious [in Malaysia], we need to act, to do something, to say something, to say that this is bad and not to follow it."

Yup, seems pretty bigoted.

A PHD ad from the Philippines. 

Every time I order this stuff it shows up in like 8 minutes. How is that even possible? 

“In Okinawa, there’s a word for women like Eve: kokujo, women who like black men. The umbrella term is amejo, women who like Americans. Hakujo like white men and spajo prefer Latinos. The terms are derogatory, mostly; I had never heard someone use one to describe herself. An amejo is the other girl at the club — similar, maybe, but less classy or genuine or smart. An amejo is a rival. An amejo is a trashy bitch.”
— From “Ladies’ Night: Circling the Bases on Okinawa" by Akemi Johnson