Vive la difference
Although I am often accused of having my head in the clouds, for some reason I always assume my accusers are referring to the fact that most Indonesians are substantially shorter than me.
So be it and I will continue to bring glad tidings. If I can find them.
First off must be John Aglionby's latest epistle on developments in Aceh.To everyone's surprise both sides are adhering to the peace agreement in the Indonesian province of Aceh.
Events in the province, on the northern tip of Sumatra, are progressing much more hopefully than anyone expected when the two sides signed an agreement in Helsinki on August 15 to end the 29-year insurgency that has cost some 12,000 lives.
"I'm astonished that it's going so well," Irawadi Yusuf, the senior Gam interlocutor with the government, told Guardian Unlimited. "I expected there to be many more skirmishes and violations of the deal (archived here)
."Major General Bambang Darmono, his Indonesian government counterpart, is equally effusive. "There's a really constructive attitude for peace in the field," he said. "I think we've reached the point of no return as long as the politicians in the towns don't interrupt the process."
Of course, there are still some problems, but I won't sully this post with them. Read the full article
I say, where there is a willingness, there is a way.
Living a faintly schizophrenic life as a fulltime expat, there are inevitable compromises to be made. It's not for me to impose my cultural sensibilities on the world around me, nor, I believe, to have other dogmas forced on me.
Hence, I was very interested to hear about the adjustments being made by Asian footballers now playing in England.There are so many hidden cultural codes and potential pitfalls that, unless you have a guide, settling into a new culture can prove a lonely experience.
Asian males did not used to be regarded as sex symbols. If you wanted to shag someone you wouldn't think of an oriental. But that has changed. The emergence of footballers such as Park at Man U is part of that, it shows Asia is now being included in the rest of the world. The world is accepting us and we're accepting them. Oriental is cool. The twenty-first century is ours....'
Bolton's Japanese summer signing, Hidetoshi Nakata, is a very different personality.
Famous in Japan for being an individual, he insists he feels more at home in Europe. He posts a very candid diary on his website, openly thwarting the Japanese cultural tradition of privacy and discretion. He insists he does not watch football, and has never even seen footage of Pele - and reads manga comics alongside western novels by J T LeRoy, Dan Brown and JK Rowling. He adopts an intrinsically western philosophy: "Before being a manager or a player we are human beings. We have to talk to each other, otherwise we have no understanding."
Indonesia still has some way to go in overcoming its tendency to look inward and to impose its 'values' (or, indeed, to produce world class football players). In his post today, Indcoup
points out that the press is trammelled, highlighting the case of the disappeared journalist, Elyuddin Telaumbanua
, on the island of Nias. Police have stalled the investigation which leads one to believe that his probable murder in August is related to an investigation into yet another case of corruption.Java Richo
agrees with my comment yesterday that there really isn't space or time to list all the corruption cases that have been highlighted in the past year. The Indonesian Corruption Watch
does a pretty good job on its website but there are inevitable gaps.
So, viva the blogosphere I say.
Java Richo has added to Tim Worstall's Lesson in Political Science
with the following:Indonesia Farm
You have two cows.
You were charged for three and received two.
The UN funds a grant programme to advise on herd management.
There is a farmer's loan in your name to buy a bull.
You still have two cows.
And finally, there remains the question of why Indonesian, and now international, beauty Tiara Lestari
has been ignored by the local media.
give the answer? You decide.