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Latest Articles
December 15, 2014
by Latitudes

Christmas in Jakarta’s Malls

By: Kenneth Yeung

Criticising Jakarta’s shopping malls for their ostentatious Christmas displays is too easy. We can feel sickened by the crass commercialisation of religious holidays in a country where many people do not have enough to eat, or we can naively view the Christmas glitz as an effort to uphold Indonesia’s religious pluralism. Ultimately, it’s a mostly harmless extravagance that is better than nothing at all.

Some Islamic organisations have claimed that excessive Christmas decorations could offend Muslims, but Santa Clause is not having much success as a proselytiser of the Christian faith, at least not at Pondok Indah Mall 1 in South Jakarta. The mall’s Christmas displays include a large motion-sensor singing Santa and snowman, which were installed in late November. When a young boy wandered away from his mother to inspect them, he set off the sensors and got the fright of his life when the Santa suddenly started shaking his belly like a bowl full of jelly while singing.

December 10, 2014
by Latitudes

Bali Time

Being a tourist can be a tiring business. An average itinerary includes getting up early to catch the free buffet breakfast, rushing off to see some sights, shopping for a few souvenirs, eating, swimming some laps or surfing some waves, visiting a museum/monument/temple, running off to catch the sunset, writing postcards, go online, rechecking the guidebook, then taking in a dance performance/disco/pub crawl before catching a couple hours of sleep and then starting all over again.