Recently the New Yorker wrote an article about Indonesia, a deep contemplation about Indonesia and its journey during the last century. While reading the piece, I found a paragraph that capture a vivid image of Indonesia. I’d like to share this great writing by Pankaj Mishra, even though it is not the main point of the writing.
As Elizabeth Pisani writes in her exuberant and wise travel book “Indonesia Etc.” (Norton), this diversity “is not just geographic and cultural; different groups are essentially living at different points in human history, all at the same time.” In recent years, foreign businessmen, disgruntled with rising costs and falling profits in India and China, have gravitated to Indonesia instead. About half the population is under the age of thirty, and this has stoked excited conjecture in the international business media about Indonesia’s “demographic dividend.” And it is true that in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, once known for its ferocious headhunters, you can now find gated communities and Louis Vuitton bags. But the emblems of consumer modernity can be deceptive. While Jakarta tweets more than any other city in the world, and sixty-nine million Indonesians—more than the entire population of the United Kingdom—use Facebook, a tribe of hunter-gatherers still dines on bears in the dwindling rain forests of Sumatra, and pre-burial rites in nominally Christian Sumba include tea with the corpse.
Excellent. You can check the original writing here.