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The tradition of Pencak Dor, a freestyle martial arts competition, grew in an Islamic boarding school, or pesantren. At first the competition was meant as a way for students at Pesantren Lirboyo, Kediri, East Java to practice martial arts. Today, Pencak Dor is a prestigious festival for martial artists from various clubs and schools in East Java. The competition offers no reward, save for a warm dish of goat curry for both the winner and the defeated at the end of a fight.
Indonesia’s pluralism is nothing short of an irony. On the one hand, diversity lends color to life and should, ideally, go hand in hand with the values of tolerance. But on the other hand, history has shown us how easy it is for conflicts to arise amid diversity, as we witnessed in Ambon, Maluku, in 1999, as well as in Poso, South Sulawesi, from the late 1990s until the early 2000s. Past spine-chilling clashes between Christians and Muslims in the two regions did not only consume lives but also produced territorial and psychological segregations. A number of groups and individuals have decided to act to restore peace and harmony in these regions. In Ambon, the Maluku Interfaith Institution (LAIM) and other groups have moved to action. Meanwhile, in Poso, former terrorism convict Arifuddin Lako is campaigning for peace through his films. Tempo English reports.
Achieving educational equity in Indonesia faces several hurdles, including limitations in infrastructure, educational facilities, and qualified instructors. These poor conditions have inspired several youths to act. Young people have opened classes in several provinces, including in the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi. In Pangkep, also in South Sulawesi, three youths pioneered the Floating School, a program meant to reach children living on small islands. Tempo English reports.
The government is now more eager than ever to develop and promote its tourism village program. Among the 74,954 villages spread across Indonesia, 1,902 villages gifted with cultural riches and arresting natural landscapes offer tremendous potentials for tourism. Among them is the remote Merabu village in East Kalimantan, endowed with karst hills and prehistoric handprints hidden in caves. There is also the Bahitom village in Central Kalimantan, where villagers are now working to develop an organic farming program for food self-sufficiency and agrotourism. Over the past several years, residents of both villages have been striving to improve local economies through tourism. Tempo English reports.
East Kalimantan’s wilderness has managed to keep the Wehea Protected Forest “hidden” amid logging and oil drilling. The 38,000-hectare forest is home to a variety of protected species, including the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). In the face of numerous challenges, the Wehea Dayak tribe has taken firm action to safeguard and preserve their forest and its resources, and are now working with the government, non-profit organizations and even companies. Meanwhile, the customary community also strives to maintain the natural balance by celebrating Lom Plai, a thanksgiving tradition. In celebration of World Biodiversity Day on May 22, Tempo English reports.