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In colonial times, the fight for independence was also driven by native doctors who graduated from the School tot Opleiding van Indische Artsen (STOVIA).
Indonesia faced several epidemics during the Dutch East Indies era. From outbreaks of cholera and pestilence in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the early of the 20th century up until the impact of the Spanish Flu. Those pandemics resembled the current situation. After a late response to the outbreak, the colonial government finally enacted a regional quarantine. Many things can be learned from past epidemics. Mitigation strategies, appropriate isolation measures, and rapid responses are needed.
UNIVERSITY researchers are putting their heads together in conducting studies to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. Studies in a number of fields—from engineering and medicine to sociology and economics—are used to battle against the pandemic caused by the coronavirus.
THE keris (dagger or kris) belonging to Diponegoro, also known as Raden Mas Ontowiryo, was returned by the Dutch government to Indonesia on March 10. The dagger, known as Kiai Naga Siluman, was believed to have been given to the Dutch by Diponegoro. Dutch and Indonesian researchers who studied the kris verified that it was Naga Siluman based on a letter from Diponegoro’s former officer Sentot Alibasya Prawirodirdjo, and a description of the dagger by Javanese painter Raden Saleh, who lived and worked for many years in Europe in the mid-19th century. However, Indonesian kris specialists have casted doubt on whether the old weapon is indeed Diponegoro’s Naga Siluman as mentioned by Sentot. From the details, they say, it seemed that the dagger is a Naga Sasra, which has quite distinct characteristics from a Naga Siluman. These Indonesian experts deem it impossible that Prince Diponegoro would not know the difference between a Naga Siluman and a Naga Sasra. Thus, the National Museum will be waiting for a compromise between kris specialists and historians before exhibiting the dagger, together with other items owned by Diponegoro, at a certain point after the corona pandemic subsides.
THE government’s dream to reach garlic self-sufficiency in 2021 seems far-fetched. Importers have been required to plant garlic since 2017, but the program has not been able to overcome the annual garlic deficit of 500,000 tons.
The price of garlic skyrockets at the start every year, going over Rp50,000 per kilogram. Due to government’s requirement to plant garlic in the import quota system, garlic prices in the country are consistently high, even when prices in its exporting country, China, are under Rp10,000 per kilogram. With an annual profit of up to Rp8.4 trillion, garlic import regulations are creating illegal fees in the permit issuing process. As a result, prices continue to soar and the commodity is controlled by a number of companies with import quotas and the power to withhold or pour garlic into the market.
By all appearances, 2019 did not produce many surprising works of art. Nevertheless, the Indonesian art scene still managed to come up with some strong gusts of fresh air, and several efforts were made to explore new aesthetic realms. Tempo invited a handful of art scene observers to select and discuss nominees before we elected them to become the works and our artist selection of the year.