Friday, July 29, 2016

40 Indonesian foods we can't live without

TSCFWA -- At a poll CNN did a few years ago, our readers voted rendang the most delicious food in the world.

It's time to give Indonesia's culinary credentials some time in the limelight.

Here we run through a mouth-watering array of broth-soaked noodles, fiery curries, banana-wrapped fish and vegetable salads with sweet peanut dressing.

1. Sambal

While technically more of a condiment, the chili-based sauce known as sambal is a staple at all Indonesian tables.

Dishes aren't complete unless they've a hearty dollop of the stuff, a combination of chilies, sharp fermented shrimp paste, tangy lime juice, sugar and salt all pounded up with mortar and pestle.

So beloved is sambal, some restaurants have made it their main attraction, with options that include young mango, mushroom and durian.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Historically, Disputed South China Sea Belongs to Indonesia's Sriwijaya and Majapahit Kingdom

TSCFWA -- Sriwijaya control was thus complete over the two main gateways to maritime trade lanes into Nusantara, which are Malacca Straits in the north and Sunda Straits in the south. Never being complacent, from Kedah Sriwijayan ground forces pushed eastward to conquer Patani on the eastern coast of Malay Peninsula, opening access to maritime traffics in the Gulf of Siam and South China Sea.


Read: Majapahit Control over South China Sea

The Majapahit Empire was founded in 1293 in the South China Sea, over a large area that now forms Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor and the Philippines. 

Just before its emergence, a kingdom known as Singhasari was the strongest in the area. In 1290, Kublai Khan, successor of Ghengis Khan, sent an envoy to the leader of Singhasari, asking that they put themselves under his protection and pay them tribute. Instead of complying with their request, the ruler refused, branded the Khans messenger like a thief, cut his ears and sent him back to Kublai Khan.


According to the Kota Kapur inscription discovered on Bangka Island, the empire conquered most of southern Sumatra and the neighbouring island of Bangka, as far as Lampung. Also, according to the inscriptions, Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa launched a military campaign against Java in the late 7th century, a period which coincided with the decline of Tarumanagara in West Java and the Kalingga Kingdom in Central Java.

The Sriwijaya empire thus grew to control the trade on the Strait of Malacca, the Sunda Strait, the South China Sea, the Java Sea, and the Karimata Strait.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

By 2050, India to Surpass Indonesia, Will Have Largest Muslim Population
TSCFWA -- Hindus will become the world's third largest population by 2050, while India will overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population, according to a new study.

According to the Pew Research Center's religious profile predictions assessed data released on Thursday, the Hindu population is projected to rise by 34 per cent worldwide, from a little over 1 billion to nearly 1.4 billion by 2050.

By 2050, Hindus will be third, making up 14.9 per cent of the world's total population, followed by people who do not affiliate with any religion, accounting for 13.2 per cent, the report said.

The people with no religious affiliation currently have the third largest share of the world's total population.
Muslims are projected to grow faster than the world's overall population and that Hindus and Christians are projected to roughly keep pace with worldwide population growth, the report said.


First Madagascar settlers may have been Indonesian

TSCFWA -- Madagascar is a country of paradoxes. It lies just 400 kilometres off the coast of Africa yet appears to have been colonised only within the last 1500 years. Stranger still, it now looks as if most of the women in that first population came from Indonesia rather than Africa.

We know from language and culture that modern Malagasy have African and Indonesian ties. To identify Madagascar’s “founding mothers”, Murray Cox of Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and colleagues analysed mitochondrial DNA from 266 Malagasy and 2745 Indonesians. This mtDNA is inherited from mothers.

Their results suggest Madagascar’s initial population contained around 30 women of reproductive age, with roughly 93 per cent of their genes indicating ties to Indonesia. Such a small population suggests they may have colonised Madagascar after crossing the ocean by accident.

Cox says that accidental crossings of the Indian Ocean are not without precedent. “In the second world war there was bombing around Java and a lot of that wreckage – including in one case a survivor in a life raft – actually washed up on Madagascar,” he says. “So you could imagine a boat being blown off course in Indonesia and making it to the island.”

Earlier theories had suggested that initial colonisation of Madagascar was planned, because the island made a convenient port of call on the silk road – an ancient trading route that ran across African and Eurasia. “We need to rethink a lot of our ideas about how Madagascar was settled,” says Cox.

Peter Forster at the University of Cambridge points out that the initial population was not pure Indonesian, suggesting the first people arrived in Madagascar via a generation of interbreeding with Africans. His earlier work suggests the DNA of the first population was just 60 per cent Indonesian. However, he studied fewer living Malagasy and analysed shorter sections of DNA – although his analysis included members of four Malagasy ethnic groups, while Cox studied just three.

Cox now wants to repeat his simulations with Y chromosome data to work out how many men were in the first population. “This isn’t just a story of the women.”