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Showing posts from November, 2020

South East Asia's Panji Tales

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The Panji tales are stories of the many adventures of Prince Panji (Raden Inu Kertapati), as he searches for his missing bride,  Princess Chandra Kirana (Dewi Sekartaji). Their adventures undertaken in various disguises and with a range of different names, before the lovers are reunited. The setting is in East Java featuring a number of kingdoms such as Kahuripan (also known as Janggala), Daha (Kediri), Gegelang and Singhasari (Tumapel).  (Photo : Kemdikbud) The tales are estimated have emerged in the Majapahit kingdom’s heyday in the 13thcentury and were spread by merchants along the trading routes, and became one of the most popular forms of literature in Southeast Asia. .  Dewi Sekartaji, depicted in modern art (2019 Panji Festival - Kediri). Photo: Warstek   According to Noriah Mohamed - researcher from Universiti Sains Malaysia -  the influences of the Panji Tales also can be found on “ Sejarah Melayu ” (Malay Annals)  and “ Hikayat Hang Tuah ”.  In “ Sejarah Melayu ” (Malay Annal

Get to Know Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat is a temple complex in the province of Siem Reap, Cambodia. " Angkor " means "City or  Capital ", while "Wat" means " Temple ". It's the largest religious monument in the world by land area  (162.6 hectares). (Photo : Smithsonian Magazine) This temple was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Kingdom (Cambodia). Unlike the previous kings who followed the Shiva tradition, King Suryavarman II built the temple as a tribute to Lord Vishnu in Hinduism. Later, this temple was used by the Buddhists. Photo: Wikipedia King Suryavarman II reigned from 1113 to 1150 and was the first Khmer King to be depicted in art. A bas relief in the southern gallery of Angkor Wat shows him sitting on a throne carved in the shape of Naga snakes. Photo: Wikipedia Angkor Wat was never lost nor forgotten by the Khmers. However, what made this building famous in the western world was a French explorer Henri Mouhot. He is not the first to

Peace is ASEAN's best product

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What do you think about ASEAN? Some people may think that ASEAN is useless. When asked the question "What are the benefits of ASEAN for you?" Along many answers, you may encounter these: "I don't know", "ASEAN has no impact on our life.", "It doesn't matter whether ASEAN exists or not." Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore's former ambassador to the United Nations, said that ASEAN's best product is peace. Even  "if" ASEAN produces NOTHING but peace, that's enough. Now everyone takes peace for granted. But actually getting peace in the most diverse region of planet Earth is a fantastic achievement. At the time ASEAN was founded, the atmosphere in Southeast Asia was very tense. Indonesia has just had a confrontation with Malaysia, Singapore has just become independent, the Vietnam war is still ongoing. Prof. Mahbubani was present at the establishment of ASEAN. He said that the atmosphere at the start of the negotiations

Borobudur temple covered with tarpaulins

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Since November 10, 2020, the stupas at the Borobudur temple have been covered with tarpaulins. This was done because of the increased activity of Mount Merapi. In 2010 - when Mount Merapi erupted - the stupas at Borobudur temple were also covered with tarpaulins. Even then, it took about two months to clean the volcanic ash that polluted the temple. source: Pecinta Obyek Wisata Indonesia / Arta Putra source: Pecinta Obyek Wisata Indonesia / Arta Putra source: Pecinta Obyek Wisata Indonesia / Arta Putra source: Pecinta Obyek Wisata Indonesia / Arta Putra source:Antara source:Antara Source : Kompas. ( This was from 2013) Borobudur on normal days. ( source : Liputan6)

We're Members of the Biggest Trading Bloc

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It turns out that we (the ASEAN) are already members of the largest economic bloc. On November 15, 2020, the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) was signed by each of the ASEAN leaders, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. This is the largest trading bloc ever. 30% of total world population, 30% of Global GDP. Because of the pandemic, the signing was done online in each country. Photo: asean.org With this RCEP, the 15 countries agree to eliminate or reduce import tariffs among goods from each member.  We've been in the AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) for quite a long time. Before AFTA applied effectively, there were fears among each ASEAN country that their products would be less competitive than the others. Apparently, the fear did not come true. The economy is getting better. But now the challenges of RECP are much greater than AFTA. The Participants of AFTA are among fellow ASEAN members, with abilities that do not differ much. With the entry of

History of Telephone Codes of ASEAN Countries

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Perhaps, many of us have memorized all of the ASEAN member countries' names. But do we know how  ASEAN country codes created? Why all of  the country codes in ASEAN start with 6, 8 or 9? Why some countries have 2 digit phone codes, but the others have 3 digits? Telephone devices were invented in the 1870s, but the concept of country codes was not introduced until the 1960s. In 1960, the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) organization published guidelines for standardizing country codes, which were contained in a report known as the Red Book. At that time, Red Book mostly only included European countries and were no more than two digits long. In 1964, these rules were enhanced through a new guidebook, the Blue Book. This guide divides the world into 9 major zones, and country codes follow the zone numbers. Zone 1, 2 and so on until zone 9. Most ASEAN countries are in zone 6 (dialing code starting with 6). But there are also ASEAN countries in zones 8 and 9. Zona 6 Zona 8 Ma