Education About Asia

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

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Book Review, Resources

Jihad in Paradise: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia

BY MIKE MILLARD ARMONK, NY: M. E. SHARP, 2004 155 PAGES. PAPERBACK ISBN: 0-765613-36-0 A paucity of resources and literature still plagues the topic of terrorism in Southeast Asia despite horrific bombings in Bali, Jakarta, southern Thailand, the Philippines, and other places in recent years, and despite the connections established between these events and the worldwide activities of terrorist organizations. Millard’s effort must therefore be seen as a welcome addition to this thin inve...

Feature Article

A Voice for Southeast Asian Muslims in the High Colonial Era: The Third Baron Stanley of Alderley

The years 1873 and 1874 are seen as a turning point in the colonial advance in Southeast Asia, when Britain and the Netherlands aggressively imposed their rule on areas they had decided between themselves to be their destined territories. An 1824 Anglo-Dutch treaty declared that Sumatra was to be a Dutch sphere and the Peninsula (contemporary Malaysia and Singapore) a British one. Another treaty in 1871, following the opening of the Suez Canal, intensified European trade and traffic through the ...

Rice in the Making of Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is so diverse that some doubt it is a region. Indeed, divided up into eleven nations, the region is home to literally hundreds of peoples whose speech, dress, and demeanor all differ richly. Yet beneath today’s political and ethnic mosaic are great continuities in rice, trade,1 and urban life2 that give this corner of Asia its distinctive character. Rice is a key to the region. Jane Richardson Hanks (see the following article) captures how deeply Siamese country life once rev...

Feature Article

Using Art to Teach Culture: Rice in Asia

When I first lived in Indonesia in 1971, I was often approached by people curious to ask about life in the US. Initially I was uncomfortable when strangers asked personal questions, but before long I came to cherish the warmth of this characteristic style of offering friendship and to appreciate the way it pushed me to extend myself in turn. Despite the diversity of people I encountered, the questions they asked were so similar I could often predict them. First came questions aimed at establishi...

Feature Article

The Keys to Understanding Indonesia

BY NEARLY ANY MEASURE, INDONESIA IS A MAJOR COUNTRY, and its current and future economic, social, and political development will have important consequences for the US, the Asia Pacific, and the wider world. Despite its significance, Indonesia’s profile remains surprisingly low, and many people around the world are more familiar with particular parts of Indonesia, such as Bali, Java, or the Moluccas (Spice Islands) than with the country as a whole. The following ten keys are intended to open ...

Book Review, Resources

A History of Modern Indonesia

BY ADRIAN VICKERS NEW YORK: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005 292 PAGES, ISBN 0521834937, HARDBACK Adrian Vickers uses a unique style to provide his readers with a view of twentieth-century Indonesia. Throughout this book, Vickers, a Professor of Asian Studies at Australia’s University of Wollongong, references Indonesia’s history to the writings of and incidents in the life of Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Pram, as his countrymen and women commonly refer to him, was a giant a...

Feature Article

Hope for Renewal: Photographs from Indonesia after the Tsunami

We extend our gratitude and thanks both to the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai`i, and to Marco Garcia, the Hawai`i photographer who traveled to Aceh Province in northwestern Sumatra, Indonesia, in the days and months following the December 26, 2004, tsunami. Marco’s photographs capture not only the disaster, recovery, and relief efforts, but also the resilience and positive spirit of the survivors and those who came to their aid. EAA is also grateful to Betty Buck, formerly with the East-...

Feature Article

The 2004 Tsunami: A Survivor’s Story

My name is Ari Palawi, and I was born on November 10, 1974. I grew up in Banda Aceh, the capital of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (Aceh). Aceh (pronounced Ah-chay) is a special territory (daerah istimewa) of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. I finished my elementary, junior high, and senior high school there. In 1993, I went to Java Island to pursue my undergraduate degree at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of Arts where I graduated in 2000. I began working in 2002...

Feature Article

Ten Years of Extraordinary Change in Indonesia

CHANGES IN INDONESIA over the past ten years have affected the whole country to varying degrees and left almost no one untouched. Whether political, economic, social, or environmental, the changes have been rapid and unprecedented. Just ten years ago, Suharto and his military government were in power; the country had yet to experience the economic crisis of 1997–98, which brought considerable poverty and lowering of standards of living to tens of millions of people; relationships among members...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching about the Comfort Women during World War II and the Use of Personal Stories of the Victims

“Comfort women” refers to the system of sexual slavery created and controlled by the Imperial Japanese government between 1932 and 1945. It is the largest case of government-sponsored human trafficking and sexual slavery in modern history. Many scholars have argued that the term comfort women, a euphemism coined by the Japanese military, obscures the gravity of the crime. While the authors agree that “military sexual slaves” is a much more accurate and appropriate phrase, we use the term...

Resources, Web Gleanings

Website Resources: Marriage and Family in Asia

ASIA, GENERAL Title: Islamic Family Law and Justice for Muslim Women URL: This Web page summarizes the presentations of a conference that dealt with marriage, divorce, child custody, and other important issues facing Muslim women. The participants are mostly from four ASEAN countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines INDIA Title: Marriage Customs of India URL:

Book Review Essay, Resources

Interweaving Cultures: Islam in Southeast Asia, A Guide for Teachers and Students

By ELIZABETH A. COLE AND MARLEEN KASSEL NEW YORK: ASIA SOCIETY, 2007 HTTP://ASIASOCIETY.ORG/EDUCATION/ISLAM_IN_SEASIA/ Reviewed by Nelly van Doorn-Harder The outcome of a collaborative project by the Asia Society, the goal of this book is to present the complex and diverse religious landscape of Southeast Asia. Through a thematic approach, the guide introduces the Muslim population of the area that is among the largest in the world. The result is an enlightening balance between information a...

Resources, Web Gleanings

Website Resources: Teaching about Asia through Youth Culture

JAPAN Anime The Ghibli Studio and Hayo Miyazaki rank foremost in Japanese anime. The following sites contain interviews, movie clips, and discussions about Ghibli and Miyazaki: Title: Ghibli—The Miyazaki Temple URL: A review in six parts, most of them around eight to nine minutes long. This link is to the first section with links to the others on the sidebar. Title: The Birth of Studio Ghibli URL: ...

Feature Article

Mandalas, Grids, and Volcanic Eruptions: Notes on the Persistence of Old Geographies in Modern Central Java

By Charles Sullivan As I awoke on the morning of October 26, 2010, I heard the words “volcano” and “Indonesia” come across the radio. I was instantly awake. Initially, the news reports didn’t name the volcano but mentioned it was in central Java, the area I study. Checking online, I quickly learned that it wasn’t just a volcano that had erupted, it was the volcano: Gunung Merapi, whose name means Mountain of Fire, the most active volcano on Java, the world’s most thickly settled...

Web Gleanings

US, Asia, and the World: 1620–1914

Americans in Eastern Asia URL: The focus of this book, published in 1922, is on the relations between the United States and Korea, China, and Japan in the nineteenth century. The author relies greatly on Consular correspondence, but also refers to books and articles written in the last half of the nineteenth century. Trading Places URL: This is part of the British Library’s Learning Series. It ex...

Columns, Teaching Resources Essay

East-West Center Education Programs: Promoting Asian Studies and Cultivating Collaboration between the United States and the Asia Pacific Region

Established by the US Congress in 1960, the East-West Center was founded with the mission to contribute to a peaceful, prosperous, and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education, and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the region. This vision has guided the Center over its fifty year history, and its Asia Pacific Education Program for Schools (AsiaPacificEd) and the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) have continued to fulfill i...

Book Review

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

The need for teachers of survey coursesinhistoryandgeographyto cover the Muslim world has become fraught, since 9/11, with a tension that doesn’t arise when the subject matter is, say, the Buddhist or Hindu world. Trying to be broadminded, non-Muslim Americans may end up presenting a bland version of the history of Islam that robs the subject of much of its dramatic interest. This book will help to correct that error....

Resources, Web Gleanings

Website Resources: Asian Visual and Performing Arts–Part I

VISUAL ARTS Asia, General The Art of Asia URL: The collections of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese works of art have been added to this site, produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. From this introductory page, one can access the collections by culture,  period, or themes. There are thousands of objects, including 368 ukiyo-eand an extensive guide to Chinese ceramics. South and Southeast Asian Art URL:

Feature Article

Asia, Shakespeare, and the World: Digital Resources for Teaching about Globalization

In the marooned rehearsal of a school play in an urban comedy, a stuttering student asks their drama coach if he could play Romeo. A young lady rolls her eyes and challenges her classmate: “What makes you think that you can play Romeo? You don’t have the looks, and you can’t even speak properly.” She is quick to point out that the other student, originally cast for the male lead, is eminently more qualified even if he cannot remember his lines: “Nick, on the other hand, looks like Leon...

Essay, Resources

East Asian International Relations: Peaceful and Stable for Centuries

How did international relations function in East Asia from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries—that is, before the arrival of the Western colonial powers? We typically use European history and European ideas as the basis for thinking about world history and international relations. Ideas that emanated from the 1688 Peace of Westphalia include the independent sovereignty of each nation-state, the inherent equality of those nation-states, and “balance of power.” But, it may be that th...

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