Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Why Indonesians Don’t Drink Beer

July 24, 2010

The reason is awful advertisements like this one.   Nobody’s drinking!

In the first scene, we see our man is a construction worker.  Any job that involves manual labour is low status in Indonesia.  At least they could have put him on an  oil rig, which everyone knows pays big money.

At the endo of a hard day’s work, the classic time for a refreshing beer, what’s he do but wash his face?  Maybe we’re supposed to think he’s washing in beer?  Otherwise, there’s no beer consumed after work at this site

In the second half we move to the pub.  Surely this is the place to drink beer, if anywhere?  Apparently not.  In this pub, everyone stands around playing pool, not a glass in sight.  Actually, it’s typical of a lot of Indonesian pubs I’ve been to.

So what’s the reason for the advertiser’s coyness?  Maybe there’s an unannounced censorship of showing people in the act of drinking?  There’s quite a taboo against drinking in Indonesia.  It’s not only because of the large Muslim population, even Catholics are unlikely to be big drinkers.  I once attended an Evangelical service where they used cordial instead of wine for their communion (talk about drinking the cool aid!)  Hmm, can any reader tell me if that’s a common practice among Evangelicals, to drink cordial or juice during their services?

Anyhow, despite the existence of native alcohols such as arak, there just isn’t a drinking culture among Indonesians generally.  People seem to fear it and have little understanding of it’s actual effects.  You will find a lot of people who think that a single drink will turn them into raving alcoholics.

Having said all of that, alcohol is readily available.  You will even find it sold by the case at supermarkets.  I don’t know who drinks it, I guess they do it on the sly.

Here’s someone who appreciates a good drink:

Nanna takes a sip


Superheroes Convert to Islam

July 19, 2010

Superhero Sholat

A number of the world’s superheroes, have converted to Islam. So far, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, Daredevil, Wolverine, Cyclops, The Flash, The Thing, The Incredible Hulk and Robocop have been identified among the converts. The Indonesian superheroes Gundala, Gatotkaca and “Si Buta dari Gua Hantu” have joined the lineup.
This painting, found in a noodle shop / art gallery in Yogyakarta, Central Java, provides convincing evidence. Perhaps this initiative came while the group was taking R&R from their covert activities on behalf of the US Government in Afghanistan. Clearly tired and distressed from the effects of 9 years of everwar, they were open to conversion to the gentler form of Islam practiced in Java.
Proof that these events occurred in Java can be found in the architectural style of the mosque where they are praying and in the clothes which their imam is wearing. Some have said that the imam is Sunan Kalijaga himself, but this is impossible as he passed away in the 15th century, long before the technology for Robocop existed.
If you happen to like this style of painting, and would like a similar one made to your own specifications, leave a comment and we can arrange a quote.

Dangdut: Inul Daratista

April 11, 2010

This is the lady and the moves that got a few Islamic leaders excited.  If you can imagine, after decades of the pious warblings of Rhoma Irama, they started to notice that dangdut music includes much more than that.  In fact, it was perhaps Mr Irama who attracted devout Muslims to dangdut in the first place, but it has always included themes concerning love, mens inconstancy and such.  Anyhow, self-righteous anger was invoked and the fanatics almost succeeded  in banning Inul from the stage.  Thankfully, there was a reaction against this and the tide has somewhat turned against the rampaging censorship that had started to take hold of the country.  My thoughts are that after 40 years of state-sponsored oppression, people weren’t in the mood for more years of religious-based oppression.

The way I’ve written the above makes it seem like a forgone conclusion, but it must have taken plenty of bravery to stand against those so-called leaders, including Rhoma Irama.  I call them ‘leaders’ in the loosest possible way.  A true leader doesn’t simply react and follow the herd of consensus opinion, and a true leader doesn’t change his view as soon as it becomes apparent that it’s not popular.  He also doesn’t try to ruin people’s careers thoughtlessly.  Common sense finally came in the form of Abdurrahman Wahid, a former president, and Mostafa Bisri, another prominent theologian, each of whom defended her (so don’t think all Muslims are mindless fanatics). 

Well, you can judge for yourself whether Inul’s performance style is pornographic.  In my opinion, she can dance and she can sing, but she can’t do them both at the same time.  Frankly, I’ve seen better singers (you’ve seen a couple on this blog already), and I’ve seen more suggestive dancing (you won’t see it on this blog, but it’s on the internet for anyone to find).

The following video is the song which kicked off her career, and her raunchy reputation, back in 1992 – Final Countdown.  I’m not sure if this is the original clip, though, as there’s a date of 2003 and she looks a bit tired for a 13-year-old, although the dance steps certainly look 20 years out of date:

She plays a mean air guitar, doesn’t she?  I’m wondering whether she wears a false butt?  Most Indonesians have flat ones, but she’s got a nice rounded one – can’t be real, can it?