North Sumatra sees the highest number of cases of violence, including murders of journalists in Indonesia. Most media companies are reluctant to provide appropriate aid, while the police remain the largest group of perpetrators of violence against journalists.
A conflict over land granted to a eucalyptus pulp manufacturer by the Indonesian state threatens not only the livelihoods of the indigenous people who claim the forests, but also their ability to perform traditional rituals passed down across generations.
From colonial tobacco plantations to state sugar interests, indigenous farmers in one North Sumatran village have faced recurring evictions and displacement. Indonesia’s drive to become sugar self-sufficient has left them homeless again.
In North Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak culture has strong, distinct rituals around death known as adat. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, these customs have had to be adapted. Is Batak adat in the midst of a cultural sea change?
Halal tourism has become big business in Southeast Asia in recent years. But in communities that have traditionally celebrated pigs, this initiative by local governments has caused concern and contention.