The drizzle wets the streets around Sukaria in Tamamaung Sub-District, Makassar, Sulawesi. Hawkers move around selling snacks like green bananas, crispy puffs, spring rolls, iced fruit cocktail and fritters. They carry their wares through streets crowded with passersby.

The rain makes the sky dark. I drive around a small turn in the road and stop near to the local mosque. I’m met by Sri Dewi Permai, a 15-year-old whose wedding plans had been cancelled last month; not because she refused, but because the man’s family disappeared. “So I kept quiet too. But thank God I didn’t get married,” she says.

Members only

Log in or

Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading


We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to sponsorship@newnaratif.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.

Eko Rusdianto

Eko started his career as an announcer at Sindikasi Berita Pantau (Yayasan Pantau Jakarta) in 2008. Now a freelance writer, he has written for a range of publications including Mongabay and Vice Indonesia. He’s based in Bantimurung in South Sulawesi.