The Dayak indigenous group in Kalimantan has a long history of traditional tattooing and elongating of the ear lobes as a sign of beauty and nobility. In recent years, however, modern stigma has put an end to this centuries-old practice.
The Santan River was once the heart of village life, providing communities with food, livelihoods and social space. But mining operations have wrecked the local ecosystem, turning the clear river a muddy brown and pushing hungry crocodiles downstream.
This week in Southeast Asia: a politician suggests Indonesians vote Jokowi if they drive on toll roads, a staggeringly horrific data leak in Singapore, unhappiness over a palm oil report in Peninsular Malaysia and confusion over who’s “native” to Sabah.
The Lumad community in the Philippines is speaking out against ‘Cha-Cha’—Duterte’s proposed constitutional changes that would transfer power to the local level and lift restrictions on foreign investment. Mindanao’s indigenous community says this will leave them vulnerable to the increasing presence of extractive industry.
The World Bank positions itself as a source of support for local communities across Southeast Asia through its funded projects. But there are those who feel that it has failed in its mission to address grassroots voices.
Following the high-profile wedding of the Indonesian president’s daughter, a Mandailing association in North Sumatra is lobbying for greater recognition.