Climate Strike

The campaigners taking a photo in front of the National Monument in Jakarta

One of the most impressive thing to do when it comes to doing a field study is that you get to know more about the field, meeting new people and getting their insights of how things work out for them. One of the people I was interviewing for my study let me know about this event in Jakarta, and I was very excited to check it out. The backgrounds of the participants are very interesting – they don’t just exclusively came from environmentalist background, but also actors that brought different issues. This shows that climate crisis could have a negative impact on many aspects of people’s live, not just the general and abstract idea we usually heard when people are campaigning against the earth’s destruction.

WARIA – Indonesian for Transgender. Represented by Sanggar Seroja.

Sanggar Seroja came to this protest to represent the transgender community in Indonesia as one of the most affected community by climate crisis. They told me that on the event of natural disaster, they often face discrimination when getting help, as they are generally disliked by the disaster relief committee. They were losing their jobs as street musician when the rainy weather changes into monsoon, even sometimes they are being accused as the cause of those disaster, as it is considered sinful to be one of them. In this protest, they came to raise the awareness about how affected they are by climate change, stating in their brochure that “The transgender community drowns first on the event of climate crisis”. I personally found it very touching, as it is not easy to live in a place where people don’t support them, yet they also felt the direct impact of climate crisis.

Well, my last week in Jakarta was spent on a more exciting note. I was invited to the National Day celebration for the Nordic Embassies in Jakarta. The Embassies have a joint celebration every year and I was lucky enough to be invited by my contacts. It was fun to see some parts of Sweden in Indonesia again.

The Ambassadors of Respective Embassies with an Indonesian Minister
This year’s theme – Traces of North

They had some typical Nordic desserts, but the tastes are sadly not quite right

Now I’m moving on to Bali to do the next part of my study. Very excited – not only is Bali very beautiful, peaceful and it would be amazing to live there for a month, but the dynamics of the environmental NGOs in Bali are something I am curious to learn more about.

To close this post off, have a look at all these food in a Padang Restaurant, one of the most famous traditional restaurant from Indonesia. They have a unique way of presenting their food, people who wants to try the food can open the foil and eat it. Would you try it, or have you tried it? Let me know!

Swedish – Indonesian Intercultural Exchange

Through my contacts in the Swedish Embassy in Jakarta, I found out that a talented Indonesian artist that live in Sweden (who also happen to be my acquaintance) named Tatum Maya was about to launch her exhibition in Jakarta. More interestingly, it was on an intercultural exchange between Indonesia and Sweden! The name of the exhibition was Intra-Chromatic, from the Sacred Bridge Foundation of Indonesia and Skövde Konstmuseet from Sweden. It was impressive to see the colors of Indonesian traditional culture of Sumba meets the unconventional contemporary art of Sweden. Both cultures blends within the art shows – such an interesting experience!

The opening ceremony
Revenge of the Uncanny by Jonas Liveröd och Tobias Bradford
My favorite piece from Tatum – Vänern

After the event, however, things went south for me. I got sick! I had a fever, cough and cold for around two weeks. Not nice especially that I have some interviews lined up. I managed to do one introduction interview, but then my condition gets worse, even after multiple lozenges, vitamins, and rest for almost two weeks. Good thing they have this app called “Halodoc” here in Indonesia, they offer consultation chat to a GP, where the doctor would then prescribe some medications to you. It feels great to skip the usual monthly queue of Vårdcentralen in Sweden! The medications will then be ordered from the nearest pharmacy from your place, and it will be picked up and delivered to you by a Gojek driver, the widely-known motorcycle driver service. All takes an hour and I got all of these, including (sadly) a possible bronchitis diagnosis (might be the pollution & AC):

Antibiotics and all that

I have lost so much time because of this – since I need to reschedule my interviews, some of them become unavailable before I move to Bali, so I need to shift the interview to zoom interviews. That was so sad. In the meantime, I am ordering some tropical fruits to try to get me to eat more greens. So easy and they’re delivered right to your door!

It’s not the best picture but i got lengkeng, mangosteen, avocado and guava in this package 🙂 Have you tried any of them?

Stay healthy!


Back to Indonesia!

The 4th of February marks my arrival in Jakarta, Indonesia. Was quite a drastic change from -2 C when I left Stockholm, to the it’s-always-30-degree-celcius here. It’s been a year since I last visited for a quick 2-week off, where I sadly did not get a lot of time to do other things than doing my personal errands, cause it was still in the middle of the pandemic. This time, there is no quarantine enforcement anymore to enter the country, we can go places without having to “check in” with an app called PeduliLindungi, that shows whether or not you’ve been vaccinated (or if you’re currently tested positive for Covid). Hurrah, the Covid ban has been lifted! Time to celebrate with lots of amazing food!

Sate Lontong
This dish is called sate domba & lontong (lamb satay and rice cakes). So hard to recreate the “burnt taste” in Sweden cause you have to have an open grill, and the coal was made of coconut shells
Now this one is oxtail soup, with emping (gnetum gnemon crackers) on the side. Great for the rainy days!

Indonesia prides themselves for their food, and the culture tells you to share food with each other. I wouldn’t do them any justice if I don’t post any pictures of their national food. So apologies if I put some food pictures here and there – it’s just part of respecting the culture 🙂

So, I was very fortunate to get the Minor Field Studies stipendium from SIDA! I am studying Communication for Development in Malmö University, and I have always wanted to do my research about Indonesia, to contribute for more research for this country, from a local’s persective. In fact, that relates to what my thesis is going to be about – applying postcolonialism perspective into the practice of international communication practices in Jakarta and Bali. I am reaching out to some local environmental movements, organisations, sociopreneur, journalists that are communicating environmental issues here to people in Indonesia, to get their insights and perspective of doing things locally. I’ll talk more about my work in the later posts, I am not scheduling my fieldwork to start straight away because I need some time off to settle in, fixing some personal bureaucracy issues that I could only do while I’m in town, and meeting lots of familiar faces.

Remember when I say Covid ban is lifted? It means more people are not allowed to work from home anymore, so they have to go to the office in Central Jakarta. It means that more than 3,2 million people are commuting from Greater Jakarta to Central Jakarta every day. Which resulted in… pollution.

This is one of the common view from the main street in Jakarta

They have built a new MRT system in 2019, but it hasn’t reached the suburban areas in Greater Jakarta. Other means of public transport like the Commuter Line or TransJakarta are pretty crazy to take in the rush hour, you need a better strategy to be able to get in. Therefore, most people still resort to cars and motorcycles- the automotive industry are still very profitable here . Now you can see why the roads are always full with vehicles, and the air with pollution. But I have faith that things are going to get better, new infrastructures are going to be built in the near future and fights towards a better climate situation always exists.

Well, that’s it for this introductory post. I’ll be back with more posts, so until then, eat some good food and take care!