Bahasa Indonesia was adopted to make communication easier across the vast Indonesian archipelago, but its simplicity has only created new barriers.
Linguistic diffusion faces many barriers, and an island state like Indonesia faces cultural centrifugal forces. Adopting a national language might be good political policy, but culturally, that doesn’t ensure it’s viability. This is a great case study for human geography classes that touches on many curricular topics.
A Christian congregation outside Jakarta built a new church legally, but Muslims in the area object to it. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled to allow worship at the church, but it remains sealed.
Vocal Muslim citizens opposed construction of the church and pressured the local government to cancel the permits. The local government acquiesced to the demands. But the church group went to court, and won. On an appeal, they won again. Finally, the case went all the way to Indonesia’s Supreme Court — where the church group won a third time, in 2010. But to this day, the congregation can’t worship there.
Indonesia, with its mix of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian citizens, has long had a reputation as a country that embraces religious diversity. Andreas Harsono, the Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, sees things differently.
Greenland has the world’s highest suicide rate. And teen boys are at the highest risk.
Like native people all around the Arctic — and all over the world — Greenlanders were seeing the deadly effects of rapid modernization and unprecedented cultural interference. American Indians and Alaska Natives (many of whom share Inuit roots with Greenlanders) had already seen many of their communities buckle under the same pressures.
This is an incredibly tragic story; if I could add one word to the sub-title, it would read, “It’s not JUST the dark the kills you.” I’m not an environmental determinist, but we can’t pretend that the climate/darkness don’t play some role in Greenland having 6x the suicide rates of the United States. See also this article/photo gallery about a similar suicide problem in the indigenous far north of Canada.