After some observation, it appears that a new tendency has emerged among Indonesian men. Many tend to have a swaying walk. And they also openly call themselves the ngondeg generation—probably derived from the word konde, a woman’s hairpiece—a term for a man who gestures like a woman.
What is this inclination? Dr. Dede Utomo—sociologist from the University of Airlangga, Surabaya—who has striving for years to remove this stereotyping that has been responded negatively by the society, said that it is not necessary that they are transsexual or popularly known as transgender. Dede said, it could be they are males with a preference to appear female-like and do not want to have a “standard” appearance as men in general.
Still, this is such a conspicuous phenomenon which we consider worthy to be featured as the main topic (GONG) in this edition. All the more so with the fact that in a number of regions transsexual or transgender are part of traditional culture, including to be associated with magical power, sanctity, and other sacred dimensions of life.
We also have various fascinating coverage for you, including the ranup lampuan dance from Aceh (Tari), more than merely a dance, but a symbol of Acehnese hospitality, always welcoming their guests with betel chewing tradition. Another story tells of the significance of kitchen in Torajan custom house, the tongkonan (Architecture), and another reveals the beauty of Flores woven cloth (Textile).
A special interview with geologist Dr. Danny Hilman Natawidjaya is also not to be missed. He discusses geology approach in tracing the ancient life in the past (Interview).
We hope the menu we serve in this edition will be valuable for the readers. We strive to feature engaging coverage topics on cultural matters in this Homeland, be they the ones that have been discovered or the hibernating ones. Hopefully.
Warm greetings from us,
Rita Sri Hastuti/Chief Editor