I've just returned from Jakarta for Mudik, where I spent Hari Raya with the family. It's a lot like Chinese New Year and Christmas with many visits from and to relatives and friends. Children are given packets of money and you ask forgiveness of one another for your physical and emotional wrongdoings.
I've also just finished Elisabeth Pisani's wonderful, must read book, Indonesia Etc. I am always amazed how little Australians know about Indonesia, reading this book is an ideal starting point.
Pankaj Mishra has a thoughtful, optimistic review in the New Yorker.
"The Indonesian archipelago is unlikely to descend into the violent secessionist anarchy currently on display in the Middle East and North Africa. However, what it still needs, as Geertz once argued, is a “structure of difference within which cultural tensions that are not about to go away, or even to moderate, can be placed and negotiated—contained in a country.” Such a reconfigured national consensus, or a way of doing without one, seems equally imperative in the case of Hispanic immigrants in America, Muslims in France, Palestinians in Israel, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Kurds in Turkey, and Tibetans in China. The old question—what is a country, and what is its basis?—has become menacingly relevant long after it appeared to have been settled. In that sense, it is not facile to wonder if we are all Indonesians now, facing the perplexities of a shattering old order."