Photo essay: Yogyakarta - The city of graffiti

Photo essay: Yogyakarta - The city of graffiti

One of the stated goals of this newspaper is to build bridges between communities, and play a part in developing mutual respect and admiration for each other's way of life. This is important because it is we - the media - that help people formulate opinions, depending upon what we choose to report or ignore. For example, everyone was told that Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afganistan in 2001. But not many know that Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, has embarked on massive restoration efforts for 9th century Buddhist and Hindu temples. Or that, Yogyakarta - the cultural capital of Indonesia - is actually a "city of graffiti".


Yogyakarta is the hub of Javanese culture in Indonesia, which has seamlessly integrated cultural traits of Hinduism and Buddhism, with Islam. Even though, the people of Java are mainly Muslims, they are very proud of their links with other cultures and religions. On top of it, the most striking feature of the city is the omnipresence of graffiti on almost every wall around the city, presenting a very liberal face of Indonesia. To quote the Lonely Planet, "Yogyakarta is where the Javanese language is at its purest, arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible."


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Click on the image to read the printed version of the story.

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