Social scientists have long recognized many apparent contradictions in the Minangkabau. The world’s largest matrilineal people, they are also strongly Islamic and, as a society, remarkably modern and outward looking. Focusing on Minangkabau proper, and treating several adjacent areas as well, this collection examines the resilience and adaptability of the Minangkabau in the face of outside political and economic pressures and of distortions in social science and legal theory.
Although the wartime Japanese military administration of Indonesia was critical to the making of modern Indonesia, it remains shrouded in mystery, in part because of the systematic destruction of records following the Japanese surrender.
Foreign language lessons often provide translations into a foreign language of phrases students would normally use in their native language and cultural setting. Particularly when studying a non-Western language, such direct translation is very misleading. Students must instead learn the conventions that guide human interactions, so they know both what to say and how to say it. In this text, therefore, the sociological context of Javanese is explained as thoroughly as Javanese grammar.