Chinese culture was forbidden during the New Order regime in Indonesia under the leadership of Suharto. After the fall of Suharto, Indonesia entered democracy era, and along with that, those anti-Chinese regulations were gradually erased. The used-to-be forbidden Chinese religion and cultural events are now allowed and revived, even diffused with local tradition to produce a unique Chinese-Indonesian identity.

The city of Bogor, south of Jakarta, celebrates the Cap Go Meh (15th day after the Chinese New Year, known as ‘Lantern Festival’ elsewhere) with a citywide carnival. Confucian temples all around the region participate in the parade by parading their ancestor totems. The carnival is more meaningful as it is not held exclusively for the Chinese ethnics or Confucian believers, but it also attracts participation of other ethnic groups and religions. This is what Indonesians may proud of their nation: the celebration of the ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Bogor, Indonesia, 2013

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