This study aimed at revealing the technologies involved and functions of indigenous calendar systems in West Sumba, Indonesia, through analyses of intercalation methods, inter-area synchronization methods, and the reality of time reckoning. I found that the observation of the solar cycle in a mountain-top village in Lamboya District played a determinative role in the intercalation and times of the Loli and Wanokaka Districts, which were synchronized to this cycle through the Podu and Pasola Rituals, respectively, in the Month of Bitterness and the Month of Sea Worms. In addition, the Loli District played a key role in the inter-area synchronization of the ‘end of the year’ beyond district boundaries, while the Lamboya and Wanokaka Districts cross-checked the existence or absence of a natural phenomenon: sea worm (nyale) swarming. People recognized the Month of Bitterness as predicting the coming of the rainy season and the period for preparing garden crops (e.g. maize and millet) and the Month of Sea Worms as the end of the peak of heavy rains and the start of the period for planting rice in paddy terraces. In conclusion, this study found that the indigenous calendar was not fixed in a form of ‘cells’ but was flexible based on certain solar, lunar, natural, and cultural signals. This is a simple technology and a non-conscious calendar but it is very adaptive to these people’s subsistence and is potentially resilient to extreme weather events.
This paper examines the relationship between Gandhi’s first nationalist movement (1919-1922) and his contemporaneous experiments with brahmacarya (sexual celibacy). Although voluminous works have dealt with Gandhi’s political engagements in the first nationalist movement, they have dismissed the significance of Gandhi’s experiments with brahmacarya during the movement; thus they have failed to unravel the reason behind Gandhi’s sudden suspension in response to the Chauri-Chaura riot. In this paper, I explore the development of Gandhi’s core idea of brahmacarya, namely “semen-retention (vīryasaṇgrah),” during 1918 to 1922. In so doing, I show that Gandhi’s purportedly “odd” and “paradoxical” ideas of “nonviolence in violence” (“hiṃsāmāṃ ahiṃsā”) and the “ethics of destruction” (the public burning of foreign clothes) during the movement were intimately linked to Gandhi’s inner psychological tensions created by his repressed manner of brahmacarya. Gandhi kept his “silence” about the massacre of the Moplah riot, which caused 10,000 deaths, but he suddenly responded to the Chauri-Chaura riot, which only caused 23 deaths. This was because only the latter could have made Gandhi aware of his inadequate manner of brahmacarya. What mattered to Gandhi was not the scale of physical violence in the outer-world, but rather the scale of the psycho-physical violence of his sexual desire.
This paper explores the politics of sexuality issues (sexuality politics) between the government and the LGBT movement in Malaysia since the 1980s. The Malaysian LGBT movement has faced repressive government policies and discrimination from society. However, some LGBT movements in the post-Mahathir era, such as Seksualiti Merdeka, Justice for Sisters, and Pelangi, have associated with the other NGOs and social movements and actively advocated the protection of LGBT people’s human rights in public spaces.
This paper explores when and how sexuality politics between the state and the LGBT movement appeared in Malaysia. Four incidents or moments were found to be important for the birth of sexuality politics in Malaysia: Islamization since the 1980s, the Asian Values discourse during the Mahathir administration, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the sodomy court case of Anwar Ibrahim. In the post-Mahathir era, the state has introduced new ways of repressing LGBT people, while the LGBT movements have also adopted new strategies.