Symbolic distancing: Indonesian Muslim youth engaging with Korean television dramas

This article deals with Indonesian Muslim youth engaging with Korean television dramas. This article employs observation and interview among 43 Indonesian Muslim youth. This study has shown that there is symbolic distancing that happens in Indonesia because of Islamic and Hallyu’s interaction and negotiation. Based on symbolic distancing concept, Indonesian Muslim youth engaging with Korean TV dramas involves the localized appropriation. Indonesian young Muslims believe that it is crucial to preserve Islamic values while consuming Korean TV dramas. Images and representations of Korean TV dramas basically do not reduce their Islamic identity. Ultimately, images and representations in Korean television dramas support their Muslim identity. Indonesian Muslim youth who enjoy watching Korean television dramas learn from the scenes depicted. However, these young Muslims also negotiate or even oppose the representations which contradict with their Islamic understandings. These images and representations have been appropriated based on their Islamic values.

The Yummy Side of Hallyu: A Critical Autoethnography

The spread of the increasingly popular Korean cultural products worldwide at the turn of the millennium is commonly referred to as Hallyu, or the Korean Wave. Literature on Hallyu is often written from the Korean perspective, focusing on its success in neighboring Asian countries, and the USA. The experiences and perspectives of cultural outsiders are largely absent from this corpus.
Inspired by this perceived gap, my paper begins with my chosen methodology, autoethnography: the study of the self in the context of culture, with a focus on individual experiences and personal accounts. After a brief introduction to Hallyu and what made it resonate with me on a personal level, I discuss how I first became aware of the problematic issue of Korean halal food and how this problem was expounded when I came to study in Korea. Finally, I refer to a few efforts on the side of Korea, discussing their effectivity in the face of this problem, and outline the implications of the food problematic.

Striking Balance: Freedom of Expression in Post-Soeharto Indonesia

Debates about freedom of expression raise questions about what constitutes its limits. At the level of practice, some individuals or groups of people may impose limits through violence, either direct violence or “proxy violence,” especially when it comes to matters regarding the exercise of faith, such as a blasphemy case, which is irrational in nature and not governed by secular laws. The case of Charlie Hebdo, and in the context of Indonesia, the case of Alexander Aan—a self-proclaimed atheist who served a jail sentence after being charged with tarnishing the image of Prophet Muhammad—how how such limits were imposed.

I argue that such acts are not acceptable, and are not legitimate. Freedom of expression may be in need of limits, but in order to be acceptable and legitimate, these limitations need to be obtained through public deliberation, wherein all parties concerned are free and equal in participation. This enhances the level of acceptance of public deliberation outcomes. The acceptance becomes the basis for the limits to be sanctioned and incorporated into law.