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Yoga day: In Indonesia, a comic book to commemorate cultural links

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Jakarta: To commemorate the International Yoga Day, the Indian embassy in Indonesia has released a special publication, a comic book focusing on the historic India-Indonesia relationship.

“Travels through Time”, is a part of the ongoing “Sahabat India: Festival of India in Indonesia” which has revived and revitalised India’s cultural links with Indonesia at large.

The comic book begins with when Indonesia and India came into contact and goes through different periods of historic, social and cultural interaction. The journey of the book goes through India’s Look East Policy turning to Act East, the recent intensive engagement of India and Indonesia and ends with the elections of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo in 2014.

The comic book will be distributed to libraries, schools, universities and among children and public libraries in a unique public diplomacy effort.Yoga_representational_Thinkstock_650

The publication was released by an array of Indonesian celebrities including actors Nicholas Saputra, Agus Ringgo, Anjasmara, Ikat fashion designer Didiet Maulana, novelist, screenplay writer Asma Nadia, celebrity chef Farah Quinn, film director Nia Dinata.

From India, the cast of the “Mahabharata” television serial were also present.

The Indonesian version of the comic book is entitled, “Perjalanan Menelusuri Sejarah: Cerita Indonesia Dan India”.

It is an initiative of Indian Ambassador Gurjit Singh and the former head of the Indonesian Archives, Tamalia Alisjahbana, who worked with Indonesian historian, Agus Aris Munandar, to compile and prepare the text.

“A lot of effort went into this” said Tamalia Alisjahbana, who is extremely fond of India.

“Ambassador Singh and I both felt the need for such a publication to bring to the mind of the young Indonesians the history of our engagement.”

Ambassador Gurjit Singh, who took the initiative of organising the event, said that the story of India has been told in many ways through the Festival of India and social media has been widely used.

However, there are a large number of schools and public libraries where people want to know about India’s links with Indonesia in their own language. Thus, we decided to work with “Amar Chitra Katha”, well known publishers of Indian historical comics to create a special edition which would be physically available to schools and libraries across Indonesia.

A dedicated team from Amar Chitra Katha was set up to work with the embassy with the ambassador personally supervising this initiative. (IANS)

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Poor Nutritional Knowledge Fuels Malnutrition Among Indonesian Girls

Two in five adolescent girls are thin due to undernutrition

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Poor Nutritional Knowledge Fuels Malnutrition Among Indonesian Girls
Poor Nutritional Knowledge Fuels Malnutrition Among Indonesian Girls, Pixabay

From fears that eating chicken wings makes it hard to find a husband to beliefs that pineapple jeopardizes fertility, a host of food taboos are fueling malnutrition among Indonesian girls, experts said as they launched an adolescent health drive.

Nutritionists said girls ate very little protein, vegetables or fruit, preferring to fill up with rice and processed snacks which were often sweet or fried.

“Indonesian girls are being left behind when it comes to nutrition,” said Kecia Bertermann of Girl Effect, a non-profit that uses mobile technology to empower girls.

“They don’t understand why their health is important, nor how nutrition is connected to doing well at school, at work or for their futures.”

The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF says Indonesia has some of the world’s most troubling nutrition statistics.

Two in five adolescent girls are thin due to undernutrition, which is a particular concern given many girls begin childbearing in their teens.

Two in every five girl is malnutritioned
Two in every five girl is malnutritioned, Pixabay

Experts said the food taboos were part of a wider system of cultural and social habits leading to poor adolescent nutrition, which could impact girls’ education and opportunities.

One myth is that cucumber stimulates excessive vaginal discharge, another that eating pineapple can prevent girls from conceiving later on or cause miscarriages in pregnant women.

Others believe spicy food can cause appendicitis and make breast milk spicy, oily foods can cause sore throats and peanuts can cause acne, while chicken feet – like chicken wings – can cause girls to struggle finding a husband.

Research by Girl Effect found urban girls ate little or no breakfast, snacked on “empty foods” throughout the day and thought feeling full was the same as being well nourished.

Snacks tended to be carbohydrate-heavy, leaving girls short of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Girl Effect is teaming up with global organization Nutrition International to improve girls’ eating habits via its Springster mobile app, a platform providing interactive content for girls on health and social issues.

If successful, the initiative could be expanded to the Philippines and Nigeria.

nougat
nougat, Pixabay

Experts said Indonesia was a country with “a double burden of malnutrition” with some people stunted and others overweight but also lacking micronutrients.

Marion Roche, a specialist in adolescent health at Nutrition International, said the poor nutritional knowledge among girls was particularly striking given infant nutrition had improved in Indonesia.

Also read: Jacqueline turns nutritionist for her MMA team

“Adolescent girls don’t know what healthy looks like, as health is understood as the absence of illness,” she said. “We need to give them the knowledge to make healthy choices.” (VOA)