1 - 6 of 6 Chapters
[One evening in mid-August 1995, I was working in my rented room when my landlord told me I had visitors: four college students from some of the many colleges in Malang, East Java. One was studying business, another law, the third economics, and the last agribusiness. All four were supplementing...
[Once, a kyai and his senior santri came to pesantren Tebu Ireng to meditate and pray at the grave of its founder, Hasyim Asyari. The kyai was looking for the tasbih (prayer beads) of Hasyim Asyari, which would give him great spiritual powers. After several days of prayer, the kyai led his...
[In the summer of 1992, I was attending a language program in Malang, East Java. During a weeklong break, one of my language teachers took me to a number of pesantren in East Java. I had, of course, already formed an interest in them based on readings, but had yet to see them “on the ground,” so...
[One of the most lively discussions I remember observing was about toothpaste. Kyai from all over East Java had gathered to debate this and other issues, but this one seemed to take center stage. The toothpaste in question was called Siwak-F that contains both fluoride and powdered siwak wood....
[I was sitting in a coffee shop with a group of men talking about their small town. When the conversation turned to the local pesantren and the men who ran it, they fell quiet. Only after I assured them that I was not working for any kyai and that no one save me would ever see my notes, did they...
[I was chatting with a few students at the Malang branch campus of the State Islamic Institute (IAIN). I was a bit surprised when one of them challenged me, “What do you think of the Huntington Hypothesis?” My surprise did not come from being challenged but from being asked about a hypothesis...
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