All posts tagged: history

Run for Manhattan

Chapter 4, Part 8 Among the remote islands of the Bandas, Run (Rhun) is situated at the westernmost corner of the chain, some two hours away by a small boat from Banda Neira – the most populated of the Banda Islands. Like its sisters to […]

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Islands that Changed the World: the Bandas

Chapter 4, Part 7 In the 16th century, upon the discovery of direct sea routes from Europe to the Spice Islands, Portugal and Spain asserted their dominance in the world’s spice trade which for centuries were traditionally controlled by the Javanese, Indian, Arab, Persian and […]

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Malacca: The Gateway to East Asia

Chapter 4, Part 2 At the turn of the 16th century, the Portuguese significantly increased their presence around the Indian Ocean by conquering strategic ports in the region. It was Afonso de Albuquerque, by the order of King Manuel I of Portugal, who led naval […]

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Goa and Catholicism in India

Chapter 4, Part 1 For more than a millennium the area known today as Goa had been ruled by different clans, dynasties, kingdoms and sultanates before Vijayanagara took control of it in the 14th century. The once mighty southern Indian empire eventually relented control of […]

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Kochi: From Spices to Kathakali

Chapter 3, Part 2 On the Malabar Coast in the southwestern corner of the Indian subcontinent lie old trading ports which served as the main gateways for ancient traders and explorers, from China to Persia, from Arabia to Europe. Calicut, Quilon and Cochin – modern-day […]

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The Fall of Constantinople

Chapter 3, Part 1 Istanbul, 1453. Around two thousand years earlier Buddhism began to spread across the Indian subcontinent, and for more than one millennium Buddhist kingdoms and empires rose and fell, from Anuradhapura in modern Sri Lanka to a Buddhist dynasty in Java, and Bagan […]

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Minangkabau: the Land of Buffalo Horns

Chapter 2, Part 10 In the highlands of western Sumatra live a society with a unique culture where house roof is anything but unimaginative and women own the family’s wealth. In spite of being Muslims, their life is very much dictated both by the Quran […]

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Cirebon: A Cultural Melting Pot

Chapter 2, Part 8 As Demak rose to prominence and became independent from Majapahit, another sultanate began to flourish on the northwestern coast of Java. Previously under the sphere of influence of the Hindu Galuh kingdom, the Sultanate of Cirebon became effectively independent under the […]

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