Statement of Soul

Indonesia is a home to the world’s largest Muslim population (87% of its population of 262 million). During the era of Suharto, the smiling tyrant who’s also the second Indonesian President in power from 1967 to 1998, hijab was deemed to be a symbol of rebellion, and it was banned as much as men were banned to have long hair. Then soon after the fallof Suharto in 1998, there has been a rise of great enthusiasm for more conservative Islam. 

When I was in the last year of junior high school, and Suharto still ruled, the girls who wore hijab were asked to take off their hijab when we had our photo taken for national exam IDs. I was one of them, and it was so striking for me, I still remember how it gave me mixed feelings to do so at that time.