BATIK SARONG, YOGYAKARTA, CENTRAL JAVA, C. 1998, COTTON. COLLECTION AND PHOTO: MARSHALL CLARK – TAASA Review June 2013

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This article was originally found in the June 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 2, Page 13).

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For centuries there has been a great flow of people, products and ideas in the region, with Malay being the common lingua franca.

But with the emergence of colonialism, nationalism and postcolonial state-building, the previously close kinship relations shared between the peoples of the two countries have become strained.

Malaysians now speak Malay, and Indonesians now speak Indonesian (really a variant of Malay)...