New reporter, Southeast Asia ready for new and old challenges

New reporter, Myanmar’s people unified against the regime through national identity and art, Thailand after APEC, Buddhism as a tool for mental health

November 5, 2022
New reporter, Southeast Asia ready for new and old challenges

Hello Globe readers,

This week, Southeast Asia Globe welcomes our new social media manager and reporter Nisya Kunto, an experienced editor and translator based in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

1) What makes you excited about joining the Globe?

I am excited to join the Globe because the team has always produced compelling news pieces that were also thoughtfully developed and, as a reader, I could always tell that the people behind each story have done their best to highlight the various sides there were to it. I wanted to be part of a team that works on important stories and explores the multitude of ways of seeing the world.

2) Who or what inspired you to pursue this career?

I grew up during the height of broadcast journalism in Indonesia, watching reporters like Najwa Shihab & Meutya Hafid reporting on important — often dangerous — and impactful stories. The 2004 Aceh Tsunami coverage is embedded in me as a core memory, and I remember thinking as a young kid, “that’s what I want to do when I grow up”.

Also, because I started out as a food writer, Anthony Bourdain has always been a significant inspiration. He was a unique storyteller and an eloquent conversationalist. The way he was able to connect with people from all walks of life and share their stories is an admirable quality I am sure lots of us would aspire to cultivate. 

3) What is something we wouldn’t know about you from your professional bio?

I collect watches and fragrances. One of my prized possessions is a 1970s Omega Constellation timepiece, and I have a soft spot for white floral scents. When work is not on the table, you can easily find me at a quiet coffee shop around Jakarta, hanging out with my partner — most likely discussing a book or our cat’s antics.

As Nisya kicks off her time with the Globe, in this week’s features, Tuyen Tran analyses Vietnam’s role in the region as China’s influence in Southeast Asia grows at an alarming rate. 

As November begins, Thailand sees the end of its 2022 APEC leadership. Mark S. Cogan explores what Thailand is expecting to gain from this past year. 

Meanwhile, “Myanmar’s emerging ‘national identity’ could change everything” according to Wayland J. Blue, who skilfully depicts how the ongoing crisis in Myanmar has pushed a stronger sense of community across classes, ethnic groups, and religions to fight the regime. Burmese artists, however, saw a long halt to their careers as the 2021 coup suddenly changed the fate of their country, Naima Morelli writes. 

Although Cambodia is now recovering from the Khmer Rouge regime, the population is still facing harsh repercussions on its mental wellbeing. Sameang Chea writes how Buddhism could be a key tool to tackle mental health issues among Cambodians. 

Enjoy the articles and have a good weekend.

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