TAKSU An Evening of Balinese Dance (Friday, 10 November 2017, 7:30pm)

The Department of Southeast Asian Studies presents “Taksu“, an evening of Balinese dance performed by students of SE2224 Unmasked! An Introduction to Traditional Dance in Southeast Asia.

Be sure to join us for this one-night only showcase on Friday 10 November 2017 at 7.30pm at LT13

Tickets priced at $10 each. Get them at the Taksu Booth along the Central Library Walkway from 12 Oct – 26 Oct 2017 or at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies (AS8, Level 6) or via email at fasbox67@nus.edu.sg.

Sailing the Balangay

Open to NUS students, teaching staff, and alumni, from all backgrounds.

Get involved in creative projects – writing, film-making, acting, theatre, music, etc. – that will aim to fathom the sea and the islands, people and nature, past and present. Our creative work will be presented at exhibitions and events at NUS Museum and Ateneo Art Gallery.

Our three boats. The balangay, the National Boat of the Philippines, belongs to a shared heritage of Austronesian maritime culture, which spread as far as Madagascar and Polynesia. Based on boats unearthed in Mindanao (the earliest 1,700 years old), several reconstructions of the balangay have been built by traditional craftsmen from the Sulu Archipelago, in collaboration with archaeologists. The boats sailed across the Philippines and beyond, including a 17-month voyage around Southeast Asia.

The people on the voyage will include the boat builders; the first Filipino team that climbed Mt. Everest, and later embarked on the balangay voyage across Southeast Asia, without engine or modern navigational technology; students from the NUS and the Ateneo de Manila University; teaching staff from the two universities, artists, writers, film-makers, and scholars working in various fields and media.

Our itinerary will depend on wind and weather; it may include coastal communities and historical fort-islands on and off Luzon, the little-visited Lubang Archipelago with its fishing villages, religious/mystical sites, and unspoiled environment, the large island of Mindoro, and small islands and coral gardens in the Verde Straits. Pre-voyage seafaring-themed tour of Manila, a mini-symposium at the Ayala Museum; camera and acting training/guidance.

If interested or have any questions, please email Dr. Jan Mrázek at seajm@nus.edu.sg — no commitment needed at this point, but we will provide you with more info when it becomes available. Selection of participants will take place around the end of October.


Organized by the Department of Southeast Asian Studies with support from the Provost’s Office, in collaboration with Ateneo de Manila University.

Voyage to the Seven Isles (Tue, 5 September 2017)


Listen – in less than a fortnight some of us novice seafarers will be reliving our May 2017 STEER voyage on a sailing boat in and around the waters of Riau Islands and Sumatra, Indonesia.

We’ll be storming through our trip ONCE AGAIN with the company of some pictures, films, stories, and syairs from our seasick odyssey.


5 September 2017 @ 6:30pm 
Venue: AS1-02-09 (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, NUS)

Admission is free! All welcome!

The sea is calling! See you there!

The “STEER Sail Indonesia Voyage”  was organized by the NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies with support from FASS, IRO and PVO.

Wang Gungwu Medal & Prize

The Department of Southeast Asian Studies is delighted to announce that Mr Goh Aik Sai has been awarded the Wang Gungwu Medal & Prize (AY2016-2017) for the Best Masters thesis in the Social Sciences/Humanities for his thesis entitled ‘Enlightenment on Display: The Rise and Fall of Singapore Buddhist Museums’. (Advisor: Professor John N Miksic.)

Congratulations to Goh Aik Sai!

STEER Sail Indonesia

Join an amazing voyage on a classic sailing ship (like the one in attached picture) through the Riau Archipelago and along Sumatra’s coast, stopping at islands, exploring Indonesian multi-ethnic towns, water villages, ports, tiny fishing communities, a remote uninhabited isle, the Berbak National Park and tiger reserve on Sumatra, and the great Indragiri river. Visit markets, archaeological and cultural sites, and meet locals. On kayaks explore streams and lagoons. Learn about and feel the history, culture, nature, and economic situation of the region – and the many perspectives on its potential and its woes. Critically reflect on modernity and development, speed and slowness. Learn basic Indonesian. Learn about ships and get to know intimately the sea and its importance in this region, today and in centuries past. Experience how it feels to live with fellow sailors in the tiny floating world of the boat; and learn how to sail: work in a team hoisting sails, keeping watch, navigating, reading charts, taking the helm and steering the ship. We will have a captain, but you will be the crew!

Assoc Prof Jan Mrázek, the tour leader, writes and teaches about Indonesia, as well as travel and ships. He has traveled throughout Indonesia, when possible on ships and ferries, and sailed on a container ship from Europe to Singapore.

Open to all NUS students! We have places for only 12 students, so email us soon!
Dates: 13-26 May 2017
Cost: TBA, estimated between $1,200 and $1,600 after subsidy.

If you might be interested and/or have questions, please email Jan Mrázek at seajm@nus.edu.sg . No commitment necessary at this point – we just want to know about your possible interest, so that we can provide more information about cost and deadlines when it becomes available.

 This is a brand new STEER program, a pilot voyage. For info on STEER, see http://www.nus.edu.sg/IRO/prog/steer/index.html

Organised by the Department of Southeast Asian Studies and the International Relations Office, NUS.