While the Silk Road gets the fame, and the catchy nickname, the Indian Ocean maritime trade moved far more goods over a longer period of time. That trade, combined with its own unique products, made Indonesia and its first great kingdoms possible. The result were Indian-influenced trading empires and regional behemoths capable of creating the world's largest Buddhist monument on the island of Java.
Anthony Frisina of the History of Indonesia podcast joins the show to discuss how these empires, the Srivijaya and Sailendra, came to be, how they built the great Borobudur, and why we don't know nearly as much about them as we'd like. We'll also discuss the interplay between Hinduism and Buddhism, which led to the creation of Prambanan, a massive Hindu temple just 44 km from Borobudur, that is a wonder in its own right.
There's Chinese monks on pilgrimage, cloves a-plenty, and nasi goreng, a Javanese fried rice that hits all the right flavor notes.
Cœdès, George. The Indianized States of South-East Asia
Forman, Bedrich. Borobudur: the Buddhist Legend in Stone
Guy, John. Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia
Insight Guide to Indonesia
Lonely Planet Guide to Indonesia
Marks, Copeland. The Exotic Kitchens of Indonesia: Recipes from the Outer Islands
Viegas, Jennifer. “Madagascar Founded By Women” on NBC News