Does Tempe have politics

[This edited version is published by the Jakarta Post on February 2nd, 2008)

What is this thing called tempe? / This tasty thing called tempe…/ Just who can solve its mystery?/ Why should it make a fool of me?

I saw you there one wonderful day/ You made me drool but now you’re gone/ That’s why I ask you guys in Jakarta’s throne../ Why take this thing from me….

– adapted from “What is this thing called love” by Cole Porter, 1930


That ‘thing’ is called tempe. No, it’s not the big Tempe in Arizona where I live. It is something that is so dearly familiar to almost each and every Indonesian. Continue reading “Does Tempe have politics”