Indonesia, officially known as the Republic of Indonesia, is the largest archipelago and comprises thousands of islands. The islands of Borneo and New Guinea are the two world’s largest islands and two of the major Indonesian Islands. Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch in the early 17th century. It was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 to 1945. After four years of brutal fighting, negotiations and the UN mediations, Indonesia declared its independence before Japan surrendered. The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, was known as Batavia during the Dutch rule. Before the colonization, Indonesia was the superpower. The country has the largest standing Buddhist temple in the world, and is considered as one of the forgotten wonders of the world and is the world’s fourth populous nation.

Where is Indonesia located?

Indonesia is an archipelago, located in the Southeastern Asia between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It covers a total area of 1,904,569 sq. km and is situated in South East Asia and Oceania. Stretching a coastline of 54,716 km, Indonesia lies between 05°00’S latitude and 120°00’E longitude. Comparatively, the area of the country is slightly less than three times the size of Texas and borders Timor-Leste (228 km), Malaysia (1,782 km) and Papua Guinea (820 km). The natural resources on the land are petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, coal, gold and silver.

How is the topography and the climatic conditions of Indonesia?

The location of the country is such that the terrain has mostly coastal lowlands and has larger interior mountains. As it is located on the edge of the Pacific, there are many volcanoes and earthquakes. It has approximately 150 active volcanoes and faces frequent earthquakes. The Krakatoa and Tambora are the most devastating eruptions in the 19th century. Indonesia enjoys a tropical climate with the wet and dry seasons. The climate is hot and humid and is more moderate in the highlands. The average annual rainfall varies from 1,780–3,175 mm. The areas that receive highest rainfall are Sumatra, West Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. The average daily temperature of Jakarta is 26°C–30° C. Indonesia generally has high humidity.

How is the flora and fauna of Indonesia like?

The tropical climate and the geography are responsible for the flora and fauna of Indonesia. It is the world’s second highest level of biodiversity and is a mixture of Asian and Australian species. The large species include the tiger, rhinoceros, orang-utan, elephant and leopard. The land ranges from the sea to the coastal ecosystems. The landscape has beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass and coastal mudflats.

What are the food habits of the Indonesians?

The food habits of the Indonesians are influenced by the Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian and the Western. The important and staple element of the Indonesians is Rice. A variety of condiments are used in the preparations of the cuisines. The other dishes include meat, fish, eggs and vegetables. The greatest variety is the cuisines of Java and Bali. However, despite being an island nation, fish is rarely consumed. Indonesia is well-known for its tropical fruits. During the funerals, people drink a mixture of pork fat and blood. The Muslim guests are served separately on a different table at such events. For important guests or parties or marriages, a highland Toraja buffalo is sacrificed along with a marriage reception at a five-star hotel in Jakarta.

How is the overall culture of the Indonesians?

Although there is no inequality on the social backgrounds, men dominate the professions of hunting and fishing. Women are generally involved in gardening. However, the urban women are found in the stores, small industries, markets and upscale businesses. Men are seen at all the levels of government, central and regional offices in a variety of positions. Marriages are very important in order to gain status in the society. Societies in Sumatra and eastern Indonesia arrange the marriages with the distant cross cousins. Love marriages are considered on the grounds of good education, occupation, wealth and the capacity to work hard of the spouses. The system of Polygamy is prevalent among the Muslims and the immigrant Chinese but not the Christians. The family structure of the Indonesians includes the nuclear families along with the unmarried siblings. Indonesians have a strong kinship especially among the Sumatra, Kalimantan, Maluku, Sulawesi and the Eastern Lesser Sundas. Indonesia has the largest population of the Muslims and a small but well-educated Christian minority. Officially, the recognized religions of Indonesia are Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. The national language of the Indonesians is the Malay language. Another language is the Javanese, which is spoken by the Java society.

What are the economic features of the Indonesians?

The government as well as the private sector play a very significant role in boosting the economy of Indonesia. It is the largest economy in the Southeast Asia and a member of the G-20 countries. Indonesia produces rubber and similar products, palm oil, poultry, beef, forest products, shrimp, cocoa, coffee, medicinal herbs and fish and fish products. The industries that contribute to the country are petroleum and natural gas, textiles, automotive, electrical appliances, apparel, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers and tourism. On the other hand, Indonesia exports oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood and textiles to Japan, China, Singapore, India, South Korea and India whereas it imports machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels and foodstuffs from China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand.

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