The Indonesian state that we inhabit is the largest archipelagic country in the world. The Republic of Indonesia is known to be very fertile and has abundant natural resources. We as people here prefer to call it the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) because of the diverse ethnicities, cultures, religions and populations, we want to always be one in a frame of the Unitary State.
The name 'Indonesia' itself is formed from two Greek words: namely 'Indos' which means 'India,' and 'nesos' which means 'island'. Also, we usually refer to Indonesia as 'Our Homeland' - Land and Water. The Republic of Indonesia may be the last region on earth that is still not fully explored and mapped. It is estimated that there are around 18,000 islands and 6,000 of them can be named. But fewer are inhabited, as in the large islands that exist. Based on estimates, it will take 48 years to spend approximately one day on each island.
Located between Indochina in the north and Australia in the south, these islands stretch east and west along the equator, from India to the Pacific Ocean, more than 5,000 kilometers (average length of a continent). The coastline, 100,000 kilometers, is the longest in the world and has the largest marine biodiversity in the world. The Indonesian Sea is home to 25 percent of the world's coral reefs and 3,500 of 4,500 species of world reef fish.
Lush tropical forests on these islands are homes or sanctuaries for one-horned rhinos (Javanese); orangutans (Kalimantan and Sumatra) or the only great apes that live naturally outside Africa. The giant lizard known as the Komodo dragon (Small Sumbawa Islands); and Draco volleyball (flying dragons), lizards that glide from trees and other high places. Sumatra's Tropical Rainforest Heritage was added to the World Heritage List in 2004.
The main islands of Indonesia are Sumatra (473,606 sq km), Sulawesi (189,216 sq km), Papua (421,981 sq km), Kalimantan (539,460 sq km), Java (132,187 sq km), and the small but world-famous Bali island . Indonesia's territory on Papua shares an island with the State of Papua New Guinea; Kalimantan region shares islands with Malaysia and Brunei.
Together, the Indonesian islands form part of the Ring of Fire which covers about seventy-five percent of all the volcanoes in the world. (The banks of the Pacific Basin are surrounded by volcanoes, from Alaska to the United States, Mexico, and South America, then to New Zealand and to Japan and Russia.) Of the 400 volcanoes located in Indonesia, 150 of them are active. , about 75 percent of all active volcanoes on the planet. The eruption of Mount Tambora, on Sumbawa Island, in 1815 was the most powerful volcanic eruption in history. 1816 was known as "The Year Without Summer" because of the global climate effect of the eruption. In 1883 the volcanic island of Krakatau (part of the Indonesian archipelago) was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, causing a tidal wave that killed more than thirty thousand people.
In about 73 thousand years ago, a series of active volcanoes on the northern island of Sumatra erupted. The supervolcano eruption, known as the Mount Toba eruption, was the largest volcanic eruption in history that covered 2800 cubic kilometers of the surrounding area with volcanic ash. So that in the end the central area of the volcanic eruption created the largest volcanic lake in the world that is very beautiful, which is called Lake Toba with a small island in the middle called Samosir Island.
HISTORY Java is one of the most important areas for early human studies. The Sangiran Ancient Human Site, on the List of World Heritage, is estimated to have been inhabited one and a half million years ago and is home to half of the world's hominid fossils. In the early 1890s, Eugene Dubois discovered Homo erectus's skull and femur in East Java. Dubois published his findings on "Java Man" in 1894, claiming that Homo erectus was the ancestor of modern humans.
About five thousand years ago people migrated to Indonesia from other parts of Southeast Asia. Later, people from India moved to the area. A number of important kingdoms were established: Buddhism, Hinduism, and Hindu-Buddha. In Central Java, the Sailendra rulers established the famous Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, between 750 and 850 AD A few kilometers away, Sanjaya built the largest Hindu complex on Java, Prambanan Temple, between the eighth and tenth centuries AD. (Borobudur and Prambanan temple complexes are on the World Heritage List).
Marco Polo was one of the first Europeans to visit Indonesia. In the fourteenth century, reports of its journey caused waves of Indian and Chinese adventurers traveling to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. The archipelago was famous in the end with the "Spice Islands" in an effort to find cloves and nutmeg that grew and was worth gold. (Indonesia is still the largest producer of cloves and nutmeg in the world). In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Arab traders sought islands in Indonesia while introducing Islam, which eventually emerged as the main religion in the region. In the face of Islam, Javanese Hindus were evacuated to neighboring Bali and designated the island as a Hindu enclave (as it still exists today). In the early 16th century the Portuguese arrived, followed by the Dutch. In the late eighteenth century "Indonesia" was part of the Dutch colonial empire and was known as the Dutch East Indies. Between 1811 and 1816 (during the Napoleonic Wars) "Indonesia" was under British rule but returned to the Netherlands.
Many stories about the difficulties faced by the Dutch in trying to gain and maintain control of the vast archipelago inhabited by hundreds of ethnic groups with diverse cultures and languages. Perhaps the most interesting for Westerners is the story of the Dutch meeting with Bugis people in southern Sulawesi, the third largest island in Indonesia. As sailors, very independent (or Bugis) Bugis became famous for the terror they kissed their European conquerors.
During the Second World War, Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies (1942). After the War, Indonesia declared independence (1945), and Ir.Soekarno, the leader of independence, became the country's first president. He was replaced by President Soeharto. A Revolution in 1998 led to the resignation of President Soeharto and the establishment of free and democratic elections in Indonesia until now. Until the year 2019, since independence Indonesia has had seven presiding presidents. In 1999, East Timor (on the island of Timor), a former Portuguese territory with a unique culture in the islands, chose independence. After much political and military chaos, the region gained independence in 2002.
At present, Western media often paints Indonesian images that are unfair and misleading as "a problematic place." On the contrary, current crime statistics confirm that Indonesia is a much safer place to live than most Western countries. Indeed, the peaceful nature of the Indonesian people has caused, arguably, the fastest and most problematic transition to democracy in history, but succeeded well in the end.
POPULATION & CHARACTERISTICS
Population With more than 260 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world (after China, India and the United States). About half of the population (130 million) lives on the island of Java, making it, perhaps, the most densely populated region on Earth. Located in West Java, Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, has a population of nearly 15 million and is the ninth largest city in the world.
Livelihood Agriculture provides employment for the majority of the working population. Agricultural products include rice, cassava, peanuts, nutmeg, cloves, palm oil, copra, coffee, cocoa, meat and eggs. Other major Indonesian industries are petroleum, natural gas, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, rubber, plywood, textiles, clothing, footwear, and food processing. Tourism is an important industry, especially on the islands of Bali, Java and Sumatra.
Religion Islam is the official religion of 85 percent of Indonesians; Christians (Protestants and Catholics) represent around ten percent and are spread throughout the archipelago; a combination of Hinduism and Buddhism amounts to around four percent and lives mainly on the adjacent island of Bali and Lombok.
Sports Original traditional sports enjoyed by Indonesians include pencak silat, a form of martial arts. Indonesians also like football with very fanatical supporters in each region. Besides that badminton is also a popular sport and often gets medals in the International championship. In the international world, Indonesia is also famous for surfing and diving. Boasting the best waves in the world (Bali, Nias and the Java Coast), Indonesia attracts thousands of international surfing competitors every year. In addition, the coral reefs on the coastline place Indonesia in the top ten diving destinations.
Art Indonesia has been influenced by many cultures for centuries, and its art forms reflect those influences. The famous puppet show about Java and Bali features many ancient mythological stories on these islands. Famous Javanese and Balinese dances originated later (during the pre-Muslim era) and were often based on Indonesian versions of Hindu, Ramayana and Mahabharata epic poems. The gamelan orchestra, which mainly consists of percussion instruments, accompanies puppet shows and traditional dance performances.
Indonesia is famous for wood carvings, batik and textiles. Traditional cloth paintings can be seen in temples and shrines in Bali. Ornaments show story scenes arranged in successive boxes, often with themes from the Sanskrit epics. The most famous writer in Indonesia today is Pramoedya Ananta Toer, who won the Magsaysay Award and was considered for the Nobel Literature Prize. Another important figure is the late Chairil Anwar, poet and member of the 45th generation of writers who was active in the Indonesian independence movement.
LANGUAGE INDONESIA (ENGLISH) The official language of Indonesia is Indonesian (literally, "Indonesian"). This is the language that unites the fourth most populous country in the world - a country of 18,000 islands and inhabited by 350 ethnic groups that speak 750 native languages and dialects. Indonesian, the standard version of Malay, is the sixth most widely used language in the world (after Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic).
With dialect variations, Malay-Indonesian is spoken by as many as 250 million people in modern countries Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. This is understood in some parts of the Sulu region in the southern Philippines and its traces can be found among people of Malay descent in Sri Lanka, South Africa and other places. At present, Indonesians are very bilingual. In infancy, they learn the native language of their island area and, when they enter school, they learn Indonesian - the national language and teaching media in educational institutions at all levels throughout the country. Rarely meet Indonesian people who are not fluent in their mother's language or national language. In politics, administration and justice, Indonesian is the only official language. These are the language of law, politics, court processes, and national and local governments.