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Indonesia

Indonesia

Capital

Jakarta

Language

Bahasa Indonesia

Population

248,000,000(2011)

National Flower

Melati (Jasminum sambac)

Religion

Muslim (over 85%)

Currency

Rupiah

Location

Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago nation, composed of 17,508 large and small islands, of which about 6,000 islands are inhabited. The total land area is about 1,920,000 km2, the 13th largest in the world. The sea area is about 8,000,000 km2. The Indonesian archipelago spread between 6 degrees north latitude to 11 degrees south latitude and 94 to 114 degrees east longitude. The equator runs through the entire territory, stretching from east to west for 5,120 km and south to north for 1,760 km. Indonesia is the bridge between the Asia Continent and Australia and located at an important strategic position between the Pacific and Indian Ocean. The natural resources are rich in Indonesia and valued by major countries.

History

In 2nd century, there had been trades between Chinese businessmen and Javanese. In 7th century, the central Java had built highly civilized Buddhism kingdom. From 13th century, Arabs established Islam kingdom in Java and Sumatra. From 17th century, the Dutch ruled Indonesia for over 340 years. During World War II, Indonesia had been occupied by Japan. After the war, it claimed independent on 17th August 1945. But due to the traffic barriers between islands and the interest conflicts between the parties, the nation was caught in separations. The Netherlands attempted to revisit the colonial dream and refused to recognize the independence of Indonesia. Eventually, the Dutch-Indian war broke out. After the mediation by the United Nations, the Netherlands recognized Indonesia’s independence on December 27, 1949. The United Nations accepted Indonesia as one of the Member States on September 28, 1950.

Major
Festivals

  • Independent Day (Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan)

August 17th is the national holiday to celebrate Indonesian dissociation from Dutch colonial government. The flag raising ceremony will be held at the day and followed by celebrations with a parade.

  • Fast month (Ramadan, Bulan Puasa)

Generally speaking, the most important days of Muslims are the month of Ramadan about September of the Muslim calendar. Every day from sunrise to sunset of the month, Muslims must enforce fast. Lamba day (Lebaran, Idul Fitri) is the end of Ramadan. There is noisy celebration for 2 days. Half of the nation is boiling for this.

  • Nyepi

Nyepi is the new year of Bali, the day after the ninth new moon according to the Saka calendar that is similar to the western one. Balinese meditate and confess to celebrate this day. Indonesian calls it the Nyepi day while Chinese call it Day of Silence. On the day, all people stay home for meditation, no fires, no food, no going out, no lights allowed at night. It is a holiday with great contrast between wildness and silence.

  • Cow race season

Cow race is the most favorite spectator sport in Madura. It is a gentle yet exciting competition. In cow race season, villagers hold a series of heats first in August and September. The champions have to force a showdown in the largest city of Madura - Pamekasan

  • Catching the fish festival

Sa Shake race in Lombok has a traditional fishing festival from the local folklore and became Catching the fish festival over a long time. In the morning of October 20th of local calendar each year, people will sail to catch the princess fish (princess fish is a kind of sea fish with colors of red, yellow, while and green, like the centipede, eatable and can be used as fertilizer. It is the fishing catch days in the fishing season. ) The capture situation is used to augur for the status of the year and harvest.

  • Buddha Day (Hari Waisak)

Buddha’s birthday is one of the most important festival among Buddhists. In 1983, Indonesian government declared “Buddha Day” as the national holiday to celebrate the birth, enlightment and entry into Nirvana at the full moon day of May.

  • Chinese New Year

Indonesian Chinese has been discriminated for a long time. The authority had not allowed Chinese to celebrate Chinese New Year publicly for 30 years. From 2000, Indonesia cancelled the ban of celebrating Chinese New Year publicly from 1967. In 2002, Indonesian government claimed Chinese New Year as the official holiday.



Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of ChinaTaiwan New Immigrants Growth and Care Association