Joy P. 6th Period

Welcome to Indonesia!

Come to Indonesia! With over 17,500 islands to choose for your stay, there's sure to be one that's perfect for you. With so many islands, it's no wonder that Indonesia is the largest archipelago, or group of islands, in the world. The many islands have gorgeous beaches surrounded by crystal clear water. Tropical forests cover the islands, making it a great tourist attraction.

Over 240 million people inhabit 6000 of the islands, coming from 300 different ethnic groups and speaking over 250 different languages, making Indonesia a very diverse country. Indonesia is rich in natural resources, such as copper, bauxite, nickel, tin, silver, and gold, as well as large reserves of oil and natural gas.

Volcanoes leave behind a layer of fertile soil, supporting bountiful crops of rice, as well as cocoa, coffee, sugar, tea, and rubber.

All this is only part of what makes Indonesia such a wonderful country. Come and experience the delights for yourself!

Slogan: Indonesia- Over 17,500 little pieces of Paradise.

Geography and Climate

The archipelago of Indonesia is made up of over 17,500 islands. Many of the islands are formed from volcanoes rising from the sea. The volcanoes leave behind a layer of fertile, soil mixed with volcanic ash. Mountains loom up, and lush, tropical rainforests cover around half of Indonesia.

The climate of Indonesia is mostly tropical. The warm waters keep the temperature relatively steady, the land temperature being around 23 °C. The winds are moderate and predictable, and the air is humid. Indonesia goes through little change in daylight hours, the difference between the longest and shortest day of the year being only 48 minutes, allowing crops to be grown year round. Though monsoons and typhoons occur, they cause very little damage to the islands and mariners in the water.

The People and the Culture

Indonesia has over 240 million people inhabiting 6,000 islands, coming from more than 300 different ethnic groups and speaking over 250 different languages, making Indonesia a very diverse country. Because of Indonesia's unique location along ancient trading routes between the Far East and the Middle East, its culture is strongly influenced by many different religions, like Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and Christianity. The result is a diverse, complex cultural mix.

The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, created by Indonesian nationalists in the early 1920s to provide a common language for all Indonesians. Bahasa Indonesia is used in schools and universities. Children learn their native language at home, and Bahasa Indonesia at school.

The largest Indonesian ethic group is the Javanese, living mostly on the island of Java and making up about 41% of the Indonesian population. The second largest group is the Sudanese, making up about 15% of the population, and the third is the Madurese, at around 3% of the population. The many minority groups include the Bantenese, the Betawi, the Bugis, the Malays, and the Minangkabau. The traditional clothing for both men and women is a colorful skirt, called a sarong, or kain.

Over 85% of Indonesians are Muslims, and about 10% are Christian. Though they are Muslim, they aren't as strict about their beliefs as other Muslims. People in Bali and western Lombok follow a religion called Bali-Hinduism. Bali-Hinduism is based on Hinduism, mixed with Balinese and Javanese beliefs. Bali has thousands of Bali-Hindu temples, where many of the holidays were celebrated with colorful festivals.

Indonesia's diverse culture includes many wonderful things, such as dramatic Bali folk dancing, shadow puppet dramas, batik, which is a method of using wax and dye to create beautifully colored fabrics, and the carving of ceremonial daggers, called krises.

Indonesian cuisine varies from region to region. For example, the Sumatran cuisine has Middle Eastern and Indian influences, while the Javanese cuisine is more native to Indonesia. Popular dishes all throughout the country include nasi goreng, sate, soto, and gado-gado. The dishes all use spices, such as nutmeg and cloves. Chinese traditions can also be seen reflected in the food, such as in bakmi (noodles), bakso (meat or fish balls), and lumpria (spring rolls).

Indonesia's Government and Citizenship

Indonesia is a constitutional republic, where the President of Indonesia is head of both state and government. The government has an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch, just like the U.S. The government system has been described as "presidential with parliamentary characteristics." Following the resignation of President Suharto in 1998, political reforms were set in motion through the amendments of the Constitution of Indonesia, resulting in changes to all branches of the government.

There are many, many factors that apply to Indonesian citizens, such as being born a citizen, or having a father that's an Indonesian citizen. You can also apply to become a citizen of Indonesia. All applications for citizenship are granted by the President of Indonesia. To obtain citizenship, you have to be 18 years or older, married, have lived in Indonesia for 5 consecutive years or 10 nonconsecutive years, be employed or have a fixed income, and pay the citizenship fee. You can also lose your citizenship for many things, such as willingly pledging allegiance to another country or joining a foreign military without permission from the President.

Indonesia's Economy

Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the world's emerging market economies. Companies build factories in Indonesia because the labor is inexpensive. Because the islands have constant access to the sea, it also makes it extremely easy and convenient to ship goods.

Agriculture provides jobs for nearly 50% of all Indonesians. The farmers grow delicious coffee, rice, cassava, coconuts, tea, and rubber trees in the rich soil. They also raise sheep and cattle. Indonesia also has large reserves of natural gas and oil. The mines yield nickel, copper, tin, bauxite, silver, and gold. The thick, vast rain forests provide teak and other valuable woods.