Map of Indonesia
Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
The Republic of Indonesia is a large archipelago
located between the South East Asian peninsula and Australia,
between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Indonesia borders Malaysia on the island of Borneo,
Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea and East
Timor on the island of Timor.
National motto: Bhinneka Tunggal lka (Indonesian:
Unity in Diversity)
Official language; Bahasa Indonesia
President; Megawati Sukarnoputri
Area; 1,919,440 kmē
Independence - Declared: August 17, 1945
- Recognised: From the Netherlands, December
Time zone: UTC +7 to UTC +9
National anthem: Indonesia Raya
Internet TLD: .ID
Phone Calling Code; 62
History Under influence of Buddhism, several
kingdoms formed on the islands of Sumatra and Java from
the 7th to 14th century.
The arrival of Arab traders later brought Islam, which
became the dominant religion.
When the Europeans came in the early 16th century, they
found a multitude of small states.
These were vulnerable to the Europeans, who were in
pursuit of dominating the spice trade.
In the 17th century, the Dutch emerged as the most powerful
of the Europeans, ousting the British and Portuguese
(except for Timor).
After the Dutch East India Company was liquidated, its
possessions in Indonesia were taken over by the Dutch
After Japanese occupation ended in 1945, the Indonesians
declared independence, led by Sukarno.
The Dutch finally accepted in 1949, and Sukarno became
the country's first president.
After Sukarno's autocratic rule was almost overthrown,
army leader Suharto became president in 1968.
President Suharto was forced to step down after massive
demonstrations in 1998.
Politics Executive power lies with the president
and his/her advisers.
The Indonesian parliament is bi-cameral, consisting
of the People's Congress and the People's Representative
Assembly, each elected for 5-year terms.
Currently, Indonesia has 28 provinces, 2 special territories
and 1 capital city territory.
The provinces are subdivided in districts, which are
in turn split up in sub-districts and municipalities.
The provinces are: Bali, Bangka-Belitung, Banten, Bengkulu,
Gorontalo, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur,
Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah,
Kalimantan Timur, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa
Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua (Irian Jaya),
Riau, Riau Kepulauan, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah,
Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera
Selatan, Sumatera Utara.
The special territories (daerah istimewa) are Aceh and
The capital city territory is Jakarta.
Indonesia's 17,000 islands (ca. 6,000 are inhabited)
are scattered around the equator, giving the country
a tropical climate.
The largest islands are Java, where about half of the
population lives, Sumatra, Borneo (partially Malaysian),
Irian Jaya (western half of New Guinea) and Sulawesi.
Its location on the edges of tectonic plates means Indonesia
is frequently hit by earthquakes and the resulting tsunamis.
Indonesia is also rich in volcanoes, the most famous
being the now disappeared Krakatau (Krakatoa).
Indonesia suffered of major economic problems in the
late 1990s, but economy has recently stabilised.
The country has extensive natural resources like oil
and natural gas, tin, copper and gold.
Agriculture mainly produces rice, tea, coffee, spices
Indonesia's major trading partners are Japan, the United
States and the surrounding nations of Singapore, Malaysia
Demographics The Indonesian population can be
roughly divided into two groups.
In the west of the country, the people are mostly Malay,
while the people of the east are Papuan.
However, the ethnic structure is rather diverse, with
several traditional tribes still living in the inlands
of Borneo and Irian Jaya.
The Chinese form a large ethnic minority (2 to 3 million).
Although important to Indonesian economy, they are generally
disliked by indigenous Indonesians.
Islam is Indonesia's main religion, with almost 87%
of the people adhering to it.
The remainder of the population is Christian (9%), Buddhist
(2%), and Hindu (1%), the latter mainly on the island
Religious conflicts have been numerous in recent years,
especially in the Moluccas.
The official language, Bahasa Indonesia - a dialect
of Malay - is spoken by almost everybody, although local
dialects are usually the primary language.
Art forms in Indonesia have been influenced by several
The famous Javanese and Balinese dances, for example,
contain aspects of Hindu culture and mythology.
Also well-known are the Javanese wayang kulit shadow
theatre shows, displaying several mythological events.
This information was updated & correct in December
2003 E. & O.E.
All text is available under the terms of the
Free Documentation License
Copyrights for details).
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