The United Archipelago: Indonesia


Indonesia is a country that sounds familiar but no one really knows what it holds. Indonesia is very diverse, holding over 300 different ethnic groups with an estimated population of 253 million. The people there have roots from China, Europe, India, and Malaysia. The first thing people notice is how religious the people are. Over 80% of the population is Muslim, with the rest of the people following the other major and minor religions. They have temples to worship all the different Gods on all the islands, creating a sense of an oasis where one can find peace among friends.

This idea of peace and unity is extremely important to Indonesia as their population is so diverse. They have created a strong sense of cohesion within the country under the motto, “Unity in Diversity” (I want this motto everywhere). The people show this by seeing their community as a part of their family. Any person who we would typically give respect to by using a title, they would call “father” or “mother”. This leads life to be very different in Indonesia. They are taught to remain calm in public, avoid disagreements, speak quietly with consideration, and not get angered over little things (we should take notes).

ikan bakar (roasted fish), nasi timbel (rice wrapped in banana leaf), ayam goreng (fried chicken), sambal, fried tempeh and tofu, and sayur asem.

Now one may think that Indonesians do not face their problems and create a front with each other but this is quite the contrary. People are taught to avoid the cause of shame, or “malu”, to yourself or anyone else. As a result, they are taught to make sure that anything that blames or humiliates someone should be talked about in private so people do not feel shamed from the community. This had led to many ways to saying yes and no, but the peace they have created is worth the occasional miscommunication. While they have the same ideals, many live different lives.

Jakarta, the sprawling megalopolis that is the capital of Indonesia. It is beautiful as it still gives off their city vibe, but it also holds their values of community along with having unique foods such ikan bakar and nasi timbel. To top it all off, most know how to speak English as this is a very popular tourist destination because the more one looks into this beautiful city, the more you will love the atmosphere it provides. However, there is an even more beautiful city than Jakarta.

This is Bali. A place where you can literally play with monkeys!

Bali is the reason I began researching Indonesia. Bali encompasses the whole culture of Indonesia in one city. There are temples, ceremonies, artwork, and music are spread all along the town that brings the city to life. While a lot is based off their religious values, they also are known for their nightlife and EDM concerts (talk about variety). People then typically eat the food that they grow and catch in this little city on the water while relaxing on the white beaches that are good for any activity (if you are looking for a popular local snack, try rice paddies). The overall vibe that Bali give is fantastic. It is relaxing and everyone is so accepting, making a stop that no one forgets (really, look up Bali and see what comes up).

One thought on “The United Archipelago: Indonesia

  1. Hey again Carlos!
    I always enjoy reading your blogs, they are very informative!
    I like how you focused on the ideals that Indonesians live by. It is very interesting to read because I think that Americans try to find unity in diversity but find it difficult because we were all raised with different ideals that may conflict rather than all under the same one.
    I also like how they don’t like to publicly shame people because it forces them to confront each other and work it out privately. I definitely agree that this is a more peaceful way of solving problems and that Americans should try to solve arguments using this method as well.
    From the pictures that you posted, it seems as though Indonesia is a very beautiful city with many great food, people, and lessons to offer. I had previously never thought about traveling to this country, but after reading your blog, I would definitely consider traveling there!
    Thank you for choosing to right about a country that is not commonly talked about, it is always refreshing to learn about different cultures.

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