The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising 17,504 large and small tropical islands, with Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi as the main islands. Being the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia has a total population of more than 215 million people from more than 200 ethnic groups.
Indonesia’s a motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika which means “Unity in Diversity”. Each region of Indonesia has its own local dialect or even language; however, the official national language is Bahasa Indonesia, written in the Roman alphabet and spoken by the majority of Indonesian inhabitants.
PEOPLE, CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
Even in this modern era, Indonesians still respect each ethnic group’s local cultures and traditions, especially in rural areas. Some practices may seem very strange in a modern culture, but are practiced quite regularly even in big cities. There are also many nationwide customs.
One of the most important values of Indonesia is the belief in God, hence, spiritual belief is a very sensitive topic amongst Indonesians.
Less cosmopolitan Indonesians may be unfamiliar with the culture of drinking alcohol. Nonetheless, a growing number of people are getting more open-minded, and there are many bars and clubs, especially in the business and entertainment districts in big cities.
In Indonesia, elders must be shown respect. No matter what his or her position is, the younger should always address the elder with an appropriate title. When discussing something with an Indonesian, small talk is the best way to start a conversation before moving into specific topics.
Indonesians are used to seeing differences even between its local races, and are fairly welcoming to foreigners. Indonesians are usually talkative and enjoy meeting and engaging in small talk with new people. When conversing, remember that Indonesians are tone-sensitive. When speaking to an Indonesian, always try to keep a soft tone; how you say something is often more important than what you say.