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Indonesia : Anisa Indira Prameswari

I come from the fourth most populous country in the world: Indonesia. You may not often hear or see my country’s name in the news, because you know, third world country am I right. Just kidding. My home country is so packed with diversity. We have more than 700 traditional languages, more than 500 beliefs, and 300ish ethnicities. This was proven when I traveled around one of Indonesia’s biggest island, Java, by train. Every time I stopped at a station within different regions, passengers who hopped in or out have different dialects and languages. We speak at least two languages: Bahasa Indonesia (national language) and our own ethnic language that depends on where you come from. Most of us are believers and Islam holds the major followers in here. We are known as the biggest muslim majority country in the world. But that does not brush off other beliefs. Christianity is the second majority, followed by Catholicism, Hindu, Buddhism, Confucianism, and local religions like Sunda Wiwitan and Kejawen. Adzan, or calling for prayers in Islam, is broadcasted every five times in a day through megaphones. Every sundays, loud prayers and hymns are often heard from local churches (I live next to a church and a mosque altogether). There are at least one praying site in every 300 meters. We respect faith and beliefs a lot so yeah, religion gives huge impact in our daily activities. And because of that diversity, our national motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which means Unity in Diversity.

Some people say we have several of the most delicious foods in the world. We have Rendang, which is also popular in Malaysia, claimed as one of the top international foods. Indonesians really love spicy foods. We can’t live without raw chilis and chili sauces. Foods in here are mostly influenced by Chinese foods and Dutch that came during colonization era (around 15th century). We have different kinds of Satay, a skewered meat dish. We have (also) various kinds of salad, be that with tangy and sour sauce or with peanut sauce (like Pad Thai sauce but thicker if you’re familiar with it). And fried foods. We love our foods fried. No wonder a lot of us get coronary heart disease haha. Food materials like raw vegetables and poultry products are relatively cheap because most of Indonesians work as farmers. So vegans and vegetarians, my country is like a heaven for you! Fellow herbivore here. I only pay for 2.5USD a day for foods on average. Very cheap indeed.

A place where I live is the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. This city is like the red ranger in Indonesia; it gets the most attention but not the most liked, unlike Bali who is the pink ranger of Power Rangers. It is strong, brave, and sometimes harsh yet still caring. I live along with other nine million lives in there so you can imagine it's a very, very crowded city. Jakarta is nearly as large as Singapore yet it holds population as much as Sweden. It is full of concrete buildings, city parks, SHOPPING MALLS (literally everywhere), and.. well, people. Jakarta is sooooo diverse as it is the national's center business region, you may stumble on people talking in languages you probably never heard of when you're walking on the sidewalks (mostly are foreigners and local people using various traditional languages for conversation). The place where I live is most popular with.. traffic jam. It's common for people to wake up at 4.30 AM for work, even when the working hour starts at 8 AM to avoid traffic. We're all early risers lol.

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