Indonesia: Monika Febiola
I am from Indonesia, a country located in South East Asia between the continent of Asia and
Australia as well as the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world comprising of 18.000 islands containing 250,000,000 people. It is also the largest
maritime country on earth. What makes Indonesia especially unique is the fact that it has very diverse religions as well as ethnicities. The majority of Indonesians are muslims (87.2% ,
making it the most dominant religion in the country, the rest are Christians (Catholics and
Protestants), Hindu, Buddhists, Confucianism, as well as other beliefs aside from the 6 official
religions, such as “Kejawen” and “Sunda Wiwitan”, which teach spirituality and worship the
As for ethnicities, we have over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia, from the farthest west to the
farthest east, which can be distinguished by many factors, such as occupations (fishermen,
farmers), staple food (rice, corn, and starch), facial features, traditional garments, values and
norms, and many more.
Furthermore, Indonesia is generally a wealthy country in terms of population, size, and natural resources, contributing to a wide range of delicacies, wildlife, mesmerizing scenery, tourist attractions, and culture. We have more than 17,000 islands offering picturesque scenery – from lush rainforest jungles, green mountains, volcanic peaks, to rich underwater world that are inhabited by exotic animals that belong to nowhere else in the world, such as the fierce komodo dragons. Bali is the most popular destination in indoneisa, attracting more than 3 million visitors every year.
Indonesia is well-known for its diverse culture, especially the traditional dances, batik patterns, and wayang (traditional shadow puppet). The movements of the dances vary according to their respective origin (from slow and solemn to fast-paced and energetic). The most popular dance will be Pendet Dance from Bali, in which offerings are made to purify the temple, typically performed by young girls carrying flower petals which are cast into the air as they perform the dance.
Last but not the least, we have a lot of popular traditional dishes that are particularly rich in
spices and seasoning, but the most popular ones (also hard to find anywhere else) will be
indomie, one of the most famous brands of instant noodle in the world, and rendang. It is very hard to describe the taste of indomie if one has never tasted it, however, rendang is a distinct dish (slow-cooked beef stewed in coconut milk. It was once crowned the most delicious food in the world according to a CNN survey.
There is so much to talk about Indonesia that the average Indonesian person has not tasted
every local food, seen every dance or wayang performance, and visited every recommended
tourist attraction. I do hope that this rather short description of Indonesia can do justice to such a beautiful country!