external image Indonesia_flag.gif

Indonesia National Anthem

Culture: Culture is the way a group of

people lives; this includes: religion, arts,
food, mannerisms, etc.

Population: 221,932,000
external image map.gifCapital: Jakarta; 13,194,000
Area: 1,922,570 sq. km (742,308 sq. mi)
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Life Expectancy: 68
GDP per Capita: U.S. $3,100

Dating and Marriage:

Indonesian dating and marriage is very unique. In Indonesia, dating and marriage customs differ between religion and relevance to where you live. In the rural areas, dating is common, if you do it in groups and usually there is little parental input until a boy asks a girl to be his girlfriend. The man usually will regularly visit the girl's house, but eating out and going to the movies is common, also. It's typical to get married in your early 20's for both men and women.
However, this is uncommon in the rural areas. In the rural areas, the two must get acquainted with each others family before the two can date. Usually, you will date for about a year before engaging, and you get married between 15 and 20 years old. Also, it's very common to not date at all and just have arranged marriages in both rural and urban areas. Cohabitation is illegal in Indonesia, and is a punishable offense.
Also, it won't matter if you live in an urban or rural area if you are Muslim, because the dating and marriage customs are all the same. Most young couple marry shortly after getting acquainted. The marriages are not usually arranged, but the man and woman will meet with their parents, and an engagement will mean that they can see each other more often, but never alone.
The non-Muslim weddings usually consists of a religious ceremony and a huge reception with hundreds of guests following the ceremony. The couple wears traditional clothing and there is a reception line, where the guests congratulate the couple and their parents. Instead of giving wedding gifts they give the couple money in red envelopes to help finance their new life. Muslim weddings are very traditional and the marriage is made official by an authorized Islamic clergyman.

Wedding (bride, groom ,and mothers)
Wedding (bride, groom ,and mothers)

Wedding Reception
Wedding Reception

Social Groups:

Family life is very important to Indonesia. It's very common for extended family members to all live together in one place. Most Indonesian families are close and work hard to help each other. Indonesians are expected to respect the experience of their elders and follow their advice. They are also expected to look after their parents in old age. The pace of their life is slower. People use the term 'jam karet' which can be understood as 'time that stretches like rubber'. Indonesians prefer to take things as they come rather than plan ahead. They also prefer not to make detailed plans and be expected to arrive at particular times. This fact shows that they have more time to focus on what is really important in life, like family.

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Puppets are used to tell stories if the ancient epics, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and other myths. Indonesians have been using these for centuries! They use string puppets, and shadow puppets.
Ceramics range from common everyday uses like plates, to very fine ceramics that become passed down from generation to generation.
Wood carvings from Indonesia are very beautiful and rich in detail. There are carvings of almost everything. Indonesians carve their Buddha, animals, people, and different parts of nature. They also carve masks.

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In Indonesia, there are many who are Muslim (86 percent). Then there are 9 percent Christian and 2 percent Hindu. Most who are Muslim are only partially practicing and hope to move to Makkah, Saudi Arabia some day. Muslims pray five times daily to their prophet Muhammad. The Christians are mostly Protestants who live in the Northern parts of the country, and most of the Chinese are Buddhists.

Muslim religious service
Muslim religious service


Most Indonesians eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, they won't think of it as a meal unless it contains rice. Wasi Goreng is an Indonesian rice that takes about 20 minutes to cook.

Nasi Goreng

  • 350 grains of long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green chilies (sambal veik or sambal badjak)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 leek
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 250 ground chicken meat
  • 250 ground shelled prawns
  • 3 tablespoons kecap manis

Cook a fresh batch and leave it to cool for about 4 hours.
Beat the eggs and make it into an omelet, slice into strips and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Add the chopped onion, garlic, leek, and chilies.
Fry until onions are soft.Add the coriander and cumin.
Slice the chicken into strips and add the prawns to the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally until well mixed.
Add rice, saja sauce and omelet strips and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Decorate with some of the left over leek and serve hot. Enjoy!
Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng


For the majority, the people of Indonesian speak Indonesian, which is closely related to Malay, however it's always adding on words of Javanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Sanskrit, English, and other languages. English is taught as a third language. You will usually speak the dialect according to your area. Over 100 million people can speak Javanese, but very few can read Hindi.

Leisure Activities:

Soccer is super popular in Indonesia. Many people like to watch it on TV, play it, or watch it live. They are also really good a badminton. Volleyball, basketball, tennis, martial arts, and cycling is gaining popularity. Also, watching T.V. is common and a lot of stay-at-home mothers watch the daytime soap operas. Sepak takraw is a very popular sport in the area by Indonesia. The sport is like volleyball, only you cannot use your hands.

Sepak Takraw

Sepak Takraw
Sepak Takraw


Gamelan is a famous folk music in Indonesia. In this type of music they use lots of drums, gongs, rebab (a stringed instrument), saron demung (similar to xylophone), and many, many others. Indonesia has a very famous country for its unique traditional dances. Aceh is a traditional dance to act out stories and legends to traditional music.

Gamelan instruments
Gamelan instruments

Cultural Patterns:

Loyalty to family and friends is really important to Indonesians, as well as being polite by smiling. They don't even usually say the word, "no"; instead they say, "thank you," with their hand facing the other speaker over their chest. Laughter is often used to ease tension in stressful situations. In urban areas, most parents have their children strive for more education, but in the rural areas their parents encourage them to have shortened schooling to help out around the farm and house.