Indonesia is a polyglot country of mixed cultures, and from this emerges its rich heritage. The islands of Indonesia have thus been home to various cultures, which have with time settled deep on this land. Together, they form the heritage of Indonesia.
Did You Know?
Indonesia contains more volcanoes than any other country in the world.
# The name Indonesia has both, Greek and Latin roots. 'Indo' is derived from the Greek and Latin root Indus, while 'nesia' is derived from nesus, which stands for islands in Greek. The country has hosted many religious and ethnic groups since centuries; few groups made it a colony while the others entered and flourished here as traders.
WHERE IT LIES ON THE GLOBAL MAP
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT INDONESIA
# Indonesia is an archipelago; it is a group or chain of islands collectively given an identity. The islands in Indonesia's archipelago approximately total 17,500, 6000 of which are inhabited.
# It is the 4th most populous country in the world and the16th largest. Its largest islands are Sumatra, Celebes, Java, Halmahera and Ceram. Sumatra is the 6th largest island in the world.
# In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the largest economy. The official language is Indonesian.
# The capital city is Jakarta, located on the island of Java. Jakarta is the largest city in Indonesia while Java is the most populous island in the world. In Indonesia, 58% of the population lives on this island.
# Globally, Indonesia is the biggest Islamic country. However, the province of Bali almost entirely comprises Hindus.
# Majority of Indonesia's citizens follow the Islamic faith; almost 87% citizens in the country are Muslims. Other religions followed are Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
# Indonesia is home to the second highest level of biodiversity globally. It thus comes as no surprise that forests cover almost 60% of the nation.
# The highest peak in the country is Puncak Jaya, scaling 4,884 meters, located in the Sudirman Mountains; the largest lake is the Lake Toba in Sumatra; and the largest river is the Kapuas, which also happens to be the longest inland river globally.
# Indonesia is situated on the edges of three tectonic plates: Pacific, Eurasian and Australian. It also lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire. This makes it the site for several earthquakes and volcanoes. Apart from the infamous 2004 tsunami, the most recent disaster recorded here was the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006.
# After Australia, Indonesia has the most number of endemic species. 36% of Indonesia's bird species and 39% of mammal species are endemic. Two famous examples are the Sumatran Tiger (smallest tiger subspecies) and the Javan rhinoceros, which are found nowhere else in the world.
# The Komodo dragon (also called Komodo monitor) is found only in Indonesia. It is the largest extant species of lizard. Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) has the largest unbranched inflorescence globally. This flowering plant is also endemic to Indonesia.
# 140 out of the total indigenous and endemic species in Indonesia are declared as threatened by the World Conservation Union. Apart from these, 9 are declared critically endangered. Habitat destruction is identified as the main reason behind these saddening figures.
# After Australia, Indonesia has the most number of endemic species. 36% of Indonesia's bird species and 39% of mammal species are endemic.
Two famous examples are the Sumatran Tiger (smallest tiger subspecies) and the Javan rhinoceros, which are found nowhere else in the world.
# Globally, Indonesia is third in emitting greenhouse gases. Reasons behind this are destruction of peatlands and deforestation.
# Major exports: Electrical appliances, oil and gas, rubber, plywood and textiles. Major imports: Chemicals, machinery, fuels and foodstuffs.
# Indonesia's biggest export partners are Japan, China, Singapore, U.S., South Korea, India and Malaysia. Similarly, the biggest import partners are China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, U.S., Thailand and Malaysia.
# The most popular sports in Indonesia are football and badminton. Indonesia has a total of 27 Olympic Medals; 6 of these 27 medals are Gold, 10 are Silver and 11 are Bronze.
# Silat is a martial art created and developed in Indonesia, specially in Sumatra and Java. This martial art was used extensively in the freedom fights held against the Dutch colonists.
# Rice is the staple food of Indonesia. Other key ingredients in Indonesian cuisine are chili, fish, chicken and coconut milk. This cuisine is highly influenced by Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian cuisine. Traces of European cuisine are also significant.
# Indonesia is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites as of 2013. The first 4 of the sites mentioned below are natural and the remaining 4 are cultural.
~ Komodo National Park
~ Lorentz National Park
~ Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra
~ Ujung Kulon National Park
~ Borobudur Temple Compounds
~ Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy
~ Prambanan Temple Compounds
~ Sangiran Early Man Site
# Tourism is an important industry in Indonesia with Bali and Borobudur being important tourist destinations.
Indonesia is gradually gaining more prominence than it already has on the global map. It is famous for its cuisine, its culture, its flora and fauna and perhaps everything else too. A visit to this marvel is surely a dream come true!