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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Indonesia Is My Beloved Country

Indonesia, formerly the Netherlands East Indies, is a republic in Southeast Asia. The country is made up of many thousands of islands, stretching along the equator between Australia and the Asia mainland. The word of Indonesia, means islands of the Indies. Since 1950, after it won its independence from the Netherlands, the country has been known as the Republic of Indonesia.

Presently, Indonesia has a population of about 220 millions. It consists of Malay people who came to the islands from the mainland of Asia about 4000 years ago. The more primitive people whom the Malays found upon arrival moved eastward into New Guinea and the islands of the western Pacific.

The majority of Indonesians have light brown skin and straight hair. They are rather short and slim. Of the foreign population, the Chinese, who numbers about 10 millions, make up the largest group. There are also small groups of Arabs, Indians, and Eurasians.

More than 60 percent of the Indonesians live on the island of Java. In some of Java’s fertile valleys population density is as high as 3000 persons per square mile.

Bahasa Indonesia was chosen as the national language of Indonesia. It is closely related to Malay and is spoken in all the islands. Many other languages and dialects are spoken by the Indonesian people. Some of those spoken in Borneo are still little-known.

In the early years after its independent, a large portion of the population cannot read and write. This number, however, is steadily decreasing. Now, most of its peoples can read and write well. Primary and Secondary education are compulsory. Higher education is optional. Both secular and religious (Islamic) schools are supervised by the government. Besides state institutional schools, there are many of private schools that form their base from the private education or non-education foundations. Most of the private schools are forming their base in point of view in Christian and Catholic. There are only few schools base in Buddhism or even Hinduism.

There are several best-known state institutions of higher learning are: the Bandung Institute of Technology (in Bandung), the University of Indonesia (in Jakarta, the capital of the country), the University of Gadjah Mada (in Yogyakarta), the Surabaya Institute of Technology (in Surabaya), the University Padjadjaran (in Bandung), the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (in Bogor), the University of Airlangga (in Surabaya), the University of Diponegoro (in Semarang), and so on. The number of universities is increasing so quickly that the government has established a Directorate General of Higher Education.

The major religion of Indonesia is Islam, and at least 90 percent of the people are Muslims. About 5 percent of the people are Christians and Catholics. The rest, are Buddhists, Hindus, Khonghucus, Tao followers, and others religious sectarians. They live mainly in Sumatera, Java, Celebes, and the Moluccas. On the island of Bali, most of the inhabitants are Hindus. Also, many people in Indonesia still believe in spirits. The “adapt”, or local custom, also plays an important part in the life of the people.


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1 comment:

Donald said...

Beautiful country... I might visit your country someday.

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