Learning about the culture of this exotic archipelago will not only ensure a more pleasant traveling experience, it will also enrich the way you perceive the world. From religious aspects to social habits, discover the things you should know about Indonesian culture.
Living on more than 13,400 islands, the Indonesian nation today counts about 200 million people and there are over 200 ethnic groups with their own languages and dialects. While the majority of the population embraces Islam, in Bali the Hindu religion is predominant whereas areas in Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, in large parts of Papua, and North Sumatra, the majority are either Catholics or Protestants.
You’ll see Balinese presenting their offerings first thing in the morning, or employees dropping everything for prayer time. No matter what religion they uphold, Indonesians are generally very spiritual.
Due to the incredible diversity of the country, the government has worked hard to establish a strong sense of cohesion throughout the archipelago, hence the motto ‘Unity in Diversity´. Along with this strong unity and conformity to society´s rules, honour and respect for the individual form the basis of Indonesian culture. Indonesians value loyalty to friends and family above everything.
You will notice that Indonesians are usually very close to their family. No matter how old or independent they are, Indonesians tend to keep tight relationships with members of their family.
Indonesia is an open, friendly and peaceful country. Adopt a humble demeanour, practice patience and remember to smile!