(Republic of Indonesia, Republik Indonesia)
- Location: Southeast Asia
- Capital: Jakarta
- Language(s): Indonesian
- Population: 240,123,353
- Total Area: 1,919,440 sq km
- Currency: Rupiah
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There is a strong local liquor called tuak while there is also another wine made from rice. It is called brem.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 0.57 liter
- Most Popular Drink(s): Teh (Indonesian tea), coffee
The Republic of Indonesia is a quite unique, especially when looked at from geographical angle. Indonesia is not just the largest archipelago (group of islands) in the world; the number will simply blow your mind. Indonesia has over 17,500 islands! It is understandably one of the largest nations in the world. There are 33 provinces in the country, and each is headed by a governor. Of all these provinces, there are some that have been given a special status, and these are Jakarta (where the capital is located), Aceh, Yogyakarta, West Papua and Papua (not the same as Papua New Guinea which is a different country in its own). Although the number of the Indonesian islands is staggering, just about one third are inhabited. The largest and the most important of these islands are Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and New Guinea. Borneo and New Guinea are shared with Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.
The island of Java holds almost 60% of the population, and that makes the most heavily populated island in the world. Indonesia is very diverse as it has about 300 different ethnic groups and as if that is not enough, the number of the languages spoken comes to almost 750! If that is not impressive, I do not know what is. Of all these ethnic groups and native tribes, the largest is the Javanese and they make just a little over 40% of the population. Thus, it is not surprising the Javanese dominate the corridors of power. Apart from the Javanese, other prominent groups are the Malays, Sundanese and the Madurese. Bahasa Indonesia is the official language and is of the same root with Bahasa Melayu, spoken in the neighboring nation of Malaysia. More than 85% of Indonesians are Muslims, and as a matter of fact, Indonesia has more Muslims than any other nation on earth. Other faiths are Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
The most widely consumed food in Indonesia is rice which is referred to as nasi. There are various rice dishes, and nais kampor is one of them while others are rasirames. Coconut is also a favorite ingredient in the preparation of many dishes. Another delicacy is called gado gado and is made of vegetables, spices and peanut soup.
More than other drinks, Indonesians prefer coffee and tea. Wines and beers are also available although most of these are produced locally. In some of the regions, the wine is made from rice.
With almost 17,600 islands, Indonesia has more than enough places to visit. If you have the spirit of adventure in you, then it is time to visit some of the most impressive volcanoes in the world. These include the popular Krakatoa, Tambora, Mount Merapi and Mount Semeru; these are some of the most active volcanoes in the world. There is also the Lake Toba in Sumatra which is the largest in the country.
Just as India is the leader in cricket, Indonesia leads in badminton . Apart from badminton, football is also quite popular in the southeast Asian nation. There are also numerous local sports that you must enjoy and a good example is the sipak takraw which is very fascinating.
- Indonesia has more Muslims (over 200 million) than any other nation in the world.
- With over 17,000 islands, the Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago (island group) in the world.
- Indonesia was once occupied by Japan and the Netherlands.
- Nutmeg, a popular spice, is native to Indonesia
- Indonesia is home to some of the most active and majestic volcanoes.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).