Facts about Indonesia
Ultimate in Diversity
Over 17,000 islands spreading between the pacific and Indian Ocean; More than 200 ethnic groups with over 300 spoken languages bridging the continents of Asia and Australia; a multitude of amazing landscapes and biodiversity stretching along the equator line; this is Indonesia, a land of endless spectacular wonders.
As the largest archipelagic country in the world, Indonesia is blessed with so many different people, cultures, customs, traditions, artworks, food, animals, plants, landscapes, and everything that made it almost like 100 (or even 200) countries melted beautifully into one. Every island here is a unique mixture of natural splendors and different cultures of people who live upon it; from the vibrant tourists’ paradises of Bali and Lombok to the mysteriously shrouded cultures of the Asmat in Papua and those who dwell the highlands of Toraja in South Sulawesi.
Situated at the heart of the world’s precious coral triangle and along the Ring of Fire, Indonesia’s countless wonders stretches from mountain tops all the way to the bottom of its vast seas. Along the diverse landscapes, various unique wildlife made the archipelago their only natural habitat including the legendary Komodo Dragons, the gentle giant Orangutan, the majestic Cendrawasih Bird of Paradise, and so much more. Beyond the surface of the sea, Indonesia’s extensive coral reef is regarded as the richest and most diverse in the world; simply the ultimate paradise for divers and underwater enthusiasts.
With rich history that dates back for centuries, Indonesia also holds some of the most fascinating monuments of human civilization. Among these is the imposing Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java which the largest Buddhist monument that still stood majestically today with all its spectacular features. Equally fascinating is the Prambanan Temple Compounds which is one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
The ever-intriguing, ever-intoxicating land holds some of the greatest adventures you will ever experience on the face of the earth. With all its abundance splendors, it would take a lifetime to explore all the wonders of the archipelago, and still left you craving for more. As the country of the ultimate in Diversity, there’s sure everything for everyone here.
HISTORY OF INDONESIA
The history of Indonesia can be marked as the dawn of mankind since it is where the remains of the early man were unearthed. During the ancient age of kingdoms and empires, Indonesia saw the rise of the great empires that ruled over almost the entire South East Asia and regarded to play a key role in the history of the region. After gaining independence from foreign colonization and the wave of both World Wars, Indonesia emerge as one united country and continue to thrive among the nations of the world to this veryy.
Dawn of Mankind
Fossilized remains of Homo erectus and his tools, popularly known as the “Java Man” found in the archeological site of Sangiran in Central Java, suggest the Indonesian archipelago was already inhabited by “the early man” at least since 1.5 million years ago. Recently, the fossil of Homo floresiensis or nicknamed as ‘hobbit man’ was discovered in Liang Bua, Flores Island and also believed to be one of the ancestors of modern humans.
Age of Kings and Sultans
Chinese chronicles mention that trade between India, China and the islands within what today is the Indonesian Archieplago was already thriving since the first century AD. The powerful maritime empire of Srivijaya in southern Sumatra that ruled over the Sumatra seas and the Malacca Straits from the 7th to the 13th century was the center for Buddhism learning and famous for its wealth. In the 8th- 9th century, the Sailendra Dynasty of the Mataram kingdom in Central Java built the magnificent Buddhist Borobudur temple in Central Java, and followed by the construction of the Hindu Temple Prambanan.
From 1294 to the 15th century the powerful Majapahit Kingdom in East Java held suzerainty over a large part of this archipelago. Meanwhile, small and large sultanates thrived on many islands of the archipelago, from Sumatra to Java and Bali, to Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Ternate and the Moluccas, especially following the arrival of Islam in the 13th Century.
The Colonial Era
Following the arrival of Marco polo in Sumatra, successive waves of Europeans—the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and British—sought to dominate the spice trade at its sources which is at the Moluccas or Maluku Islands of Indonesia began in 16th century. In 1596 the first Dutch vessels anchored at the shores of West Java. Over the next three centuries, the Dutch gradually colonized this archipelago until it became known as the Dutch East Indies.
The Emergence of Indonesia and the Declaration of Independence
Revolt against the oppressing colonizers soon built up throughout the country. The Indonesian youth, in their Youth Pledge of 1928 vowed together to build “One Country, One Nation and One Language: Indonesia”, regardless of race, religion, language or ethnic background in the territory then known as the Dutch East Indies.
Finally, on 17 August 1945, after the defeat of the Japanese in the Second World War, the Indonesian people declared their Independence through their leaders Soekarno and Hatta. Freedom, however was not easily granted. Only after years of bloody fighting did the Dutch government finally relent, officially recognizing Indonesia’s Independence in 1950.