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Map of Indonesia

Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ (About this soundlisten) IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndˈnziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndonesia]) is a sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in southeast Asia, with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), Indonesia is the world's 14th-largest country in terms of land area and world's 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea and land area. It has an estimated population of over 261 million people and is the world's fourth most populous country, the most populous Austronesian nation, as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. The world's most populous island, Java, contains more than half of the country's population.

Indonesia's form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status. Its capital and most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's third highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesia's major trading partners are Japan, the United States, China and neighbours Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism starting from Amboina and Batavia, and eventually all of the archipelago including Timor and Western New Guinea, at times interrupted by Portuguese, French and British rule, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.

Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest—and politically dominant—ethnic group being the Javanese. The population is unevenly spread throughout the islands within a variety of habitats and levels of development, ranging from the megalopolis of Jakarta to uncontacted tribes in the Papua. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Indonesia's economy is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 7th largest by GDP at PPP. Indonesia is a member of several multilateral organizations, including the UN, WTO, IMF and G20 major economies. It is also a founding member of Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, East Asia Summit, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.


Selected article

Caldera Mt Tambora Sumbawa Indonesia.jpg

Mount Tambora is an active stratovolcano on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. The volcano, formed by subduction, raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,100 ft). After a large magma chamber inside the mountain filled over the course of several decades, volcanic activity reached a historic climax in the super-colossal eruption of April 10, 1815. This outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. However, most of the 71,000 deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease. The eruption caused global climate anomalies that included the phenomenon known as "volcanic winter": 1816 became known as the "Year Without a Summer" because of the effect on North American and European weather. (Read more...)

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Selected biography

Christine Hakim.jpg

Christine Hakim (born 1956) is an Indonesian actress and film producer. Born in Jambi and raised in Yogyakarta, she was discovered by Teguh Karya and starred in his 1973 movie Cinta Pertama together with Slamet Rahardjo. She won a Citra Award at the Indonesian Film Festival, the country's equivalent to the Academy Awards, for the role. She continued acting, including a role as the Acehnese guerrilla Cut Nyak Dhien in the film of the same name, which won the 1989 Cannes Film Festival award for Best International Film. Hakim made her first film as a producer in 1998, with Garin Nugroho's Daun di Atas Bantal; she has since produced several other films. In her personal life she is an activist for education and autism; in 2008 she was selected as a goodwill ambassador to UNESCO, focusing on educational issues. During her career Hakim has won numerous awards, including six Citra Awards and a lifetime achievement award at the Cinemanila International Film Festival. (Read more...)

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Kelimutu Lake

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Suramadu Bridge

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Selected cuisine

A beer assortment sold in Bali, Indonesia; Carlsberg, Bali Hai, Bintang and Anker Beer.

Beer in Indonesia started in 1929, when the Heineken beer company established its first brewery factory in Surabaya, East Java, during Dutch colonial rule of Indonesia. This was one of the earliest beer enterprise in Southeast Asia. In July 1931 the Archipel Brouweriji Compagnie (Archipelago Brewery Co.) was formed in Batavia (now known as Jakarta), by German brewer, Beck's, constructing breweries in both Singapore and Batavia. By 1960s, Indonesians developed their own local brands of beer, which includes Bintang Beer (nationalized from Heineken) and Anker Beer. Read more...

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