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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

Borobudur-complete.jpg

Borobudur is a Buddhist stupa related to the Mahayana tradition, and is the largest Buddhist monument on earth. It is located in the Indonesian province of Central Java, 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-west of Yogyakarta. It was built between 750 and 850 by the Javanese rulers of the Sailendra dynasty. The name may derive from the Sanskrit "Vihara Buddha Ur", which can be liberally translated as "the Buddhist temple on the mountain". It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. Borobudur is built as a single large stupa, and viewed from above takes the form of a giant mandala. The foundation is a square, 118 metres (387 ft) on each side. It has nine levels, of which the lower six are square and the upper three circular. This is said to be a map of the cosmos as conceptualized by the Buddhist philosophers of the time. The upper level features seventy-two small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is a bell shape pierced by numerous decorative apertures. Statues of the Buddha sit inside the pierced enclosures. Borobudur is still a place of prayer and pilgrimage. (Read more...)

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Selected biography

Marco Kartodikromo.jpg

Marco Kartodikromo (1890–1932) was an Indonesian journalist and writer with Communist leanings. He first found employment with the national railway. After quitting over discrimination, in 1911 he made his way to Bandung and began working as a journalist; during the rest of his career he moved to several cities, including Surakarta and Semarang. In Surakarta he wrote scathing criticisms of the Dutch colonial government, for which he was imprisoned. He began writing fiction with an anti-colonial message during his time as a correspondent in the Netherlands. Involved with the Communist Party of Indonesia, Kartodikromo was exiled to Boven-Digoel prison camp in Papua after a failed rebellion in 1926, where he died of malaria. Kartodikromo was an early member of the Indonesian social realist movement and experimented with Malay language at a time when the state publishing house Balai Pustaka was attempting to standardise it. The Dutch considered him "crazy", while the leftist literary critic Bakri Siregar described Kartodikromo as the first truly Indonesian writer. (Read more...)

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First hoisting of Bendera Pusaka

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The proclamation being read

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Selected cuisine

Bakso served with bihun (rice vermicelli) and fried wontons

Bakso or baso is an Indonesian meatball, or a meat paste made from beef surimi. Its texture is similar to the Chinese beef ball, fish ball, or pork ball. The word bakso may refer to a single meatball or the complete dish of meatball soup. Mie bakso refers to bakso served with yellow noodles and rice vermicelli, while bakso kuah refers to bakso soup served without noodles. Read more...

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