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Introduction

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Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ (About this sound listen) IN-də-NEE-zhə, /-ziə/ -zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndoneˈsia]), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [rɛpublik ɪndoneˈsia]),[lacks stress] is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than thirteen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, contains more than half of the country's population.

Indonesia is a republic with an elected parliament and president. It has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. Jakarta, the country's capital, is the second most populous urban area in the world. 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 India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support a high 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 China, United States, Japan, Singapore and India.

Selected article

Gutawa 2004 1.JPG

"Kidung Abadi" (English: "Eternal Ballad") is a song written by father and daughter team Erwin (pictured) and Gita Gutawa for the Kidung Abadi Chrisye concert; the concert was held on 5 April 2012 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Chrisye's death. The song was created over a period of three months by splicing syllables from previously-recorded vocals by Chrisye. At the concert, spliced black-and-white footage of Chrisye was shown lip synching to the song while Erwin's orchestra performed the music. The song was well received: the audience gave it a rowdy ovation, while critics praised its lyrics and described it as one of the best parts of the concert. (Read more...)

Selected biography

Pong Tiku (1846–1909) was a Torajan leader and guerrilla fighter who operated in southern Sulawesi, part of modern-day Indonesia. The son of the lord of Pangala', after Tiku captured the neighbouring kingdom Baruppu' he became its leader. By exploiting the coffee trade and allying with the lowlands Buginese, Tiku was able to compile large amounts of wealth, land, and power. When the Dutch colonials, based in Java, invaded Sulawesi in the early 1900s, Tiku and his soldiers utilised fortresses to withstand and launch attacks. Captured in October 1906, in January 1907 he escaped and remained at large until June. He was executed several days later. Since his death, Tiku has been used as a symbol of Torajan resistance. Long commemorated in Sulawesi, he was officially declared a National Hero of Indonesia in 2002. (Read more...)

Did you know

Babi Rusa

  • ... that the Babirusa (pictured), an endangered pig-like animal native to Sulawesi and surrounding islands, has two pairs of tusks? The upper canines of the male babirusa are so curved and enlarged that they emerge through the flesh, by way of holes, to pass through the top of the snout.
  • ... that on Flores island there are two archeological finds of different insular dwarfism species, including "hobbits"?
  • ... that one of the active volcanoes in the Banda Sea is named the Emperor of China?

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Bali-Danse 0704a.jpg
Balinese women performing the legong dance

Photographer: Yves Picq; License: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA

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