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Riau (Jawi: رياو, Chinese: 廖內; pinyin: liào nèi; Hokkien POJ: liāu-nāi, Dutch: Riow), is a province of Indonesia. It is located in the central eastern coast of Sumatra along the Strait of Malacca. Until 2004 the province included the offshore Riau Islands, a large group of small islands (of which the principal islands are Batam and Bintan) located east of Sumatra Island and south of Singapore, before these islands were split off as a province in July 2004. The provincial capital and the largest city of Riau is Pekanbaru. The province shares land borders with North Sumatra to the northwest, West Sumatra to the west, and Jambi to the south. The total area for Riau province is 87,023.66 square kilometres (33,600.02 sq mi), which stretches from the slopes of the Bukit Barisan to the Strait of Malacca. Riau has a wet tropical climate with average rainfall ranging between 2000-3000 millimeters per year, and the average rainfall per year is about 160 days. Riau is currently one of the richest provinces in Indonesia and is rich in natural resources, particularly petroleum, natural gas, rubber, palm oil and fibre plantations. Extensive logging and plantation development in has led to a massive decline in forest cover Riau, and associated fires have contributed to haze across the larger region. Riau is considered part of the Malay world. It is currently considered as the cultural center of the Malays in Indonesia. Nevertheless, Riau is considered a very diverse province, as it is inhabited by many ethnic groups, such as Malay, Minangkabau, Chinese and Batak. The local Riau dialect of Malay is considered as the lingua franca in the province, but Indonesian, the standardized form of Malay is used as the official language and also as the second language of many people. Other than that, different languages such as Minangkabau, Hokkien and varieties of Batak languages are also spoken.

Riau
Other transcription(s)
 • Jawiرياو
An-Nur panorama.jpg
Jembatan Tengku Agung Sultanah Latifah.jpg
Istana Kerajaan Siak (1).jpg
Tesso Nilo 2009.jpg
Sejahtera Sakti Selatpanjang.jpg
Riau Main Stadium.JPG
Gajah Sumatra.jpg
From top, left to right: Siak Palace, Tengku Agung Sultanah Latifah bridge, An-Nur Mosque, Tesso Nilo National Park, Hoo Ann Kiong Temple in Selatpanjang, Riau Main Stadium, Sumatran elephant in the Minas Elephant Sanctuary
Flag of Riau
Flag
Coat of arms of Riau
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): 
Bumi Lancang Kuning (Land of the Glorious)
Motto(s): 
بومي برتواه نڬري برادت
Bumi Bertuah Negeri Beradat (Malay)
(meaning: Ground of Fortunes, Land of Customs)
Location of Riau in Indonesia
Location of Riau in Indonesia
Coordinates: 0°32′N 101°27′E / 0.533°N 101.450°E / 0.533; 101.450Coordinates: 0°32′N 101°27′E / 0.533°N 101.450°E / 0.533; 101.450
Country Indonesia
Established10 August 1957
Capital
(and largest city)
Pekanbaru coa.GIF Pekanbaru
Government
 • BodyRiau Regional Government
 • GovernorSyamsuar (PAN)
 • Vice-governorEdy Natar Nasution
Area
 • Total87,023.66 km2 (33,600.02 sq mi)
Area rank7th
Elevation
10 m (30 ft)
Highest elevation
1,091 m (3,579 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Population
 (2017)[1][2]
 • Total6,657,900
 • Rank10th
 • Density77/km2 (200/sq mi)
 • Density rank24th
Demonym(s)Riauan
Warga Riau (id)
Kaum Riau (ms)
Demographics
 • Ethnic groupsMalay (33.28%), Javanese (29.20%), Batak (12.55%), Minangkabau (12.29%), Chinese (4.13%), others (8.55%)[3]
 • ReligionIslam (89.27%), Protestantism (7.87%), Buddhism (1.84%), Roman Catholicism (1.06%), Confucianism (0.08%), Hinduism (0.07%)
 • LanguagesIndonesian (official)
Malay, Minangkabau, Hokkien (regional)
Time zoneUTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
Postcodes
28xxx, 29xxx
Area codes(62)6xx, (62)76x
ISO 3166 codeID-RI
Vehicle signBM
GRP per capitaUS$ 9,252.17
GRP rank3rd
HDIIncrease 0.724 (High)
HDI rank6th (2018)
Websitewww.riau.go.id

Riau allegedly has been inhabited since the period between 10,000-40.000 BC. Between 5th to 12th century AD, traders and merchants from the Indian Subcontinent visited the region to trade with the local people, spreading Hinduism and Buddhism in the process. Therefore, Riau was under the control of several Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms such as the Melayu Kingdom and the Srivijaya empire. In the 14th century, Muslim traders from India and the Arabian Peninsula visited the region, beginning the spread of Islam in the region. By the end of the 14th century, Hindu and Buddhist influence are waning, while Islam influence are growing, leading to the dissolution of many Hindu-Buddhist Kingdoms in Riau. Those kingdoms who still existed transformed itself into a Islamic Sultanates. By the 16th century, there are three great Malay sultanates in the region, namely the Siak Sri Indrapura Sultanate, Indragiri Sultanates and the Johor Sultanate, the latter which would split in the 19th century into the modern Johor Sultanate in the Malay peninsula and the Riau-Lingga Sultanate in the Riau Archipelago. However, by that time Europeans began frequenting the region. first the Portuguese, then the Dutch and the British. In 1824, the Dutch and British agreed to divide the sphere of influence in the region, with the Malay peninsula falling under the British and Sumatra falling under the Dutch. Soon afterwards, the power of the sultanates in the region began to wane. The sultanates soon became protectorate of the Dutch and was reduced to nothing but a puppet states of the Dutch East Indies, with the Dutch having the authority to intervene in the everydays affair. This happens until 1942, when the Japanese invaded and occupied Riau during the Pacific theater of World War II. After three years of occupation which was marked by atrocities and war crimes, the Japanese surrendered in 1945. The Dutch soon returned to assume control of the region, but left in 1949 after the Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference, in which the Dutch agreed to transfer sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies to the Republic of Indonesia. Since then, Riau has been part of the unitary state of Indonesia.

Since the 1970s, much of Indonesia has experienced a decline in population growth rates. Riau has been a significant exception, with increasing rates every decade since 1970 to a 4.35 percent annual rise for the 1990s;[4] however, this rate slowed significantly during the subsequent decade. The provincial population was 5,538,367 at the 2010 census,[5] and according to the estimate for January 2014 this had risen to 6,358,636.

Contents

HistoryEdit

EtymologyEdit

There are three possible origins of the word riau which became the name of this province. First, from the Portuguese word, "rio" which means river.[6][7] In 1514, there was a Portuguese military expedition that traced the Siak River, in order to find the location of a kingdom they believed existed in the area, and at the same time to pursue followers of Sultan Mahmud Shah who fled after the fall of the Malacca Sultanate.[8]

The second version claims that riau comes from the word riahi which means sea water. The word is allegedly derived from the figure of Sinbad al-Bahar in the book of the One Thousand and One Nights.[7]

The third version mentions that this word comes from the local people's speech, lifted from the word rioh or boisterous, which means crowded, frenzied working people. Perhaps this name is derived from the naming of local people, the Malays who live in the Bintan area, which is now located in the Riau Islands. The name is likely to have become famous since Raja Kecil moved the Malay kingdom center from Johor to Ulu Riau in 1719.[7] This name was used as one of the four main sultanates that formed the kingdoms of Riau, Lingga, Johor and Pahang. However, as the consequences of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 between the Netherlands and United Kingdom, the Johor-Pahang sultanates fell under British influence, while the Riau-Lingga sultanates fell under Dutch influence.[9][10]

Pre-historic eraEdit

 
Muara Takus temple in Kampar, believed to be the remnant of the Srivijaya Empire.

Riau is thought to have been inhabited since the time between 10,000-40,000 BC. This conclusion was taken after the discovery of tools from the Pleistosine era in the Sengingi River area in Kuantan Singingi Regency in August 2009. Stone tools were found, among others, ax, axle, drawstring, shale and core stone axes which are the basic ingredients of making drawstring tools and shale. The research team also found some wood fossils predicted to be older than the stone tools. It is suspected the one who use these tools are the pithecanthropus erectus as they have been found in Sangiran, Central Java. The discovery of this evidence proves that there is an older life in Riau which has always referred to the discovery of the Muara Takus Temple in Kampar as its starting point.[11][12]

The Malay kingdoms in Riau was at first based on the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire. This is proof of the discovery of the Muara Takus Temple which is thought to be the center of the Srivijaya government in Riau, which architecturally resembles those temples that can be found in India. In addition, French historian George Cœdès also discovered the similarity of the Srivijaya governmental structure and the Malay sultanates of the 15th century.[13] The earliest text that deals with the Malay world is Sulalatus Salatin or known as the Malay Annals by Tun Sri Lanang, in 1612.[14] According to the annals, Bukit Seguntang in modern-day Palembang in South Sumatra is the place where Sang Sapurba came to the world and his descendants would scatter throughout the Malay world. His descendants such as Sang Mutiara would became king in Tanjungpura and Sang Nila Utama would became king in Bintan before finally moving to Singapura.[15] Before the arrival of Islam to the archipelago, many parts of the Riau region were under the Srivijaya Empire between the 7th to the 14th century which was greatly influenced by the Hindu-Buddhist tradition.[16] At that time Islam was already introduced to the region when the Maharaja of Srivijaya sent a letter to Caliph Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz of the Umayyad Caliphate in Egypt, which contained a request to send a messenger to introduce the Islamic law to him.[17]

Islamic SultanatesEdit

 
The Siak Sri Indrapura Palace in Siak. Riau was once the seat of many great Malay sultanates

In the 12th century, the entry of Islam into the archipelago was carried through the Samudera Pasai Sultanate in Aceh which was the first and recognized as the pioneer of the Islamic sultanates in the archipelago of during its heyday.[18] The process of the spread of Islam occurred through trade, marriage and missionary activities of Muslim clerics. These factors led to the spread of peace and the growth of Islamic influence throughout the Malay world. The strong factor of acceptance of Islam by Malay people is the aspect of human equality, which according to the ideology of society at that time adhered to the caste system in Hinduism, where lower class caste people were lower than members of higher castes.[19]

The golden age of Islam in the region is when Malacca became an Islamic sultanate. Many elements of Islamic law, including political and administrative sciences are incorporated into Malacca law, especially the Udang-Undang Melaka (Law of Melaka). The ruler of Melaka received the title 'Sultan' and was responsible for Islam in his kingdom. In the 15th century, Islam spread and developed throughout the Melaka region including the entire Malay Peninsula, Riau Islands, Bintan, Lingga and several areas on the eastern coast of Sumatra, namely Jambi, Bengkalis, Siak, Rokan, Indragiri, Kampar, and Kuantan. Malacca is considered a catalyst in the expansion of Islam into other areas such as Palembang, Sumatra, Patani in southern Thailand, North Kalimantan, Brunei and Mindanao.[20]

Acording to the journals of the Portuguese explorer Tomé Pires between 1513-1515, Siak is an area that lies between Arcat and Indragiri which he calls a port city under a Minangkabau king,[21] then became a Malacca vassal before being conquered by the Portuguese. Since the fall of Malacca into the hands of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the Johor Sultanate has claimed Siak as part of its sovereignty territory. This continued until the arrival of Sultan Abdul Jalil Rahmat Shah or Raja Kecil who later founded the Siak Sultanate.[22] In the Syair Perang Siak, it is told that Raja Kecil was asked to become the ruler of Siak for the consensus of the people in Bengkalis. This aims to release Siak from the influence of the Johor Sultanate.[23] While according to the Hikayat Siak, Raja Kecil was also called the true inheritor of the throne of the Sultan of Johor who lost the power struggle.[24] Based on the correspondence of the Sultan Indermasyah with the Dutch Governor-General in Malacca at that time, it was mentioned that Sultan Abdul Jalil was his brother who was sent for business affairs with the VOC.[25] Sultan Abdul Jalil then wrote a letter addressed to the Dutch, calling himself the Raja Kecil of Pagaruyung, that he would take revenge for the death of the Sultan of Johor.[26]

In 1718, Raja Kecil succeded in conquering the Johor Sultanate, at the same time crowning himself as the Sultan of Johor with the title Yang Dipertuan Besar Johor.[22] But in 1722, a rebellion led by Raja Sulaiman who is the son of the former Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah IV who also demanded the right to the throne of Johor. With the help of Bugis mercenaries, Raja Sulaiman then succeeded in seizing the throne of Johor, and established himself as the ruler of Johor in Peninsular Malaysia, crowning himself as Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah of Johor, while Raja Kecil moved to Bintan and in 1723 established a new government center on the bank of the Siak River with the name Siak Sri Inderapura.[23] While the center of the Johor government which had been around the estuary of the Johor River was abandoned, and became the status quo of each of the warring rulers. Whereas the claim of Raja Kecil as the legitimate heir to the throne of Johor, was recognized by the Orang Laut community. The Orang Laut is a Malay sub-group that resides in the Riau Islands region that stretches from east Sumatra to the South China Sea, and this loyalty continues until the collapse of the Siak Sultanate.[27]

By the late 18th century, the Siak Sultanate had become the dominant power on the eastern coast of Sumatra. In 1780, the Siak Sultanate conquered the Langkat area, and made the area its protectorate, including the Deli and Serdang areas.[28][29] Under the ties of a cooperation agreement with the VOC, in 1784 the Siak Sultanate helped the VOC attack and subdue the Selangor Sultanate.[30] Previously they had collaborated to quell the Raja Haji Fisabilillah rebellion on Penyengat Island.

The Siak Sultanate took advantage of the trade supervision through the Straits of Melaka, as well as the ability to control pirates in the region. The progress of Siak's economy can be seen from the Dutch records which stated that in 1783 there were around 171 merchant ships making a voyage from Siak to Malacca.[31] Siak is a trading triangle between the Netherlands in Malacca and the United Kingdom on Penang.[32] But on the other hand, the glory of Siak gave jealousy to the descendants of Yang Dipertuan Muda, especially after the loss of their power in the Riau Islands region. The attitude of dislike and hostility towards the Sultan of Siak, seen in the Tuhfat al-Nafis, where in the description of the story they describe the Sultan of Siak as "a person who is greedy for the wealth of the world".[33]

The dominance of the Siak Sultanate towards the eastern coast of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula was quite significant. They were able to replace the influence of Johor before on the control of the trade route in the Strait of Malacca. In addition, the Siak Sultanate also emerged as a key holder of the Minangkabau highland, through three main rivers, namely Siak, Kampar, and Kuantan, which had previously been the key to the glory of Malacca. However, the progress of Siak's economy faded along with the emergence of turmoil in the Minangkabau interior known as the Padri War.[34]

Colonial RuleEdit

 
A painting of Riouw, Dutch East Indies, painted between 1859 and 1861

The expansion of Dutch colonialization into the eastern part of Sumatra caused the influence of the Siak Sultanate to wane, leading to the independence of the Deli Sultanate, the Asahan Sultanate, the Langkat Sultanate, and Inderagiri Sultanate.[35] Likewise in Johor, where a sultan of the descendants of Tumenggung Johor was crowned, and was under British protection in Singapore.[36][37] While the Dutch restored the position of the Yang Dipertuan Muda on Penyengat Island, and later established the Riau-Lingga Sultanate on Lingga Island. In addition, the Netherlands also reduced the territory of Siak, by establishing the Residency of Riouw (Dutch: Residentie Riouw) which was part of the Dutch East Indies government based in Tanjung Pinang.[38][39][40]

British control of the Straits of Melaka, prompted the Sultan of Siak in 1840 to accept the offer of a new treaty to replace the agreement they had made earlier in 1819. This agreement made the Siak Sultanate area smaller and sandwiched between other small kingdoms which were protected by Britain.[41] Likewise, the Dutch made the sultanate a protectorate of the Dutch East Indies government,[42] after forcing the Sultan of Siak to sign an agreement on 1 February 1858.[43][34] From the agreement, the sultanate lost its sovereignty, then in every appointment of a new sultan, the sultanate must get approval from the Netherlands. Furthermore, under regional supervision, the Dutch established a military post in Bengkalis and banned the Sultan of Siak from making agreements with foreign parties without the approval of the Dutch East Indies government.[34]

 
Sultan Syarif Kasim II was the last sultan of the Siak Sultanate before being abolished. After Indonesia proclaimed independence, he ceded Siak Sultanate to be part of a united Indonesia.

Changes in the political map over the control of the Malacca Strait, then the internal disputes of Siak and competition with Britain and the Netherlands, weakened the influence of the Siak Sultanate's hegemony over the territories it had once conqured.[44] A tug of war between the interests of foreign forces can be seen in the Anglo-Dutch Treaties of 1870–71 between the British and the Dutch, made Siak in a dilemmatic position, and also in a weak bargaining position.[45] Then based on the agreement on July 26, 1873, the Dutch East Indies government forced the Sultan of Siak to hand over the Bengkalis area to the Riouw Residency.[46] But in the midst of this pressure, the Siak Sultanate still remained until Indonesia's independence, even though during the Japanese occupation most of the military power of the Siak Sultanate was no longer significant.[47]

At almost the same time, The Indragiri Sultanate also began to be influenced by the Dutch, but eventually only really came under the control of Batavia in 1938. Dutch control of Siak later became the beginning of the outbreak of the Aceh War.

On the coast, the Dutch moved quickly to abolish the sultanates that were still not submissive to Batavia. The Dutch appointed a resident in Tanjung Pinang to supervise coastal areas, and the Dutch succeeded in impeaching the Sultan of Riau-Lingga, Sultan Abdul Rahman Muazzam Syah in February 1911.[48]

Japanese occupationEdit

During the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East indies, Riau became one of the main targets to be occupied. The Japanese army occupied Rengat on March 31, 1942.[49] All of Riau was quickly subject to Japanese rule. One of the relics of the Japanese occupation is the 220 km railway line that connects Muaro Sijunjung in West Sumatra and Pekanbaru, also known as the Pekanbaru Death Railway which is now abandoned. Hundreds of thousands of Riau people were forced to work by the Japanese army to complete this project.[50][51][52] Japan led the construction of 220 km of railroad from Pekanbaru to the Malacca Strait using forced labor and prisoners of war. This development was carried out for 15 months through mountains, swamps and fast-flowing rivers.[53] As many as 6,500 Dutch prisoners of war (mostly Indo-Europeans) and British plus more than 100,000 romusha Indonesians (mostly Javanese) were mobilized by the Japanese military. When the project was completed in August 1945, almost one third of European prisoners of war and more than half of Indonesian porters died. The railroad is intended as a medium for transporting coal and soldiers from Pekanbaru to Muaro Sijunjung on the west of Sumatra. Construction of the railroad was completed on August 15, 1945, when the Japanese surrender This railroad was only used once to bring prisoners of war out of the area, and then abandoned.[54]

Independence and Contemporary eraEdit

At the beginning of Indonesia's independence, the former Riau Residency area was merged and incorporated in the Sumatra Province based in Bukittinggi. Along with the crackdown on PRRI sympathizers, Central Sumatra was further divided into three provinces, namely North Sumatra, Central Sumatra, and South Sumatra. At that time, Central Sumatra became the strongest base of the PRRI, this situation caused the central government to develop a strategy to break Central Sumatra in order to weaken the PRRI movement.[55] Subsequently in 1957, based on Emergency Law Number 19 of 1957,[56] Central Sumatra was divided into three provinces, namely Riau, Jambi and West Sumatra. Then what became the newly formed Riau province is the former Siak Sri Sultanate area of Inderapura and Riau Residency as well as the Kampar which was previously occupied during the occupation of the Japanese army in the Rhio Shu area.

Riau had become one of the areas influenced by the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia in the late 1950s. The central government held Operation Tegas under the leadership of Kaharuddin Nasution, who later became governor of the province, and succeeded in quelling the remnants of PRRI sympathizers.[57]

After the security situation gradually recovered, the central government began to consider moving the provincial capital from Tanjung Pinang to Pekanbaru, which is geographically located in the middle part of the province. The government finally established Pekanbaru as the new provincial capital on January 20, 1959 through Kepmendagri No. December 52 / I / 44-25.[58]

After the fall of the Old Order, Riau became one of the pillars of the New Order's economic development which was stretched back.[59] In 1944, NPPM geologist Richard H. Hopper and Toru Oki and their team discovered the largest oil well in Southeast Asia, namely in Minas, Siak. This well was originally named Minas No. 1. Minas is famous for its Sumatra Light Crude (SLC) oil which is good and has low sulfur content.[60] In the early 1950s, new oil wells were found in Minas, Duri, Bengkalis, Pantaicermin, and Petapahan. Petroleum exploitation in Riau began in the Siak Block in September 1963, with the signing of a work contract with PT California Texas Indonesia (now Chevron Pacific Indonesia).[61] This province had been relied upon as a contributor to 70 percent of Indonesia's oil production in the 1970s.[62]

Riau was also the main destination for the transmigration program launched by the Suharto administration. Many families from Java have moved to newly opened oil palm plantations in Riau, thus forming a separate community which is now quite significant.[63]

In 1999, Saleh Djasit was elected as the second native Riaunese (besides Arifin Achmad) and first elected by the Provincial House of Representatives as governor. In 2003, former Regent of Indragiri Hilir, Rusli Zainal, was elected governor, and was re-elected through direct elections by the people in 2008. Starting on February 19, 2014, Riau Province was officially led by the governor, Annas Maamun. Just leading 7 months, Annas Maamun was deposed after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Annas Maamun's hand in a case of land use change in Kuantan Singingi Regency.

GeographyEdit

Geographically, Riau which has thousands of cities in Pekanbaru is located at position 02 ° 25 'LU-01 ° 15 ° LS and 100 ° 03'-104 ° 00' BT. The area is quite extensive and is located in the central part of Sumatra. Riau is directly adjacent to North Sumatra and the Straits of Malacca in the north, Jambi to the south, West Sumatra to the west and the Riau Islands in the east. The province shares maritime borders with Singapore and Malaysia.

In general, the geography of Riau consists of mountains, lowlands, and islands. The mountain area lies in the western part, namely the Bukit Barisan Mountains, near the border of West Sumatra. The elevation decreases towards the east, making most of the central and eastern part of the province covered with lowlands. Off the eastern coast lies the Strait of Malacca where several island lies.

ClimateEdit

In general, Riau Province has a wet tropical climate that is influenced by two seasons, namely the rainy and dry seasons. The average rainfall received by Riau Province is between 2,000 - 3,000 mm / year with an average annual rainfall of 160 days. The areas that received the most rain were Rokan Hulu Regency and Pekanbaru City. Meanwhile, the area that received the least rainfall was Siak Regency.

The average air temperature of Riau is 25.9 ° C with maximum temperatures reaching 34.4 ° C and minimum temperatures reach 20.1 ° C. The highest temperature occurs in urban areas on the coast. On the contrary, the lowest temperature covers the high mountains and mountains. Air humidity can reach an average of 75%. Slightly different for the island region in the eastern region is also influenced by the characteristics of the sea climate.

Climate data for Pekanbaru
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36
(97)
37
(99)
37
(99)
38
(100)
37
(99)
40
(104)
37
(99)
38
(100)
37
(99)
37
(99)
34
(93)
38
(100)
40
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
(87.8)
31.6
(88.9)
32.1
(89.8)
32.5
(90.5)
32.6
(90.7)
32.2
(90.0)
32.0
(89.6)
32.0
(89.6)
31.9
(89.4)
32.0
(89.6)
31.7
(89.1)
31.2
(88.2)
31.9
(89.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.4
(79.5)
26.7
(80.1)
27.1
(80.8)
27.5
(81.5)
27.6
(81.7)
27.2
(81.0)
26.9
(80.4)
26.9
(80.4)
26.9
(80.4)
27.0
(80.6)
26.9
(80.4)
26.6
(79.9)
27.0
(80.6)
Average low °C (°F) 21.8
(71.2)
21.9
(71.4)
22.2
(72.0)
22.6
(72.7)
22.7
(72.9)
22.2
(72.0)
21.9
(71.4)
21.9
(71.4)
22.0
(71.6)
22.0
(71.6)
22.2
(72.0)
22.1
(71.8)
22.1
(71.8)
Record low °C (°F) 18
(64)
18
(64)
21
(70)
17
(63)
21
(70)
19
(66)
16
(61)
18
(64)
20
(68)
13
(55)
21
(70)
20
(68)
13
(55)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 240
(9.4)
199
(7.8)
262
(10.3)
257
(10.1)
203
(8.0)
133
(5.2)
123
(4.8)
177
(7.0)
224
(8.8)
280
(11.0)
312
(12.3)
286
(11.3)
2,696
(106)
Source #1: Climate-Data.org (average temps and precip)[64]
Source #2: Weatherbase (extremes)[65]

As in most other province of Indonesia, Riau has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) bordering on a tropical monsoon climate. The climate is very much dictated by the surrounding sea and the prevailing wind system. It has high average temperature and high average rainfall.

EcologyEdit

 
Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu biosphere reserves

Forest cover in Riau has declined from 78% in 1982 to only 33% in 2005.[66] This has been further reduced an average of 160,000 hectares on average per year, leaving 22%, or 2.45 million hectares left as of 2009.[67] Fires associated with deforestation have contributed to serious haze over the province and cities to the East, such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [68][69][70]

Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Indonesia, is a peatland area in Sumatra featuring sustainable timber production and two wildlife reserves, which are home to the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Malayan tapir, and Malayan sun bear. Research activities in the biosphere include the monitoring of flagship species and in-depth study on peatland ecology. Initial studies indicate a real potential for sustainable economic development using native flora and fauna for the economic benefit of local inhabitants.

Cagar Biosfer Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu (CB-GSK-BB) is one of seven Biosphere Reserves in Indonesia. They are located in two areas of Riau Province, Bengkalis and Siak. CB-GSK-BB is a trial presented by Riau at the 21st Session of the International Coordinating Council of Man and the Biosphere (UNESCO) in Jeju, South Korea, on 26 May 2009. CB-GSK-BB is one of 22 proposed locations in 17 countries accepted as reserves for the year. A Biosphere Reserve is the only internationally recognised concept of environmental conservation and cultivation. Thus the supervision and development of CB-GSK-BB is a worldwide concern at a regional level.

CB-GSK-BB is a unique type of Peat Swamp Forest in the Kampar Peninsula Peat Forest (with a small area of swamp). Another peculiarity is that the CB-GSK-BB was initiated by private parties in co-operation with the government through BBKSDA (The Center for the Conservation of Natural Resources), including the notorious conglomerate involved in forest destruction, Sinar Mas Group, owning the largest paper and pulp company in Indonesia.

GovernmentEdit

The Province of Riau is led by a governor who is elected directly with his representative for a 5-year term. In addition to being a regional government, the Governor also acts as a representative or extension of the central government in the province, whose authority is regulated in Law No. 32 of 2004 and Government Regulation number 19 of 2010.

While the relationship between the provincial government and the regency and city governments is not a sub-ordinate, each of these regional governments governs and manages government affairs according to the principle of autonomy and co-administration.

Administrative DivisionsEdit

Riau Province is subdivided into ten regencies (kabupaten) and two autonomous cities (kota), listed below with their areas and their populations at the 2010 Census and according to the latest (January 2014) estimates.

Name Area (km2) Population
census 2010
Population
estimate 2014
Capital HDI [71]
2014 estimates
Dumai City 1,623.38 253,803 291,393 Dumai 0.718 (High)
Pekanbaru City 632.27 897,767 1,093,416 Pekanbaru 0.784 (High)
Bengkalis Regency 6,976.41 498,336 572,143 Bengkalis 0.708 (High)
Indragiri Hulu Regency 7,723.80 363,442 417,270 Rengat 0.671 (Medium)
Indragiri Hilir Regency 12,614.78 661,779 759,793 Tembilahan 0.638 (Medium)
Kampar Regency 10,983.47 688,204 790,132 Bangkinang 0.707 (High)
Kepulauan Meranti Regency
(Meranti Islands)
3,707.84 176,290 202,400 Selat Panjang 0.629 (Medium)
Kuantan Singingi Regency 5,259.36 292,116 335,380 Teluk Kuantan 0.674 (Medium)
Pelalawan Regency 12,758.45 301,829 346,532 Pangkalan Kerinci 0.686 (Medium)
Rokan Hulu Regency 7,588.13 474,843 545,170 Pasir Pangaraian 0.670 (Medium)
Rokan Hilir Regency 8,851.59 553,216 635,151 Bagansiapiapi 0.662 (Medium)
Siak Regency 8,275.18 376,742 432,540 Siak Sri Indrapura 0.714 (High)


DemographicsEdit

The total population of Riau spread in 12 regencies/cities as of June 2016 reached 5,921,987 people consisting of 3,053,043 male inhabitants and 2,868,944 female inhabitants. Based from the population per regency/city, the largest population is in Pekanbaru City with 441,554 male population and 428,477 female. While the smallest number of population is in the Kepulauan Meranti Regency with as many as 106,269 people are male and 98,700 are female. When viewed from the two regencies/cities which have the largest and smallest population in Riau Province, the comparison of many male population is more dominant than the female population.[72]

 
A traditional Malay wedding replica in Museum Sang Nila Utama, Pekanbaru. Malay forms the majority of the population in Riau.

Ethnic groupsEdit

Ethnic groups in Riau (2015)[3]
Ethnic Percent
Malay
33.28%
Javanese
29.20%
Batak
12.55%
Minangkabau
12.29%
Chinese
4.13%
Others
8.55%

Riau is considered a very ethnically diverse province. As of 2015, the ethnic groups in Riau consist of Malays (37.74%), Javanese (25.05%), Minangkabau (11.26%), Batak (7.31%), Banjar (3.78%), Chinese (3.72%), and Bugis (2.27%).[3] The Malays are the largest ethnic group with a composition of 37.74% of the entire population of Riau. They generally come from coastal areas in Rokan Hilir, Dumai, Bengkalis, Pulau Meranti, up to Pelalawan, Siak, Inderagiri Hulu and Inderagiri Hilir. Riau was once the seat of great Malays sultanates, such as the Sultanate of Siak Sri Indrapura and the Riau-Lingga Sultanate.

There is also a sizable population Minangkabau people living in Riau, mostly in the areas bordering West Sumatra, such as Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Kuantan Singingi, and part of Inderagiri Hulu. Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau, has a Minangkabau majority, since it was once one of the Minangkabau rantau (migration) area. Many Minang in Pekanbaru have lived there for generations and has since assimilated into the Malay community.[73] Most Minang in Riau generally work as merchants and live in urban areas such as Pekanbaru, Bangkinang, Duri, and Dumai.

There are many other ethnic groups migrating from other province of Indonesia, such as the Batak Mandailing people who mostly lives in areas bordering North Sumatra such as Rokan Hulu.[74] Most of the Mandailing people now identify themselves as Malay rather than as Minangkabau or Batak. In the 19th century, the Banjarese of South Kalimantan and the Bugis of South Sulawesi also began arriving in Riau to seek better lives. Most of them settled in the Indragiri Hilir areas, especially around Tembilahan.[75][76] The opening of Caltex oil mining company in the 1940s in Rumbai, encouraged people from throughout the country to migrate to Riau.

There are sizeable Javanese and Sundanese population in Riau. Javanese forms the second-largest ethnic group in the province, forming 25.05% of the total population. Most of them migrated to Riau due to the transmigration program dating from the Dutch East Indies and continued during the Soeharto administration. The majority of them lives in transmigration communities spread throughout the region.

Likewise, the Chinese people are generally similar to the Minangkabau as many of them also work as merchants. Many Riau Chinese lives in the capital Pekanbaru, and many can also found in coastal areas in the east such as Bagansiapiapi, Selatpanjang, Rupat and Bengkalis. Most of the Chinese people in Riau are Hoklo people, whose ancestors migrated from Quanzhou in modern-day Fujian from the early 19th-century to the mid 20th-century. Some of the Riau Chinese has migrated to other parts of Indonesia, such as Medan and Jakarta, to seek better life opportunities, while some have also migrated to other countries such as Singapore and Taiwan.[77]

There are also some groups of indigenous people who live in rural areas and riverbanks, such as the Sakai, Akit, Talang Mamak and Orang Laut. Some of them still leading the nomadic and Hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the remote interior of Riau, while most settled into major cities and towns in with the rise of industrialisation.[78]

LanguageEdit

The people of Riau generally uses the local dialect of Malay and Indonesian, the official language of Indonesia. Malay is commonly used in coastal areas such as Rokan Hilir, Bengkalis, Dumai, Pelalawan, Siak, Indragiri Hulu, Indragiri Hilir and around the islands off the coast of Riau.[79]

The dialect of Malay spoken in Riau is considered by linguists to have one of the least complex grammars among the languages of the world, apart from creoles, possessing neither noun declensions, temporal distinctions, subject/object distinctions, nor singular/plural distinction. For example, the phrase Ayam makan (lit. 'chicken eat') can mean, in context, anything from 'the chicken is eating', to 'I ate some chicken', 'the chicken that is eating' and 'when we were eating chicken'. A possible reason for this is that Riau Malay has been used as a lingua franca for communication between different people in this area during its history, and extensive foreign-language speaker use of this kind tends to simplify the grammar of a language used.[80] The traditional script in Riau is Jawi (locally known in Indonesia as "Arab-Melayu"), an Arabic-based writing in the Malay language.[81] It is sometimes supposed that Riau Malay is the basis for the modern national language, Indonesian. However, it is instead based on Classical Malay, the court language of Johor-Riau Sultanate[disambiguation needed], based primarily from the one used in the Riau archipelago and the state of Johor, Malaysia, which is distinct from the local mainland Riau dialect.[82] Non-mainstream varieties in Riau include Orang Sakai, Orang Asli, Orang Akit, and Orang Laut.[83]

Riau Malay can be divided into two sub-dialect, namely the inland dialect and the coastal dialect.[84] The inland dialect has phonological features that are similar to Minangkabau, while coastal dialecthas phonological features that are close to Malay in the regions of Selangor, Johor and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (because other Malaysian regions have very different dialects).[84] In addition to various other characteristics, the two subdialects are marked with words which in Indonesian are words that end with vowels /a/; the inland dialect is pronounced with vowel /o/, while in coastal dialect is pronounced with the weak vowel /e/ . Some examples include: /bila/, /tiga/ and /kata/ in Indonesian (if, three and word in English respectively) will be pronounced in inland dialect as /bilo/, /tigo/ and /kato/ respectively. While in the coastal dialect it will be pronounced as /bile/, /tige/ and /kate/ respectively.[84]

The Minangkabau language is widely used the Minangkabau people in Riau, especially in the areas bordering West Sumatra such as Kampar, Kuantan Singingi and Rokan Hulu, which are cultured allied to Minang as well as migrants from West Sumatra.[85] It is also currently being the lingua franca of Pekanbaru, the capital city in addition to Indonesian. The pronunciation of Riau Minangkabau is similar to the Payakumbuh-Batusangkar dialect, even differs from that of other dialects varieties of West Sumatra. Historically, Minangkabau language used in the Pagaruyung highlands is now spoken in the lower Siak river basin following the waves of migraton from West Sumatra.

In addition, Hokkien is also still widely used among the Chinese community, especially those living in Pekanbaru, Selatpanjang, Bengkalis, and Bagansiapiapi. The Hokkien spoken in Riau is known as Riau Hokkien, which is mutually intelligible to the Hokkien spoken by the Malaysian Chinese in Johor, Malaysia. They are both derived from the Quanzhou dialect of Hokkien that originated from the city of Quanzhou in Fujian. Riau Hokkien is slightly mutually unintelligible with Medan Hokkien spoken in Medan since the latter is derived from the Zhangzhou dialect of Hokkien that originated from Zhangzhou, also in Fujian. Presently, Riau Hokkien has incoporated many words from the local language such as Malay and Indonesian

Javanese is spoken by the Javanese people who migrated to the province. While several varieties of Batak is spoken by Batak immigrants from North Sumatra.

ReligionEdit

Religion in Riau (2010)[86]
Religion Percent
Islam
87.98%
Christianity
9.56%
Buddhism
2.06%
Confucianism
0.07%
Hinduism
0.02%
Others
0.31%

Based on the composition of the population of Riau which is full of diversity with different socio-cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds, it is basically an asset for the Riau region itself. The religions embraced by the inhabitants of this province are very diverse, including Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

As of 2015, Islam is the dominant religion in the province, forming 86.87% of the total population. Islam is generally adhered by the ethnic Malays, Javanese, Minangkabau, Banjars, Bugis, Sundanese and some Batak sub-group. Protestantism forms the second-largest religion, forming as many as 9,74%, while Catholics forms as many as 1,02%, Most of the people who adhered to Protestantism and Catholicism are from Batak ethnic groups (specifically Batak Toba, Karo and Simalungun), Nias, Chinese and residents from Eastern Indonesia. Then there is Buddhism which forms around 2,28% of the total population and Confucianism which forms around 0.07% of the total population. Most of the Buddhist and Confucianism are of ethnic Chinese origin. Lastly, about 0,01% of the total population embrace Hinduism, mostly are Balinese and Indonesians of Indian descent.

CultureEdit

As Riau is the homeland of the Malays, the customs and cultures of Riau is mostly based on Malay customs and cultures.

Every Malay family lives in their own house, except for new couples who usually prefer to stay at the wife's house until they have their first child. Therefore their sedentary patterns can be said to be neat. The nuclear family they called genitals generally built a house in the neighborhood where the wife lived. The principle of lineage or kinship is more likely to be parental or bilateral.

Kinship is done with a typical local nicknames. The first child is called long or sulung, the second child is ngah/ongah, below him is called cik, the youngest is called cu/ucu. Usually the nickname is added by mentioning the physical characteristics of the person, for example, if the person is dark-skinned and is a cik or a third child, he will be called cik itam. Another example is when the particular person is a first-born and has a short characteristic. he/she will be called ngah undah. But sometimes when greeting people who are unknown or new to them, they can simply greet them with abang, akak, dek, or nak.[87]

In the past, Malays also lived in groups according to their ancestral origin, which they called tribes. This group of descendants uses a patrilineal kinship line. But the Riau Malays who lived on the mainland Sumatra partially embraced matrilineal tribalism. There are also those who referthe tribe as a hinduk or a cikal bakal. Each tribe is led by a leader. If the tribe lives in a village, then the head will be referred to as Datuk Penghulu Kampung or Kepala Kampung.[88] Each leader is also assisted by several figures such as batin, jenang, tua-tua dan monti. Religious field leaders in the village are known as imam dan khotib.

Traditional dressEdit

 
Typical dress of a Riau Malay couple while enjoying the traditional Gambus.

In Malay culture, clothes and textiles are very important and it signify beauty and power. The Hikayat-Hikayat Melayu mentioned the importance of textile in Malay culture.[89] The history of the Malay woven industry can be traced back to the 13th century when trade routes in the East are rapidly expanding under the role of the Song dynasty. The description of locally-made textiles and the development of the embroidery industry in the Malay peninsula is expressed in several Chinese and Indian records.[89] Among the famous Malay textiles that still exist today are Songket and Batik.

The earliest Malay traditional dress was concise, the woman wearing a sarong that covered the lower body to the chest while the man dressed in short, sleeveless or shorts, with shorts down to the knee level. However, when trade with the outside world flourishes, the way in which the Malay dress begins to gain external influence and becomes more sophisticated. The 15th-century is the peak of the power of the Malacca Sultanate. As told in the Malay Annals, this is where traditional Baju Melayu clothing is created. The strong Islamic influence has transformed the way of dressing the Malays later on features that are matching with Islamic laws. The classic Malay general attire for men consists of shirts, small sacks, sarongs worn at the waist, and a tanjak or tengkolok worn on the head. It is common for a Malay warrior to have a keris tucked into the front fold of sarong. The Malay version of the early women's clothing is also more loose and long. However, it was subsequently renewed and popularized by Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor in the late 19th century, into the form of baju kurung used today.

However, Riau also has some traditional dress that cannot be found in other parts of the Malay world. The Riau traditional dress is not only used for certain occasions. But some of these traditional clothes are functioned as everyday clothes, one of which is daily clothing for children. The children's daily wear used is divided into two types, namely clothes for boys and clothes for girls. For boys' clothes in the customs of the Riau people, they are called baju monyet (Monkey clothes). This outfit is combined with the type of trousers that are responsible, and complete with a kopiah or rectangular shaped cloth as a head covering. While for everyday clothes for girls is baju kurung with floral motifs. This outfit is combined with a wide skirt with a hijab or tudong. The daily clothes of Riau people are commonly used for reciting or for studying.

For the people of Riau who are adults, they wear distinctive clothing and are also very close to religious and cultural values. For males, they use clothing called Baju Kurung Cekak Musang. Namely, clothes like Muslim clothing are combined with loose trousers. This shirt is used together with sarong and kopiah.

For Malay women, they can wear 3 different types of clothing, namely the Baju Kebaya Pendek, Baju Kurung Laboh, and Baju Kurung Tulang Belut. The different clothes are used in conjunction with a shawl cloth that is used as a head covering. In addition, women's clothing can also be combined with a hijab or tudong.

Traditional HouseEdit

 
Rumah Melayu Lipat Kajang in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta

In traditional Malay societies, the house is an intimate building that can be used as a family dwelling, a place of worship, a heritage site, and a shelter for anyone in need. Therefore, traditional Malay houses are generally large. In addition to the large size, the Malay house is also always in the form of a rumah panggung or stage house, facing the sunrise. The types of Malay houses include residential houses, offices, place of worship and warehouses. The naming of the houses is tailored to the function of each building. In general, there are five types of Riau Malay traditional houses, namely the Balai Salaso Jatuh, Rumah Melayu Atap Lontik, Rumah Adat Salaso Jatuh Kembar, Rumah Melayu Lipat Kajang and Rumah Melayu Atap Limas Potong.

The Balai Salaso Jatuh is usually used for consensus decision-making and other activities. It is rarely used for private homes. In accordance with the functions of the Balai Salaso Jatuh, this building has other local names such as balai panobatan, balirung sari, balai karapatan, etc. Presently, the function of this building has been replaced by a house or a mosque. The building has an alignment, and has a lower floor than the middle room. In addition, Balai Salaso Jatuh is also decorated with various carvings in the form of plants or animals. Each carving in this building has its own designation.

 
Grand Malay house in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta

Rumah Melayu Atap Lontik or Lontiok House can usually be found in Kampar Regency.[90][91] It is called so because this house has a decoration on the front wall of the house in the form of a boat.[91] When viewed from a distance, this house will look like boat houses that are usually made by the local residents. Besides being referred to as lancing and pancalang, this traditional house is also called lontik, since this house has a roof paring that is soaring upwards. This house is heavily influenced on the architecture of the Minangkabau rumah gadang, since Kampar Regency is directly adjacent to the province of West Sumatra. A unique feature of this traditional house is that it has five stair steps. The reason they chose the number five was because this is based on the Five Pillars of Islam.[92] The shape of the pillars in this house also varies, there are rectangles, hexagons, heptagon, octagon and triangles. Each type of pole contained in this traditional house has meaning believed by the people of Riau. A rectangular pole can be interpreted as four corners of the wind, just like an octagon, and the hexagon symbolizes the number of pillars of Islam.

Rumah Salaso Jatuh Kembar was declared an icon and symbol of the province of Riau. The architecture of this house is similar to the Balai Salaso Jatuh, but this house tends to be used for private homes.

 
Balai Adat Tambisai in Rokan Hulu Regency

Rumah Melayu Lipat Kajang can usually found in the Riau Islands and the coastal part of Riau. It is called Lipat Kajangbecause the roof of this house has a shape resembling the shape of a boat. The top of this building is curved upwards and is often referred to lipat kejang or pohon jeramban by the locals. This traditional house is rarely or even no longer used by Riau residents. One reason for the loss of this culture is because of the increasing influence of western architecture, and people consider their building forms to be simpler and easier to build.[93]

Rumah Melayu Atap Limas Potong is the a Malay traditional house that can usually be found in mainland Riau, but rarely in the Riau Islands. This house has a roof that is shaped like a cut pyramid. Like other Riau traditional houses, this house is also included in the rumah panggung group. The stage of this house has a height of about 1.5 meters above the ground. The size of the house depends on the ability and desires of the owner.[94]

Traditional DanceEdit

Most of Riau traditional dances are influenced by Malay cultures, but there are also some dances that are only unique to Riau.

Mak Yong is a traditional theater art of Malay society that is still popular today and is often performed as a drama in an international forum. In the past, mak yong was held by villagers in the rice fields which had finished harvesting rice. The mak yong is performed by a group of professional dancers and musicians who combine

 
A group of men in a state of euphoria during the Zapin Api performance, many of them had visions of a beautiful maiden dancing surrounding the bonfire.

various elements of religious ceremonies, plays, dance, music with vocal or instrumental, and simple texts. The male and female main characters were both performed by female dancers. Other figures that appear in the story are comedians, gods, jinn, courtiers, and animals. mak yong performance is accompanied by musical instruments such as rebab, gendang, and tetawak In Indonesia, the mak yong was developed in Lingga, which was once the center of the Johor-Riau Sultanate[disambiguation needed]. The difference with the mak yong performed in the Kelantan-Pattani region is that they usually does not use masks, as mak yong in Riau uses masks for some of the King's female characters, princesses, criminals, demons, and spirits. At the end of the last century, mak yong not only became a daily show, but also as performance for the sultan.[95]

The tari zapin is a Malay traditional dance originated from the Siak Regency that is entertaining and are full of religious and educational messages. This tari zapin has rules and regulations that cannot be changed. Tari zapin is usually accompanied by traditional Riau musical instruments namely marwas and gambus. This tari zapin shows footwork quickly following the pounding of punches on a small drum called marwas . The rhythmic harmony of the instrument is increasingly melodious with stringed instruments. Because of the influence of the Arabs, this dance does indeed feel educative without losing the entertainment side. There is an insert of a religious message in the song lyrics. Usually the dance is told about the daily lives of Malay people. Initially, tari zapin was only danced by male dancers but along with developments, female dancers were also shown. Sometimes, there are both male and female dancers performing. There is a form of tari zapin performed in Pulau Rupat Utara in Bengkalis called tari zapin api. The identifying characteristic of tari zapin api is the incorporation of fire and strong focus on the mystical elements. The dance form was historically dormant and extinct for nearly 40 years before its revival in 2013.[96]

 
Riau dancers performing the tari persembahan during a welcoming ceremony

Tarian makan sirih is accompanied by distinctive Malay music accompanied by a song titled Makan Sirih. As for the costumes performed by dancers, they usually wore traditional Malay attire, such as pants, clothes, and kopiah for men. Whereas the female dancers wear the clothes that are usually worn by the bride, namely traditional clothes called the baju kurung teluk belanga. At the head, there is a crown equipped with flower-shaped decorations. Meanwhile, the lower part of the dancers' bodies was wrapped in brightly colored songket cloth. Tarian makan sirih is performed by both men and women. The dancers are obliged to understand special terms in Malay dance, such as igal (emphasizing hand and body movements), liuk (movement of bowing or swinging body), lenggang (walking while moving hands), titi batang (walking in a line as if climbing the stem), gentam (dancing while stomping on the feet), cicing (dancing while jogging), legar (dancing while walking around 180 degrees), and so on. During the performance, one of the dancers in the offering dance will bring a box containing betels. The box would then be opened and the guests who are considered the greatest are given the first opportunity to take it as a form of respect, then followed by other guests. Therefore, many people call this dance as tarian makan sirih.[97]

Traditional musicEdit

There are several musical instruments in Riau that is used for ceremonial events.

 
Gendang (drum) from Riau

The traditional Malay accordion is almost the same as the accordion founded by Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann from Germany. accordion includes a musical instrument that is quite difficult to play even though it looks easy. accordion produces diatonic scales that are very in accordance with the song lyrics in the form of rhymes. The accordion player holds the instrument with both hands, then plays the chord buttons with the fingers of the left hand, while the fingers of the right hand play the melody of the song that is being performed. Usually players who have been trained are very easy to change hands. When played, the accordion is pulled and pushed to adjust the air movement inside the instrument, the movement of the air coming out (to the tongue of the accordion) will produce sound. The sound can be adjusted using the player's fingers.

Gambus is a type of traditional Riau musical instrument that is played by picking. Formerly, Gambus was used for events related to spiritual matters. At this time Gambus switched functions to be an accompaniment for the tari zapin. Gambus Riau is played by individuals as entertainment for fishermen on boats who are looking for fish.

Kompang is a type of traditional Riau musical instrument that is quite well known among Malays, Kompang is included in the group of traditional musical instruments which are played by being beaten. In general, kompang uses materials derived from the skin of livestock. Making kompang is more similar to making dhol or other musical instrument or other leather drum that uses animal skin such as buffalo, cattle, and others. Kompang a uses female goat ski on the part that is hit, but now uses a cow which is believed to be more elastic. To produce a loud sound, there is a technique to make the paired skin become very tight and not easily separated from the nail (which can be dangerous when played).

Rebana ubi is a type of Tambourine that is played by being hit by hand. Rebana ubi is included in the drum group as well as percussion instruments. Rebana ubi has a larger size than ordinary tambourines because Rebana ubi has the smallest diameter of 70 cm and a height of 1 meter. Rebana ubi can be hung horizontally or left on the floor to be played. In ancient times, Rebana ubiwas believed to be a tool to spread the news such as the wedding ceremony of local residents or the danger that came (such as strong winds). Rebana ubi is placed in the highlands and beaten with a certain rhythm depending on the information the player wants to convey.

Traditional WeaponEdit

Klewang is a traditional weapon from Riau. klewang is a kind of machete with the tip of an enlarged blade. In the past, klewang was used by royal soldiers when in war. However, in the present, it is more widely used by farmers in their activities in rice fields or as agricultural tools. Because of this function, klewang has remained sustainable compared to other types of traditional Riau weapons.

Beladau is a skewer type weapon found in the culture of Riau society. This weapon is a sharp dagger on one side. what makes this beladau different from the dagger in general is that beladau tends to have curvature at the base of the handle, so the handle is easier to hold and push when used. In accordance with its length of only 24 cm, this traditional Riau weapon is often used as a means of self-protection from melee attacks.

Pedang jenawi is a weapon that was often used by Malay royal warlords when facing their enemies. Its size is quite long, which is about 1 meter making it used in close-range warfare. At a glance, pedang jenawi looks like a typical Japanese katana. Therefore, many historians and cultural experts argue that this weapon originated from ancient Japanese culture which experienced acculturation with Malay culture. Apart from these opinions, what is clear at this time is that pedang jenawi has been regarded as the identity of the Riau Malay community.

Kris is a heritage weapon that has been used for centuries. Not only in Riau, keris is generally used by nobles in Southeast Asia. Kris is a symbol of honor and self-defense. This weapon is used to stab at close range. The position of the kris in history as a symbol of honor is undeniable, that in the kingdom it was clearly seen as a form of self-protection, as well as pride. Even in modern history, the function continues to develop as an object of history, and can also be a determinant of history based on the period of manufacture and the type of material used. Up to now in Riau Malay customs and culture, always cooperating with kris in every dress as a complementary weapon from generation to generation. However, what is different in the form of kris from adat in Java is, if the use of kris in Java is tucked in the back of the waist, in Riau and the Malay people in general the use of kris is in front.

EconomicsEdit

 
Timber industry in Riau has began to grow since the colonial era

The economy of Riau expands faster (8.66% in 2006) than the Indonesian average (6.04% in 2006), and is largely a resource-based economy, including crude oil (600,000 bpd), palm oil, rubber trees and other forest products. Local government income benefits from a greater share of tax revenue (mainly from crude oil) due to the decentralisation law of 2004.[98]The province has natural resources, both riches contained in the bowels of the earth, in the form of oil and gas, as well as gold, as well as forest products and plantations. Along with the implementation of regional autonomy, gradually began to apply the system for results or financial balance between central and local. The new rules provide expressly limits the obligations of investors, resource utilization, and revenue-sharing with the surrounding environment.

Riau's economy in the first quarter of 2017 grew by 2.82 percent, improving compared to the same period in the previous year which grew 2.74 percent (yoy). This growth was supported by growth in almost all businesses, except mining and excavation which contracted 6.72 percent. The highest growth occurred in the Corporate Services Business Field at 9.56 percent, followed by the processing Industry of 7.30 percent, and government administration, defense and obligatory social security of 6.97 percent. Riau's economy in the first quarter of 2017 contracted by 4.88 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. This contraction was influenced by seasonal factors in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Business Field (-5.04 percent). In addition, contractions occur due to a decrease in several business fields, including: Mining and Excavation (-3.50 percent); Processing Industry (-5.41 percent); Large Trade and Retail, Car and Motorcycle Repair (-2.46 percent); and Construction (-8.94 percent).[99]

Energy and Natural ResourcesEdit

The energy and mineral resources sector is one sector that plays a major role in the development of the province. The leading commodities in the energy and mineral resources sector in Riau include electricity and mining.[100]

Electricity is an important commodity for human life at this time. Without electricity, almost certainly many construction sectors will be paralyzed. Most of the electricity in Riau Province is still supplied by the Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

From 2013 to 2015, the electricity capacity produced was 114 Kva/Kwh in hydropower, 94.6 Kva/Kwh in diesel power and 131.2 Kva/Kwh in the gas power. The amount of this electricity capacity does not increase or shrink as well as the number of power generating units. Throughout Riau Province there are 1 unit of hydroelectric power plants, 65 units of diesel power plants and 6 units of gas power plants.[100]

FarmingEdit

The agricultural sector is also one of the factors that play a role in the economic development of Riau. The main commodities of agriculture are rice, corn and soybeans. In addition, other agricultural products which are commodities of Riau Province are peanuts, green beans, cassava and sweet potatoes. In 2015, rice production in Riau reached 393,917 tons of milled dry grain. The production was calculated to increase by 2.2 percent compared to production in 2014. The increase in production was influenced by the increase in the harvested area of 107,546 hectares which increased by around 1,509 hectares (1.42%) compared to the previous year. In addition, rice productivity also increased by around 0.26 quintal / hectare or around 0.71%.[100]

While the increase occurred in corn production, which amounted to 30,870 tons of dry shelled rice, this production increased by around 7.75 percent or 2,219 tons of dry shelled rice. This increase can be affected because of an increase in the area of maize production by 368 hectares (3.1%) compared to the production area in 2014 of 12,057 hectares. The increase also occurred in corn productivity in 2015 amounting to 1.09 quintal / hectare from 2014 or around 4.59%.[100]

Soybean production also decreased in 2015 by 187 tons of dry beans (8.02%) from soybean production in 2014. The decrease in production was influenced by the harvested area of 1,516 hectares which decreased by around 514 hectares (25.32%). However, soybean productivity increased by 2.66 quintal / hectare or 23.15% compared to the previous year.

In 2015, peanut production was lower than in previous years. This production fell by 8.39 percent compared to 2014 and 16.65 percent compared to 2013. The decline in production was influenced by the declining area of peanut farming compared to 2013 and 2014, each of 18.41 percent and 9.23 percent .[100]

In 2015, green beans production was lower than in previous years. This production fell by 7.28 percent compared to 2014 and 3.39 percent compared to 2013. The decline in production was influenced by the decline in the area of green beans compared to 2013 and 2014, respectively 1.53 percent and 3.67 percent.[100]

In addition, cassava production also experienced a decline in 2015 of 11.89 percent compared to 2014. Actually, cassava production had increased in 2014 by 14.08 percent. This decrease in production was also influenced by the decline in cassava farming area by 11.61 compared to 2014.

In the last three years, sweet potato production in 2015 was the lowest. This yield fell by 5.36 percent in 2014 and again fell by 18.05 percent. As before, the decline in production was also influenced by the declining area of sweet potato farming by 4.96 percent in 2014 and 18.83 percent in 2015.[100]

FishingEdit

One of Riau's leading commodities is the fisheries sector. The geographical condition of Riau where 17.40% of the total area is an oceanic area and there are 15 rivers making the fisheries sector well developed. In addition, the vast extent of untapped land is a great potential for inland aquaculture to develop. In addition, the market demand for fishery products has increasingly made the catchment sector not enough so that fish farming activities such as cages, ponds, public fisheries and ponds are well developed.[100]

Riau fisheries production mostly comes from marine fisheries. In 2015, the data showed that marine fisheries were 106,233.1 tons or decreased 1 percent from the previous year. In addition, the number of fishery households decreased to 14,610 households, an increase of 0.98 percent. In addition, there was also a decline in the number of fishing vessels as many as 123 units.

The land fishery product processing industry can be divided into four types, namely floating nets, ponds, public fisheries and ponds. In 2015, fish production from floating nets was 5,378.56 tons or decreased by 82.52 percent. This decrease was caused by a decrease in the number of floating nets as many as 157,638 units. Fish production in public fisheries also decreased by 3.9 percent due to a decrease in the number of households. Fish pond production increased by 5,425.2 tons or 10.8 percent. Temporary data on fish pond production showed a drastic decrease of 82.23 percent even though the number of fish ponds increased by 89.15 hectares compared to 2014.[100]

StockbreedingEdit

Along with increasing public consumption needs for livestock products, both in terms of consumption of livestock meat and other livestock products, such as milk and eggs, the Riau provincial government through the Agriculture and Livestock Service Office continues to try to meet these needs. In addition to the commitment of Riau province to increase food self-sufficiency in 2020, the number of animal populations continues to be increased to meet consumption needs. This is reflected in the increase in some aspects of livestock in Riau in the last 3 years.[100]

Agriculture and plantationEdit

 
Palm oil construction in Riau, 2007

Plantation growing is rubber and oil palm plantations, either run by the state or by the people. There is also a citrus and coconut plantations. For oil palm plantation area currently Riau province has a land area of 1:34 million hectares. In addition there have been about 116 palm oil mills (PKS) which operates with the production of coconut palm oil (CPO) 3.3868 million tons per year.

IndustryEdit

In this province there are several international companies engaged in the oil and gas as well as the processing of forest products and oil. In addition there is also a copra and rubber processing industry. Several major companies including Chevron Pacific Indonesia a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, PT. Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk in Perawang, and PT. Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper in Pangkalan Kerinci Riau provincial mining. Minerals are petroleum, gas, and coal.

Finance and bankingEdit

In the field of banking in the province is growing rapidly, this marked the number of private banks and rural banks, in addition to local government-owned banks such as Bank of Riau Kepri.

TransportationEdit

Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport in Pekanbaru is the largest airport in the province. It serves as the gateway to Pekanbaru and Riau in a whole. The airport serves flights to other major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Medan. Moreover, the airport also serves international flights to cities neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Furthermore, the airport also was used for hajj embarkation to Jeddah and Medina in Saudi Arabia. On 16 July 2012, a Rp 2 trillion ($212 million) new terminal has been opened to accommodate 1.5 million passengers a year.[101] The new terminal spanning 17,000 square meters and a more spacious aircraft apron which can accommodate 10 wide-body aircraft, twice the capacity of the old apron. The new terminal is designed with a mix of Malay and modern architecture. The physical form of the building is inspired from the typical flying fauna form of Riau, Serindit birds. To meet the technical requirements of a world-class airport, the airport runway is extended from 2,200 meters to 2,600 meters and then to 3,000 meters.[102] There are other smaller airports in Riau which mostly serves regional or charter flights, such as Pinang Kampai Airport in Dumai, Tuanku Tambusai Airport in Pasir Pangaraian, Japura Airport in Rengat, Sei Pakning Airport in Tembilahan, Sei Pakning Airport in Sungai Pakning and Sultan Syarief Haroen II Airport in Pangkalan Kerinci.

The Trans-Sumatran Highway runs along the length of the province. Riau serves as a junction of the highway, with North Sumatra to the north, Jambi to the south and West Sumatra to the west. Most of the roads have been paved, but there are some sections that is in poor condition. Road damage was allegedly due to the large number of trucks carrying palm oil crops passing from Riau to North Sumatra or vice versa.[103] As part of the Trans-Sumatra Toll Road program, the government is currently constructing the 131,48 km long Pekanbaru–Dumai Toll Road, which would connect Pekanbaru, the provincial capital and the port city of Dumai on the Strait of Malacca.[104] The first section between Pekanbaru and Minas is expected to begin operation in December 2019 and the whole toll road is expected to begin operation in 2020.[105][104] Another toll road connecting Pekanbaru and Padang in West Sumatra is also under the planning stage. Construction is expected to start on the Riau side due to land clearing issue on the West Sumatran side.[106] The project would also include the construction of the construction of an 8.95 km tunnel in the Payakumbuh area that will penetrate the Bukit Barisan Mountains, which would be the longest tunnel in Indonesia.[107]

The Port of Dumai is the largest port in the province. It serves both passengers and cargo. The port serves ferries to Batam and Tanjung Pinang in the Riau Islands, as well as international destinations such as Singapore, Johor and Malacca in Malaysia. River transportation is also important in Riau, as the province is crossed by many large rivers.

After the Pekanbaru Railway was abandoned at the end of World War II, there is currently no active railway line in Riau. However, there has been a proposal of reactivating the Pekanbaru-West Sumatra railway to connect Pekanbaru and Padang on the western coast of Sumatra, as well as building the Pekanbaru-Duri-Rantau Prapat railway which would connect Riau and the existing railway line in North Sumatra, as well as building the Pekanbaru-Jambi-Betung-Palembang railway which would connect Riau with Jambi and th existing railway line in South Sumatra. Overall, this railway system would form the Trans-Sumatra Railway.[108]

TourismEdit

 
Sumatran elephants in the Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve

The prime tourist attractions of Riau can be divided into natural environment, as well as the culture and history of the Riau Malay people.

The tourist attractions in Riau are quite diverse, even becoming one of the contributors to the best tourist destinations in Indonesia. And one of them is a cultural tourist destination which indeed has always had history like the kingdoms that have alternated and left various very iconic relics. Tourist attractions in Riau are very diverse, ranging from marine tourism, because of the location of Riau which is directly facing the Strait of Malacca. And also natural tourism is equally attractive when compared to other provinces in Sumatra. Not to mention historical tourism and cultural tourism which are also quite interesting for us to know. This multi-ethnic province has a long history and it is also certain that there are many very interesting cultural reserves in Riau.

Each regencies in Riau have their own unique tourism spot. One of the tourist attractions in Riau which is quite interesting can be find in Bengkalis Regency. The regency which consists of several islands in the eastern region of Sumatra is directly facing the Strait of Malacca. Bengkalis Regency is very rich in marine tourism potential, but besides that the nature and cultural tourism are also quite charming. There are several beaches and islands in Bengkalis that can be considered very beautiful.

 
Lake Sipogas in Rokan Hulu Regency

The Indragiri Hilir Regency has a fairly long history before the Dutch colonial period. Quite a lot of power shifts while still in the kingdom. Starting from Keritang Kingdom, Kemuning Kingdom, Batin Enam Suku Kingdom to Indragiri Kingdom. besides having an interesting history, Indragiri Hilir Regency also has interesting tourist attractions, and one of them is Solop Beach which is also a mainstay of tourist attractions in Riau. As Indragiri Hilir was once the seat of the Indragiri Sultanate, there are many relics from the sultanate than can be still found throughout the region, such as the Indragiri Kings Cemetery in Rengat and traditional houses which until now still stands very strong with typical Malay architecture. Moreover, Indragiri Hilir is also known for its many beautiful waterfalls. Similar to Indragiri Hilir, the Indragiri Hulu Regency is filled of many tourism spots, such as waterfalls and relic of ancient Malay kigdoms. Furthermore, Indragiri Hulu also serves as the gateway to the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park.

The location of Kampar Regency which is directly adjacent with the province of West Sumatra allows its culture to be greatly influenced by the culture of the Minangkabau people. Kampar Regency is also one of the contributors to tourist attractions in Riau which is quite interesting, such as the Muara Takus Temple.[109] There are also many spectacular waterfalls spread throughout Kampar. Moreover, there are also tombs of Malay and Minangkabau kings in Kampar. The city of Bangkinang has many tourist attractions that have nuances of nature, history, religion and culinary that cannot be found in any parts of Indonesia.

The Kepulauan Meranti Regency has a variety of marine tourism destinations that are quite interesting to visit. This is why Kepulauan Meranti has become contributors to tourist attractions in Riau that attract more both domestic and international tourists each year. The capital Selat Panjang is has a Chinese-majority population, making it one of the few cities to have this chaacteristic. This explains why the culture of Selat Panjang as well as the whole of Kepulauan Meranti is highly influenced by both Chinese and Malay culture. There are several beautiful beaches that can be found in Kepulauan Meranti. Moreover, there are several Chinese temples that can be found in Selat Panjang and the surrounding area. the most famous one being the Hoo Ann Kiong Temple, which so the oldest Chinese Taoism temple in Selat Panjang.[110]

 
Performers in the Pacu Jalur Festival, Kuantan Singingi Regency

Kuantan Singingi Regency, commonly known as Kuansing, is a rantau (migration) area for the Minangkabau people from West Sumatra. Therefore, the culture and customs of Kuansing is highly influenced by Minangkabau culture. On the other hand, Kuansing also contains many tourist destinations. Kuansing is known for its cultural festival that usually happens during the Eid al-Fitr and other holidays such as the Baganduang Boat Festival (Indonesian: Festival Perahu Baganduang). The Baganduang Boat Festival was first held as a festival in 1996.[111] These boats are then decorated to be interesting with various decorations, including flags, coconut leaves, umbrellas, long cloths, pumpkins, photos of the president and vice president, and other objects that have traditional symbols. For example, rice symbolizes agricultural fertility and buffalo horns that symbolize livestock. In the festival, guests were presented with a variety of entertainment, including Rarak Calempong, Panjek Pinang, and Potang Tolugh. The process of making a baganduang boat is usually blessed with a Malay ceremony. Another famous festival in Kuansing is the Pacu Jalur Festival. Pacu Jalur is the largest annual festival for the people of the Kuantan Singingi Regency, especially in the capital, Taluk Kuantan, which is along the bank of the Kuantan River. Originally, the fesival was held to commemorate the Islamic holidays such as the Mawlid, or the commemoration of the New Year's Eve. But after the Indonesian independence, Pacu Jalur is now usually held to celebrate the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.[112] Pacu Jalur is a long rowing boat race, similar to the Dragon Boat race in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, which is a boat or canoe made of wood that can reach 25 to 40 meters in length. In the Taluk Kuantan area, the native people called the longboat used in the festival as Jalur. The boat rower team ranges from 50 to 60 people.[113]

 
View of the sunset from a beach in the Kepulauan Meranti Regency

Pelalawan Regency has a long history, even as the name Pelalawan was taken from the name of the former Pelalawan Kingdom. And the Pelalawan Kingdom was once victorious in 1725 and was very famous with its Sultan Syed Abdurrahman Fachrudin. Apart from its history, Pelalawan also stores quite a lot of tourist attractions besides its history. Remnants of the old Pelalawan Kingdom can still be seen throughout the regency, such as Sayap Pelalawan palace where the former Sultan of Pelalawan reside. Inside the Pelalawan Wing Palace there are many relics, such as keris weapons, spears, and various other relics placed in the palace central room.[114] Another remnants is tomb of the sultans of Pelalawan. Most of the tourist who frequented the tomb are usually pilgrims and certain days the tomb is quite crowded with pilgrims.[115] Moreover, Pelalawan serves as the gateway to the Tesso Nilo National Park.

Rokan Hilir Regency as one of the regencies in Riau which is directly facing the Strait of Malacca, was once the largest fish producer in Indonesia. Since the Dutch colonial era, Rokan Hilir with is capital Bagansiapiapi has already become more advanced than other region especially in terms of trade. The tourism industry in Rokan Hilir is also quite well known both on a national and international scale. Rokan Hilir is known for its tourist spots and festival such as the Junk burning festival. Known in the local Riau Hokkien as Go Gek Cap Lak (Chinese: 五月十六日; pinyin: wǔ yuè shíliù rì; Hokkien POJ: gō͘-go̍eh-cha̍p-la̍k-ji̍t), the Junk burning festival is an annual ritual of the community in Bagansiapiapi which has been well known overseas and is included in the Indonesian tourism tourist. Every year this ritual can attract tourists from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan to Mainland China. Now this annual event is heavily promoted by the government of Rokan Hilir Regency as a source of tourism.[116] The initial history of the festival was started by Chinese people who lived in Bagansiapiapi to commemorate their ancestors and also as a gesture of gratitude to the God Kie Ong Ya.[117] Other than that, Bagansiapiapi and the surrounding area has many Chinese temples that can be visited.

 
Rear view of the Siak Sri Indrapura Palace

The Rokan Hulu Regency has the nickname Negeri Seribu Suluk. The district is bordered by two provinces, namely North Sumatra and West Sumatra. It is certain that the acculturation of culture in Rokan Hulu Regency has become more diverse, starting from customs and traditions. Rokan Hulu contains many lakes, waterfalls and caves that is spread throughout the region. One of the historical assets that is still standing firmly in Rokan Hulu, is the Palace of Rokan Hulu. This palace, which is already 200 years old, is a relic of the Nagari Tuo Sultanate. Although there are some parts of the repair but the architecture is still intact and also the carvings on the wood are still clearly visible.[118]

Siak Regency is the number two richest district in Riau after Bengkalis Regency. The main export of Siak Regency is petroleum which finally can deliver it to become the second richest regency in the province. On the other hand, the regency is currently boosting the tourism sector to attract more visitors. As Siak was once the house of the Sultanate of Siak Sri Indrapura, the regency contains remnants of the sultanate that is still well-preserved, such as the Siak Sri Indrapura Palace. The palace complex has an area of about 32,000 square meters consisting of 4 palaces namely Istana Siak, Istana Lima, Istana Padjang, and Istana Baru. Each of the palace including Siak Palace itself has an area of 1,000 square meters.[119] The palace contains royal ceremonial objects, such as a gold-plated crown set with diamonds, a golden throne and personal objects of Sultan Syarif Qasyim and his wife, such as the Komet, a multi-centennial musical instrument which is said to have been made only two copies in the world.[120] Presently, the komet is still functioning and is used to play works by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss. Siak is also home to the tomb of Sultan Syarif Kasim II, the last Sultan of Siak.

 
Soeman H.S Library, the largest provincial library in Sumatra

Dumai is a city located in Riau whose location is very strategic especially for international trade because of its location in the Strait of Malacca. In addition, Dumai is the largest city in Indonesia at this time. The strategic location of Dumai, so many foreign tourists stop in Dumait o enjoy tourist attractions that are quite interesting. Dumai is home to many beaches and mangrove forests.

The capital of Riau, Pekanbaru, contains several tourist attractions. The Idrus Tintin Art Building is named after an Indonesian artist named Idrus Tintin. Judging from the architecture of the Idrus Tintin Art Building almost looks like a Malay Royal Palace, even though this building functioned as an art performance venue. Various works by famous Indonesian artists are displayed in the building.[121] The An-Nur Great Mosque is the pride of Pekanbaru. An-Nur Great Mosque is one of the grandest mosques in Indonesia. An-Nur Great Mosque was built in 1968 from the side of its architecture which is similar to the Taj Mahal in India. Therefore, many people Riau called the mosque as the "Taj Mahal of Riau".[122] Soeman H.S Library is named after Soeman H.S, a novelist from Riau and his name is immortalized as the name of the library in downtown Pekanbaru. What is very interesting is the architecture of the building which is similar to open books or like a rehal (placemats for the Qur'an). This tourist spot in Riau has quite a collection of books, and has even been the largest library in Asia.[123]

CuisineEdit

The cuisine of Riau is heavily influenced by Malay and Minangkabau cuisines, and also slightly influenced by Chinese and Javanese cuisines. The cuisine in Riau is somewhat similar to the cuisine in the Malay peninsula accross the Strait of Malacca.

Traditional Malay cuisine in Riau has much in common with other Malay cuisines in other part of the Malay World and Sumatran cuisine which generally uses spices and coconut milk to produce spicy, fatty and thick curry.. Most dishes use basic ingredients of fish, from pangasius, mystus, anchovy, Spanish mackerels, rays, and prawns, and often uses buffalo[disambiguation needed] or ox meat. Additional ingredients commonly used are Belacan. Almost every Malay dish is served with white rice or with nasi lemak and is usually eaten using hands.

Nasi Lemak is a typical Riau food in the form of rice cooked with coconut milk to provide a savory flavor and fragrant aroma. Nasi Lemak is generally served with side dishes such as eggs, fried anchovy, chili sauce, cucumber slices and other side dishes. This nasi lemak is easily found in stalls and restaurants in Pekanbaru. In archipelagic region like Riau Islands province of Indonesia, usually seafood are used to accompany nasi lemak, such as ikan bilis (anchovy), ikan tamban (Sardinella longiceps), ikan selar kuning (Selaroides leptolepis), sotong or cumi-cumi (squid) or small prawns. The Riau islands traditional nasi lemak is quite similar to Malaysian version; it comes as a platter of coconut rice wrapped in banana leaf, with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal).[124] The Riau islands version however, comes with an addition of small fish locally known as ikan tamban, usually fried with sambal chili paste and very crispy, the whole fish is edible.[125] Prawns and squids are also commonly stir-fried in chili paste as sambal udang or sambal cumi. In Indonesia, nasi lemak is often sprinkled with bawang goreng (crispy fried shallot granules). In Pekanbaru city in Sumatran province of Riau however, freshwater river fishes are commonly used as lauk to accompany nasi lemak. The freshwater fishes includes ikan selais (Kryptopterus cryptopterus) and ikan patin (Pangasius). Other fish such as ikan lomek (Harpadon nehereus) is also commonly used. These fishes are usually cooked in Minang style lado ijo (green chili pepper), minced and fried as perkedel ikan, or just plainly fried.[126]

The Gulai Ikan Patin (Catfish soup) has a very delicious and powerful taste and it can be easily be found around Pekanbaru. Gulai Ikan Patin is a typical Pekanbaru food that has a deep yellow sauce to soak the pieces of catfish. The people of Riaum especially Pekanbaru, generally also consume other indgredients other than the catfish. There are sidedish accompanying the dish, such as boiled yams, leaf tops and more. Gulai Ikan Patin is usually cooked with the etlingera elatior to enchance the flavouring.

Asam pedas (or Asam padeh in Minangkabau) is a Malay-Minangkabau dish that can be found in Riau and the surrounding area.. It is a type sour and spicy fish stew dish.[127] The main ingredients in asam pedas are usually seafood or freshwater fish. They are cooked in asam (tamarind) fruit juice with chilli and spices. The cooking process involves soaking the pulp of the tamarind fruit until it is soft and then squeezing out the juice for cooking the fish. Asam paste may be substituted for convenience. Vegetables such as terong or brinjals (Indian eggplants), okra and tomatoes are added. Fish and seafood — such as mackerel, mackerel tuna, tuna, skipjack tuna, red snapper, gourami, pangasius, hemibagrus or cuttlefish — either the whole body or sometimes only the fish heads are added to make a spicy and tart fish stew. It is important that the fish remain intact for serving so generally the fish is added last.[128] In the Riau region, the most common fish used in asam pedas is tongkol (mackerel tuna).

Aside from the main dish, typical Riau restaurant also serves local snacks. An example is the roti jala. Roti jala typical Riau food which is influenced by Malay culture.[129] Roti jala is a dish that is generally present at large parties such as weddings. This food is made from the basic ingredients of flour which, after being cooked, will be served with a spill of durian sauce for those who like sweet foods. Aside from being served with sauce, roti jala is also commonly eaten with curry chicken, mutton or beef. Roti jala has a triangular shape that is produced from a mold. Although it is usually white in color, some creative cooker also gives food coloring such as pandanus to make the roti jala green in color. Roti cane is a typical Riau food that must be tried because it is suitable to be used as a snack for tea while relaxing. This bread has much in common with roti pratha in India and Singapore aside from the taste and eating merthod.

SportsEdit

Riau has a football team, PSPS Pekanbaru, based in Kaharuddin Nasution Stadium, Pekanbaru. There is football team PS Siak too. In 2012, Riau hosted Pekan Olahraga Nasional.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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