Indonesia Culture


Indonesia has around 300 ethnic groups, each with its cultural differences developed over centuries and influenced by Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Malays, and Europeans. Traditional Javanese and Balinese dances, for example, contain aspects of Hindu culture and mythology, such as the works of wayang kulit (silhouette puppets).

Fabrics and textiles such as batik, ikat, and songket are created throughout Indonesia with styles that vary by region. The most dominant influences on Indonesian architecture have traditionally been Indian, although Chinese, Arab and European architectural influences are also present in some important constructions.

Sports in Indonesia are generally geared towards men, while spectator sports are often associated with illegal gambling. The most popular sports are badminton and soccer.

The national badminton team has won the Thomas Cup (Men’s Badminton World Championship) 13 of the 25 times it has participated, as well as several Olympic medals since it became an Olympic sport in 1992.

According to Youremailverifier, the women’s team won the Uber Cup, the women’s equivalent of the Thomas Cup, twice, in 1994 and 1996. The Indonesian League is the most important soccer league in the country. Traditional sports in the country include sepak takraw and bull racing in Madura.

In areas with a long history of tribal warfare, sports that simulate combat are played, such as caci in Flores and pasola in Sumba. The Pencak Silat is the most popular Indonesian martial art.


The Indonesian cuisine varies by region and is based on Chinese cuisine, European, Oriental and India. Rice is the main staple of Indonesian cuisine, and is served with meat and vegetable dishes. Spices (particularly chili), coconut milk, fish, and chicken are also key ingredients. Indonesian traditional music includes the sounds of the gamelan and keroncong.

In addition, dangdut, a contemporary genre of pop music that has Arab, Indian and Malay folk music influences, originated in Indonesia. The popularity of the Indonesian film industry peaked in the 1980s, when it dominated Indonesian cinemas, although its impact was significantly reduced in the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Indonesian films published each year has been increasing.

The oldest evidence of writing in Indonesia is a series of Sanskrit inscriptions, dated around the 5th century.The most important figures in modern Indonesian literature include the Dutch author Multatuli, who criticized the mistreatment suffered by Indonesians under colonial rule. Dutch; Muhammad Yamin and Hamka, who were the most influential nationalist writers before the country’s independence; and Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia’s most famous novelist. Many of the Indonesian peoples have a long oral tradition, which helps them define and preserve their cultural identity.


Agriculture is the dominant activity in the Indonesian economy. Before the Dutch rule, Java and Bali were specialized in sedentary agriculture while the remaining islands practiced itinerant agriculture, fishing and harvesting of fruits.

Starting in the 18th century, the Dutch began converting fertile lands into plantations for the production of sugar cane, coffee, tea, textile plants, and palm oil.

The second focus of his interest was the exploitation of mineral resources (oil and tin), neglecting, on the other hand, the promotion of an industrial infrastructure independent of the metropolis.

Agriculture employs more than 70% of the active population that works on a cultivated area of just 12% of the territory. The ownership structure – the majority of small properties and the concentration of large plantations – explains the endemic precariousness of the peasant economy. Subsistence crops represent the relevant aspect of its production: rice cultivation (the basis of the national diet and of which it is the third largest producer in the world) is practiced by the flood system, with two annual harvests (Java).

The second crop is corn; They are followed by cassava, potatoes, soybeans, peanuts, vegetables and fruits.

Commercial products include copra, miraguano and spices, although only the Moluccas supply notable quantities of them. The cultivation of sugar cane has lost importance compared to colonial times, but the production of tea, coffee and tobacco is still important. The exploitation of forest resources provides significant income: Indonesia is the second largest producer of rubber.

The wood resources are very rich: teak, ebony, sandalwood, palm and bamboo. The expectation of the development of agriculture is contingent on that of hydroelectric production, currently well below its potential use. There are power plants in Jati Luhur (Java) and it is planned to take advantage of the Asaba River (Sumatra).

Following the fall of President Sukarno in the mid- 1960s, the administration of the “new order” brought a greater degree of discipline to economic policy that rapidly lowered inflation rates, stabilized the currency, rescheduled foreign debt, and attracted foreign aid and investments.

In the 1970s, increases in the price of oil brought an unforeseen change in export earnings, which helped maintain high economic growth rates of more than 7% between 1968 and 1981.

After some reforms in the 1980s, more foreign investors began to arrive, especially oriented towards the rapid development of the manufacturing sector, and from 1989 to 1997, the Indonesian economy grew at an average rate of more than 7%.

Indonesia Culture