The name INDONESIA has its roots in two Greeks words "Indos" meaning India and "Nesos" meaning islands. Indonesia often referred to as the world largest archipelago. It is estimated to be total of 17.508 islands, and they are stretching over 5.150 km between the Australian and Asia continental mainland and dividing the pacific and Indian ocean at the equator. Because of its strategic position Indonesia's cultural, social, political and economic patterns have always been conditioned by its geographical position.
The Indonesian sea area is four times larger than its area, which is about 1,9 million sq km and the sea area is about 7,9 million sq km. Five main island are Kalimantan or two thirds of the island o! f Borneo (539.450 sq.km), Sumatera (473.606 sq km), Papua which forms part of the islands of New Guinea (421.952 sq km), Sulawesi (189.035 sq km) and Java including Madura (132.035 sq km)
Mountains lovers will find plenty to enjoy Indonesia. A great volcano chain, the Bukit Barisan, runs the entire length of Sumatera. On the west coast, the mountains fall abruptly to the sea, while in the east they ease gradually down to plains in a broad fringe of coastal mangroves. Vegetation - clod - volcanoes also rise dramatically from the sea at Banda, Ternate and Makian. Many of the volcanoes are still active, despite being one of the most active volcano on the archipelago, mount Merapi in central Java is favorite for climbers.
Mountain lakes are also abundant in dormant craters of many volcanoes, the most famous of these being lake Toba in the northern highlands of Sumatera. This mountain lake covers area four times of the size Singapore. The mountainous island of Flores is famous for its multi coloured volcanic la! kes, known as Keli Mutu. The tree lakes are in a close group and range from dark red to turquoise.
Located between two distinct bio-geographical groups - Asia and Australia. The flora and fauna of the archipelago is also quite idiosyncratic. In glacial period Java, Sumatera and Kalimantan lay on the Sunda self and were joined to each other and to the mainland of Asia, but Papua and the Australian continent at the time lay on the sahul self. This original geographical segregation explains why the typical oriental fauna species found in Java, Sumatera and Kalimantan are completely lacking in Papua. Similarly, the marsupials which occur in Papua, are not found in the oriental region. Species found nowhere else on earth have flourished in several areas.
Indonesia lies within the botanical region of Melanesia, covering the Malay peninsula south of the isthmus of Kra, the Indonesia archipelago, the Philiphines and the whole of Papua New Guinea ex! cept the Solomon islands. For the most part the Melanesian region is covered by the luxuriant growth of the characteristical tropical rain forest vegetation, a type of ever wet vegetation containing a large number of timber species harboring various kinds of epiphytes, saprophytes and lianas. These caracteristic features and high number of general and species endemic within this region make the flora of Indonesia completely different from that of the world.
Due to Indonesia's emergence into an archipelago, many islands are separated by seas and therefore lost contact. Each of them have caused the development of culteres, including their language and their growing into diversity and multiculture. There are 500 ethnic group in Indonesia and other sub communities are the Chinese, Arabs, and Indians. Culture and art are intertwined with religion and age. Portugese traders and Dutch colonists brought with them Western thoughts which also became part of the culture. Though the legal system is based on the old ! Dutch penal code, social life as well as the rites of passage are founcled on traditional law or "adat" law, which differs from one area to another. Islam is the predominant religion but it is somewhat tempered by elements of hindu-buddism, adat law and animism. Religious influences on the community are variously evident from island to island. Unlike some countries, arts forms in Indonesia are not only based on folklore. Many were developed in the courts of former kingdoms such as in Bali, where they are part of religious ceremonies. The famous dance dramas of Java and Bali have derived from Hindu mythology and often feature fragments from the Ramayana and Mahabrata Hindu epics. Music, dance and drama are very often intertwined. For example is the puppet play an important form of indigenous theatre. The puppet play has many forms.
The population of Indonesia is about 210 million and 60 % of of the nations huge population is living on the Java i! sland. Java island constituting just 7 % of indonesia's total land mass. It is the center of politics, commerce, administration, and education.
University of Indonesia: Located in Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia is one of the oldest universities in Indonesia. Today UI remains a dynamic and excellence for research and learning, attracting both Indonesian and international students. Institut Teknologi Bandung ( ITB ) located in Bandung, capital city of West Java. Indonesia Institute of the Arts ( ISI yogyakarta ) is located in Yogyakarta city. It was officially started as a state institute in July 1984. ISI Yogyakarta welcomes the application from overseas students who are interested in learning about the Indonesian traditional arts, usually as exhange students. Courses in traditional dance, karawitan music, and batik craft are the most popular study programmes for overseas students.
Indonesia tourism links
|Grand Mosque Medan, Sumatera Utara|