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"This country, the Republic of Indonesia, does not belong to any group, nor to any religion, nor to any ethnic group, nor to any group with customs and traditions, but is the property of all of us from Sabang to Merauke!"Note 

Indonesia, officially known as the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a collection of between 13,466 or 17,508 islands located in Southeast Asia. With a population of over 275 million people, it is the fourth most populous country in the world, beaten only by the United States, India and China.

Indonesia as a concept, curiously enough, has managed to go nigh-unnoticed by many Westerners (at least until the Twitter / X era) in spite of its behemoth size and population. When you hear the word "Indonesia", you'll be forgiven for thinking that it's little more than a disaster-prone (true) collection of tiny islands floating alongside Micronesia and Polynesia and their ilk (definitely not true, but understandable, given the shared etymology). note  No Indonesian has headed a United Nations affiliated organization since 1972 (Adam Malik, as UNGA president), attention from media outside the region is vanishingly rare, and despite having perhaps the most brutal and intense football culture in the world, the last time it made it into the Round of 16 at the World Cup was when it was still a colony. (Indonesia's a sporting badminton.)

But this belies its history and geographical significance. Ever heard of Bali? It's one of Indonesia's many islands, and probably the only fairly popular one. You've also heard of the Komodo dragons and orangutans, both of which live in Indonesia. History buffs know about the Spice Islands, the source of cloves and other spices for which 16th-century explorers set sail — today they are known as the Maluku Islands. Krakatoa, the great volcano that erupted in 1883 and (theoretically) caused a near-extinction event long before that? In Indonesia. Java, source of the English slang for coffee (and a programming language)? An island in Indonesia. Indonesia's obscurity in most of the West is partly because, until after World War II, the area was known as the East Indies (to be precise, Indonesia was the Dutch East Indies, Malaysia the British East Indies, the Philippines the Spanish East Indies, etc.). So "Indonesia" basically seemed to appear out of nowhere.note 

Indonesia's territorial expanse is unimaginably vast: the distance separating Aceh in the northwest from the far east of West New Guinea is over 5,000 km, comparable to the geographic stretch of the entire European continent. The archipelago is mainly volcanic in nature and has lots of natural barriers. This, combined with the waters separating the islands, results in an extremely diverse population. Indonesia officially registers 1,340 ethnic groups, and has the world's second biggest number of languages at about 700. Indeed, one might say that it's too diverse; although the Javanese form a plurality, an enduring issue inside the country is whether the state can legitimately unite what's basically the society of a small continent. As with India, if not for the fact that country was subjugated by a single colonizer, it would likely be made up of a galaxy of far smaller ethnostates by now.

Indonesia's major religion is Islam — it is in fact the largest Muslim-majority country in the world. However, it is not the sole religion: Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism are significant minorities in the country. Interestingly enough, Indonesian Islam (outside Aceh, which prides itself on being the "veranda of Mecca" as the westernmost province and therefore the closest part of Indonesia to Arabia) is almost a religion unto itself — while Indonesian Muslims make the Hajj and pray facing Mecca, they also often combine their faith with indigenous traditions. The Ramayana is performed by Muslim wayang puppeteers, women and men pray in the same room (though not the same row), and a vast number of Indonesians believe in ghosts and spirits from their ethnic folklore. Indonesia's penchant for cultural and religious syncretism is such that rather than being called fundamentalists or reactionaries, Indonesian Muslim clerics advocating for a return to orthodox Islam are known as "modernists", because putting its own, synthetic spin on things is just that integral to Indonesian identity.


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    Early history 

Indonesia is part of the homeland of the Austronesians, a network of ethnic groups populating Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Madagascar. The urheimat of the Austronesian language family is Taiwan, where nine of the ten branches of the Austronesian languages are located (the remaining one, Malayo-Polynesian, is the ancestor of all Austronesian languages spoken outside Taiwan). The Austronesians were known universally as a great maritime people, having the largest expanse of language spread before European colonialism: they settled as far east as Easter Island and as far west as Madagascar. Regarding Madagascar, the Malagasy people (particularly the Merina and Sihanaka tribes of the central highlands) are descended from Bornean immigrants of the early 1st millennium CE. The traditional Merina standard is red and white, the same as Majapahit's (both colors are retained in the modern countries' flags, in case you're wondering).

Hinduism and Buddhism reached the archipelago in the 4th century, and soon after kingdoms were built. Kutai of eastern Borneo and Tarumanagara of western Java, both espousing Hinduism, were among the first ones. The 7th century saw the rise of Srivijaya, a Buddhist Malay empire who managed to wrest control of all of Sumatra, Java, and the Asian mainland up to the Kra Isthmus in present-day Thailand, becoming the first Indonesian polity to rule more than one major island. The empire was a center of Buddhist learning, and many monks from China and India sent students to study in the capital, Palembang. The 8th century saw the Hindu Javanese Mataram rising to challenge the Srivijaya's hegemony. Most of the Hindu and Buddhist temples of Java, including Borobudur and Prambanan, were built during the Mataram period. The temples suggest that an acculturation of the two foreign religions was adhered. Mataram and its successors, Kahuripan and Kediri, continued to wage wars against Srivijaya, but they remained stuck in Java until the last Kediri king, Kertajaya, was forced to abdicate to the Singhasari Kingdom in 1222, beginning the golden age of the archipelago.

Despite Srivijaya being one of the biggest empires in the archipelago of the date, and many ancient people knowing its influence, it sadly didn't have the time to invest in cultural preservation, which was why it wasn't considered the golden age of the ancient Indonesian history. That fell to Singhasari-Majapahit, which actually went out to preserve their arts and culture (especially under Majapahit's Hayam Wuruk) to make sure that they live on in the minds of the future generations. Very little of the remains of the Srivijaya got into the future, especially when its island (Sumatra) eventually became where Islam started expanding its influence.

    Singhasari and Majapahit 

The Singhasari Kingdom went on to become the major power in Java, but depending on which source you read, you might get confused on who exactly was the ruler at the time. The two sources for Singhasari's history were the books Negarakertagama and Pararaton. The former was closer to history and generally mundane, but the second one was a semi-mythical history book akin to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, so it was most likely that the latter would pop up in people's memory more often (though it wasn't a breakthrough hit like the Chinese one). Both books revolve around tracing the bloodline of Singhasari's rulers, and what both agree is that King Rangga Rajasa of Tumapel subdued Kediri, established Singhasari, passed his kingdom to his son, Anusapati, who fathered Ranggawuni/Wisnuwardhana, who fathered Kertanegara, the last king of Singhasari. Negarakertama had a laconic version of this history, while Pararaton embellished it with details that are certainly legendary. If you're interested, buckle up as this is going to take a while.A very long read 

Anyway, Kertanagara continued the expansion of Singhasari's borders with the "Pamalayu Expedition", this time, he expanded to Sumatra islands and conquered whatever remained of the once mighty Srivijaya Empire, erasing their influence and securing the Malaccan straits, establishing Singhasari's influence in the Malay peninsula and the trade route over there. The plan was conceived several years before he actually undertook it, as it required a lot of resources. At around the same time, the Mongol horde under Kublai Khan came across the Kingdom and demanded a token of submission. Kertanegara responded by sending back his messenger now humiliated with a missing ear. A pissed off Kublai Khan responded by sending his massive army. Kertanegara was in the middle of wrapping up the Pamalayu Expedition, the plan was to go back and prepare for war against the Mongols. But, the majority of his forces were at Sumatra, leaving him and his capital lacking troops. Duke Jayakatwang of Kediri, still nursing a grudge regarding Singhasari's conquest of his kingdom, pulled a coup d'etat, killed Kertanegara, and restored Kediri.

Kertanegara's son-in-law, Raden Wijaya, escaped and convinced the Mongols (who arrived just in time for Kertanegara's death, so they were confused regarding which enemy they ought to take revenge on) to team up with him to take down Jayakatwang, something they agreed as they needed proof that they fought anyway. Raden Wijaya then defeated and killed Jayakatwang, and, seeing the Mongols having been exhausted by the expedition and running out of use to him, drove them out too. The year was 1294 when Raden Wijaya took the throne and changed the Singhasari Kingdom to Majapahit Empire, taking the new name from a village where he hid during Jayakatwang's reign, itself meaning "bitter maja".

Raden Wijaya's successor Jayanegara turned out to be unpopular due to various reasonsnote . However, his reign marked the debut of military leader Gajah Mada, who'd soon go on to become the biggest badass of the empire, while still being loyal to Jayanegara despite his flaws. With Gajah Mada's help, Jayanegara reclaimed his throne after being driven out by rebels. He then delegated most of the ruling jobs to Gajah Mada, but that enabled him to indulge in his darker lusts, namely being a gigantic casanova, especially towards wives of his subordinates and sometimes even sisters. Jayanegara went from being merely unpopular into absolutely insane. This culminated in him banging the wife of his surgeon just before he was about to undergo an operation. The surgeon didn't take this well, and made the operation go awry as his revenge. Gajah Mada was nearby, and as ever the loyal general he is, slew the surgeon, but failed to save his king. That's one side of the story, another story is that Gajah Mada set up the surgeon to kill Jayanegara because his wife was also being banged by Jayanegara (and of course, Jayanegara's incompetence and insanity was another factor why Gajah Mada had to put him down for his kingdom.)

After the fall of Jayanegara and the rise of his successor, Queen Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi, Gajah Mada was appointed as Prime Minister, and gave the famous Palapa Oath: he would taste no spice until all of the archipelago was brought under the reign of the Majapahit. As Indonesian food tends to overflow with spice, it's doubtful that he fulfilled this promise, but he did indeed manage the second part. Under Gajah Mada, the Majapahit Empire started conquering the archipelago one by onenote , and if there's any rebellion from within the Empire, you can be assured that Gajah Mada was first in line to quell the rebellion. With Tribhuwana's successor, Hayam Wuruk, considered a wise and popular king, in tandem with Gajah Mada, Majapahit entered its golden age.

Majapahit's downfall was set in motion thanks to a dispute with Sunda, Majapahit's western neighbor in Java. Hayam Wuruk wanted to make Dyah Pitaloka Citaresmi, a Sundanese princess, his wife, but Gajah Mada wanted to make Sunda a vassal and the princess Hayam Wuruk's concubine instead. Sunda did not take this insult well, they ended up fighting in a grueling Last Stand/Curb-Stomp Battle that ended with Pitaloka being Driven to Suicide by their defeat. Even Hayam Wuruk was not pleased with the result, so Gajah Mada took the blame, was exiled, and died in obscurity. note note note 

Despite the loss of Gajah Mada (his massive tasks ended up being delegated to several ministers), Hayam Wuruk was still an influential and most respected king. While Majapahit stopped with expanding, Hayam Wuruk improved the Empire's infrastructure so well that he was well-loved by the people and made Majapahit still a strong Empire. It's only after Hayam Wuruk passed away that everything truly crashed down, since Hayam Wuruk decided to pass down his throne to his two children, and then they started fighting each other to become the sole ruler of the Empire, which continued for several generations. Naturally, this weakened Majapahit's grip on the archipelago (though not before Hayam Wuruk's son, Wikramawardhana, successfully invaded and conquered Singapore, even if he'd lose it eventually).

    Rise of Islam and the Coming of Europeans 

With Majapahit weakened, the archipelago shifted from warring states into a more trade and tolerance-based approach, and at this point, Islam began to rise. The religion actually had presence for quite a while - Muslim tombstones and burial practices were known in the 11th century - but the first extensive presence appeared in the 13th century with the rise of Pasai in Aceh. At that time, Pasai was the world's easternmost Muslim civilization and was reported by Moroccan traveler Ibn Batutta. In the centuries after, Muslim communities were established along the islands' coast and created kingdoms from the vestiges of the former Hindu-Buddhist ones, including Aceh and Malacca in Sumatra; Banten, Demak, and Mataram in Java; Pontianak and Banjar in Borneo; Ternate and Tidore in Maluku; and Gowa and Bone in Sulawesi. Islam took root slowly because it was spread mainly through trade, instead of organized proselytization; while Sumatra was quite easily converted by the 15th century, Java's Islamization was complete only in the 18th century, when the last Hindu kingdom of Blambangan fell to Dutch intervention. Most of eastern Indonesia accepted Islam only in some places, while New Guinea was outright untouched (although there are documented contacts with Ternate). After Majapahit's fall, thousands of its inhabitants fled to Bali, bringing their culture along with them. Bali remains a Hindu enclave in a region that has been mostly Muslim or Christian since the 18th century, and it can be said that Majapahit was not truly destroyed, but merely moved to Bali.

Wars still occurred here and there, but they were less massive than those happening during the Hindu-Buddhist era (though the political intrigues in Demak Sultanate, which splintered off Majapahit, rivalled that of its predecessor). At this point, Indonesia's natural production of spices, and specifically nutmeg, made itself known to the Europeans, who dubbed it the 'Spice Islands'. Nations like Portugal, England and eventually the Netherlands, came to trade at first, but they eventually decided that Indonesia was too much of a valuable region with their spices and and wanted to colonize the archipelago.

Portugal was first, followed by the Dutch. After almost two hundred years, the Dutch government dissolved the hopelessly corrupt MegaCorp Dutch East India Company (VOC, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) and took over its assets. The Dutch colonial period was a time of much hardship to the Indonesian people and universally regarded by historians as a shining example of the evils of colonialism. The Dutch largely fenced off Indonesian natives from themselves, and although some Dutch imprints in Indonesian culture were evident (mainly in the realm of food, loanwords, and certain aspects of the legal system), they did not make much of an impact in the overall civilization. Like French Indochina but unlike British Malaya, Indonesia is one of those former European colonies where the colonial language did not become a widespread language among the colonized population. The Dutch rule was briefly interrupted in the early 19th century after the The Napoleonic Wars, when France swept in, sending Herman Willem Daendels to administer the colony. He built the first trans-Java road, a postal road that spans from Anyer in the west to Panarukan in the east, forming the basis of the modern Pantura road. Daendels' reign only lasted about three years, and after that, the British swept in. They sent in a British man called Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who came to administrate Java, and surprisingly the British were a bit more lax in colonization. Because of this, Raffles was more looked upon by the natives and eventually in his honor, he would become the namesake of a huge corpse flower growing in Indonesia, Rafflesia arnoldi (the arnoldi part came from the naturalist who actually founded the flower, Joseph Arnold). He also wrote a book named The History of Java, some of which looted from Mataram's courtly chronicles, and started cataloguing historical places of interest, such as Borobudur. However, Britain left the archipelago after a few years and the Netherlands were once again dominant in colonization, restarting the period of cruelty. The various sultanates did not take this kindly and they initiated a lot of rebellions for the freedom of the people. Even some noblewomen at that time had to give the middle finger to the Stay in the Kitchen culture and became Action Girl to oppose the Dutch. The Dutch loved their Divide and Conquer strategy, though, and were always able to crush these rebellions with themnote . Later on, these kind of rebel leaders would be appointed as modern Indonesia's national heroes. (Curiously, most of them were Muslim. While there were some Christian/Catholic rebel leaders as the minority of the national heroes, these people were mostly cooperative with the Dutch since they share similar religion and way of thinking.)

It was mostly believed that the Dutch held grip of Indonesia for 342 years. However, newer history discoveries stated that this was not the case. The Dutch actually spent about 317 years to fight off the defending Indonesian kingdoms, since the archipelago was big enough that they couldn't finish the process when the most effective tool they had was their Divide and Conquer strategy. After those years, the pacification and colonization the whole archipelago was finally completed and the Dutch only managed to govern 'Indonesia' for good for about 25 years (in those times, the name 'Indonesia' hasn't even been thought of, as far as the archipelago dwellers knew, it's just their own kingdoms, and as far as the rest of the world knew, it's 'Dutch East Indies'). Although from the perspective of the areas conquered earlier, it felt like a very long time.

After the Dutch relaxed their educational policy (sometimes credited with the rise of the book Max Havelaar, written by Dutch satirist Multatuli, gaining late popularity, which made the Dutch realize that they might have ran the exploitation to the natives too excessively), several native intellectuals popped up and wrote books to teach the younger generation what their nation got from the Dutch, sometimes even including veiled Take Thats against colonial rule. One of the most famous figures that arose during this period was Soewardi Soerjaningrat, later rechristened Ki Hadjar Dewantara, a Javanese nobleman who established the first educational institution for indigenous commoners, and whose famous Javanese proverb regarding his outlook on teachers eventually became the motto of the Indonesian Ministry of Education.note  Soewardi was part of the so-called Tiga Serangkai (Triad), alongside Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo, another Javanese nobleman with a decidedly more nationalistic and fiery approach regarding Indonesian self-awakening, and Ernest Douwes Dekker, an Indo (mixed Dutch-Indonesian) activist of self-rule for the Dutch East Indies, who also happened to be a great nephew of Multatuli (real name Eduard Douwes Dekker). Soekarno studied under Dr. Tjipto, and his ideas wound up influencing his later venture into politics. Another noted figure was Kartini, who, after befriending several Dutch women through letters, lamented the rigid, backward life of native women that she had to experience as a Javanese noblewoman.note  She wrote numerous letters championing women's rights, and held classes in her husband's house dedicated to teaching women. Although she died young, giving birth to her son at age 25, she is honored as a National Hero nevertheless, and "Kartini Day" (April 21) serves as the de facto Women's Day in Indonesia.

The accepted compromise between the colonial interest and the self-rule activists was a slow and gradual transformation of the colony into a partial self-governing region, with the Volksraad (People's Council), a semi-legislative body partly elected by separate groups and partly assigned by the colonial government. While there was still discontent about the compromise, this approach at least convinced the local leaders to navigate the political bureaucracy instead of turning into armed rebellion. With petitions frequently ignored by the Dutch, came the derisive term Volk sekarat, using the Indonesian word for "dying", referring both to the council's impotence and the exacerbated effect of the The Great Depression since the colonial government obviously focused the revenue of resource extraction for the Dutch coffer instead of the locals. Still, this means Indonesia finally has a cadre of leaders experienced in politics, and due to their weak position which won't survive any fragmentation, adopts a united front between the various tribes, giving birth to the Indonesian identity.

    World War II, Independence, and Guided Democracy (Old Order) 

Cue World War II. The Netherlands, being an Allied nation, got Indonesia involved in the war, only to be driven away by Japan, ostensibly as an "Eastern Brother" coming to liberate the nation. Unfortunately, the takeover from Japan could be considered to be just as harsh, or even worse than life under the Dutch (unpaid, abused workers known as Romusha is one of the ways to show it), so Indonesia was still suffering big timenote . On places strategic to war, however, Japan put up a much better treatment to areas they deemed important for war effort, encouraging more education and political sophistication. Educated elites like Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta studied Japanese knowledge and took advantage of Germany and Japan's weakening due to the US dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, declaring Indonesia independent on August 17, 1945note . The Dutch reestablished their colony afterwards, effectively running the country for four years, but the locals were not in the mind to bow to them again, and by 1949, the United Nations told them to just cut it out and leave Indonesia alone, though insultingly, the new government was forced to inherit all of the colony's debt, including paying the Dutch recolonization attempt, which only settled decades later in 2003.note  Cynically speaking, the decolonisation of Southeast Asia was in fact a containment measure against the Communists, and the leading independence movement was staunchly anti-communist already.

Building the nation was very hard for Indonesia. As noted above, Indonesia inherited very little from Dutch colonization, so everything had to be built from scratch. Upon independence, Indonesia experimented with federalism for a year, but eventually sought a centralized presidential state, with Soekarno at the top. Events during Soekarno's era included an armed conflict with Malaysia (which at the time included modern Singapore and Brunei), which he wanted to annex into Indonesia, citing the basis of Gajah Mada and the Palapa Oath.note note  He went as far as leaving the United Nations when it accepted Malaysia's membership. Soekarno also launched the Trikora Operation to liberate the Dutch New Guinea, which was still controlled by the Netherlands well into the 1960s. Although it ended in a stalemate, the 1962 New York Agreement forced the Dutch to give up the territory to the United Nations, which eventually handed it over to Indonesia.note  However, Soekarno's public approval waned as he increasingly turned into an autocrat, declaring himself President for Life and leading Indonesia under so-called "Demokrasi Terpimpin" (Guided Democracy). He became close with the Soviet Union and moved to the left, being supported by groups such as the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI, Partai Komunis Indonesia). Chinese medical team was heavily involved in trying to lessen the effect of Soekarno's kidney failure, there were even talks about nuclear technology transfer, alarming the Western intelligence and Indonesian neighbours. Still, Soekarno was also a leading figure of the Third World and a founding father of the Non-Aligned Movement (alongside India's Jawaharlal Nehru and Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito). Economic inflation rose to an unprecedented levels, and leaving behind many uncared poor people throughout the nation.

Eventually, 1965 struck. In the early hours of 1 October, the anachronistically-named 30 September Movement moved to do...something. The chronology of what exactly happened is still a subject of passionate debate. The official government story, propagated chiefly by the Army Reserve's head, Major-General Soeharto, is that the PKI attempted a revolution against Soekarno's government and kidnapped six army generals from their homes in Jakarta, as well as Pierre Tendean, an aide to Defense Minister Abdul Haris Nasution who happened to be at Nasution's house, was mistaken for his superior, and heroically fought the barbarous communists off - but not in time to stop them from shooting Nasution's 5-year-old daughter, leading to her death a few days later. The revolutionaries then hauled their victims to Jakarta's main military airbase, dug a hole, mutilated and killed them as the PKI's women's wing danced around the orgy of violence in the nude, and dumped the bodies down said hole. On the other end of the tall tale spectrum, Soeharto, with CIA helpnote , manipulated the coup plotters into removing his superiors so that he could effectively take control of the military and country from them and Soekarno under the pretext of saving both. The most commonly-accepted version by foreign academic circles is that the Movement's leaders - mostly drawn from the Presidential Guard, and not acting on the orders of the PKI leadership - mistakenly thought the eventually-targeted generals to themselves be plotting a coup against Soekarno, escalated matters, and accidentally allowed a mysterious third party to air a supposed narrative of rebellion against the President.

But whatever happened, there are many certainties: six generals and a lieutenant were dead by sunrise, Nasution had barely escaped by climbing over a wall into the Iraqi ambassador's house and hid in a bush, and Soeharto emerged from the chaos on top. Led by Soeharto, the Army pinned the blame on the politically powerful PKI: members, suspected sympathizers, and in some cases their families, were rounded up, jailed, tortured and killed by the hundreds of thousands. Overall, at least 500,000 to as many as three million supposed communists were killed for supposedly aiding and abetting insurrection against Soekarno, despite his being the PKI's primary benefactor. Eventually, with its leaders dead and its members driven underground, the once-millions strong PKI (the largest non-ruling communist party in the world) was banned, and the military narrative of a communist insurrection weaved its way into Indonesian newspapers and history books, where it still remains. However, even without the incident, the Indonesian economy was in the brink of collapsing so they were not out of the danger just yet.

    New Order 

In the aftermath of the PKI coup, Soekarno lost even more support and the nation was on the verge of collapsing. A new president had to be elected and thanks to his achievements for quelling the coup, Soeharto was elected. It also helped his case that Soeharto was also very close to and trusted by Soekarno himself, so it was natural for him to succeed the ailing president. Soeharto protected Soekarno from attempts to court martial him by placing him in house arrest until his death in 1970. The victims of the 30 September Movement were posthumously honored as 'Heroes of Revolution' as they refused to give in to PKI's demands, their loyalty being credited for averting the country's collapse from Soekarno's erratic actions. To further strengthen his anti-Communism stance, Soeharto also sanctioned a propaganda movie called Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI ("G30S/PKI's Betrayal"), to be aired on the only television channel in the nation on September 30th every year until his downfall in 1998.

Soeharto dubbed his regime the "New Order" (Orde Baru), while Soekarno's regime was redubbed the "Old Order" (Orde Lama). Indonesia's face would change that day. While Soekarno was hostile against United Nations and Malaysia, Soeharto instead opted for peaceful relationship and mended their relationship, rejoining the UN in 1966.note  His economic projects were leering to liberalism and capitalism, with the United States of America as one of Soeharo's chosen allies, and one of the most important goals that Soeharto aimed for was national stability, and with his chosen allies backing him, he could reach those goals in a short time. Indonesia's economy grew exponentially, enough that that the world was impressed with the formerly colonized nation to grow in such great pace and gave it the moniker 'Tiger of Asia'.

All seemed well for Indonesia until the 1990s, when everything came crashing down. In 1997, Asia was hit with a great financial crisis, which hit Indonesia particularly bad. With poverty rising, people lost their confidence on the president. Demonstrations flared up, and people began to criticize openly against Soeharto's autocratic and oligarchic government. People dubbed Soeharto's government as a champion of the so-called "KKN": Korupsi (Corruption), Kolusi (Collusion), and Nepotisme (Nepotism). Protesters, including college students, initially demanded Soeharto to step down peacefully. Soeharto, as most dictators did, responded with force, culminating in the deaths of three college students from the Trisakti University by snipers. The resulting frenzy led to the protests becoming uncontrolled, eventually targeting not just Soeharto government but everyone who were regarded as complicit with him, including, tragically, Chinese Indonesians (general consensus claims to stem from jealousy over how they managed to survive the crisis relatively unscathed, in contrast to most other ethnic groupsnote ), forcing many of them to flee the country. After realizing how much he lost power and the ensuing chaos that erupted, Soeharto decided that he truly had to resign, his reign was over. Soeharto was succeeded by his vice-president, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. He lived the rest of his life in retirement, with the media hounding him, but he was never convicted until his natural death by multiple organ failure in 2008.

After the fall of Soeharto, with the freedom of press truly freednote , many were eager to research about what Soeharto was doing in all those years. Chief amongst them, though it is still a topic of considerable contention in Indonesia (because discussing it is a criminal offense), the 30 September Movement was a sort of False Flag Operation actually conducted by the very military it was supposed to have targeted. In a failed coup, blame was shifted to the communists, leading to the massacre (generally estimated from 500,000 to 1 million dead). Special point was taken to remind the population afterwards that only the communists (and absolutely none from the army) are to blame through the education system. In actuality, the plotters were mostly army officers (and did include some communist officers). And since all the communists were dead anyway, it worked relatively well, in addition to the aforementioned Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI film being aired every year, which ended up quite hypocritical of Soeharto (though not without a point, even if it's a smaller scale, the murder method was still very inhuman and gruesome). Additionally, despite the history of Indonesia being invaded and colonized by the Dutch, it turned out Soeharto would end up doing the same thing, except towards East Timor. Soeharto's government had invaded the Portuguese Timor in 1975, arguing that he was liberating an Asian power from colonialism, but it became obvious that this was mainly done to hoard the territory's resources. The United Nations regarded the Indonesian invasion and subsequent occupation of Portuguese Timor as illegal, but this did not deter Soeharto, who continued ruling it with an iron fist until his fall.

To this day, even after his death, Soeharto remained as one of the most controversial figures of Indonesia. His name would go down in history as one of the worst dictators in the world that ever lived. That said, some Indonesians still think positively of him, not the least because Indonesia transformed into a regional power during his rule, human rights issues aside.note 


Soeharto's fall marked the beginning of Indonesia's reformation, which has a heavy emphasis on democracy and free speech. The presidency is no longer an office which is held for very long, and is limited to two five-year-terms. After succeeding Soeharto as President, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, in a show of goodwill towards the international world, immediately announced an independence referendum for East Timor, with the country subsequently gaining independence in 2002. Since then, barring the impeachment of President Abdurrahman Wahid in 2001, Indonesian politics have been going relatively smooth, with no major parties dominating the next two decades afterwards. Indonesia began holding free and fair legislative elections in 1999, and presidential elections in 2004. The current president is Joko "Jokowi" Widodo of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P, Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan), the political party headed by Megawati Soekarnoputri, Soekarno's eldest daughter. Soeharto's political party, the Party of Functional Groups, (Golongan Karya, often abbreviated to Golkar), has never popularly elected a president since his fall, although they did elect a vice-president in the form of Jusuf Kalla from 2004 to 2009, and then from 2014 to 2019.

The openness of the Reformation era also led to the rise of religious fundamentalism, and specifically Islamism. Having been forced underground for much of the Guided Democracy and New Order eras, Islamism came to the fore as a grassroots movement and became further inspired with the Aceh movement and seeing them as being successful in making their province stable with the strict sharia law. The infamous Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005, killing hundreds of foreign tourists, enforced fears that Islamists would take over the country, but the issue was brushed off by the public until 2016, when then-Governor Basuki Tjahaja "Ahok" Purnama, the first ethnic Chinese Indonesian governor of Jakarta, was impeached and arrested for allegedly insulting The Qur'an. note  The resulting international attention and infamy caused Jokowi's government to begin clamping down on Islamist groups, including the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI, Front Pembela Islam), notorious for advocating for the banning of films deemed un-Islamic and protesting against foreign artists like Lady Gaga from performing in Indonesia. To add insult to the Islamists' injury, Jokowi later invited Ahok (upon his release) to head Pertamina, the state-owned oil and gas company.

Despite its turbulent government issues, the Reformation proved to be quite beneficial to Indonesia as applications like X or other social medias became extremely popular and giving Indonesia a lot of international coverage, for good and bad. In addition of this, in 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America and his childhood connection with Indonesia became better known, garnering more interest to the nation. It was well deserved (Indonesia has always been a powerful regional player economically, being one of the 20 largest economies in the world, with Jakarta being also the seat of ASEAN) but not enough, and popular culture still pays little heed to the fourth-most populous country in the world.

Trivia and information about Indonesia

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    Administrative divisions 

During the colonial era, Indonesia was known as a producer of spices such as nutmeg, which is endemic to the Maluku islands. Today, Indonesia is a developing country and an important emerging market. It is among the world's 20 largest economies, and thus a member of the G20. While its relevance as a transshipment port has waned with the rise of the Singaporean economy, it makes up for it with its sheer volume of exports, including coal, petroleum oil, natural gases, palm oil, nickel, while it imports machinery and chemicals. Domestic consumption of palm oil, rice (a staple; see the Cuisine folder), and locally-manufactured consumer goods is ravenous. Indonesia was a longtime member of the OPEC, but decreasing oil wealth led to it exiting the bloc in 2008, having failed to meet production quota. Indonesia is well-known for its palm oil production, being the industry's top producer. Unfortunately, clearances for palm plantations have resulted in the rapid depletion of the country's rainforests since the late 20th century. For most of its history, Indonesia's main trade partner is Japan, though by the Turn of the Millennium China has been quickly ascending to become a key trade partner; backlash against this by far has to do with perceived transgressions against Indonesian sovereignty. A large chunk of Indonesia's economy is still dominated by the state, who owns several important enterprises, including its oil industry.

The Indonesian rupiah is infamous for its steep official exchange rate (1 USD = 15,100 IDR as of July 2023). This was the result of the hyperinflation the country experienced during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, when the currency was floated and ended up depreciating ten times its previous value. Although it has recovered and become stable in recent years, the currency stays around the same range. Do note, however, that the rate is deceptive and no way an indication of living costs, which are generally on the same level as other middle income countries and have risen much more steadily; the rupiah today takes you over a fifth as far as it did pre-crisis, which is fairly reasonable. Nevertheless, the rupiah is frequently the butt of jokes among Asian media for this reason (only the Vietnamese dong suffers more, since it has an even steeper rate than the rupiah). The last time it was under five digits against the dollar was when the United States faced an economic slump in 2013.

    Geography and Nature 
As with the rest of Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a tropical rainforest country. The equator crosses the islands of Sumatra, Borneo (the provincial capital city of Pontianak is the world's largest settlement to be crossed by the equator), Sulawesi, and Halmahera, meaning Indonesia exists in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The climate is extremely humid, and temperatures are generally within the same range of between 20°C and 35°C in most of Indonesia. Rain falls all year, though some areas receive more rain than the others; Surabaya is rather notorious for its pronounced dry season, while some parts of East Nusa Tenggara are so dry that their environment resembles the African savanna. Many Indonesians find it unbearable to stay outside for very long, and air conditioners are a common household appliance.

A part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has hundreds of volcanoes, many of which are extremely active and make headlines when they spectacularly erupt. A few volcanoes are noted internationally for their historical eruptions, like Krakatoa (whose 1883 eruption produced the loudest noise ever, and the ash it produced colored skies as far as Europe, possibly inspiring Edvard Munch to paint The Scream), Tambora (whose 1815 eruption was the cause for the European Year Without Summer), and Toba (root cause of the so-called Toba catastrophe theory, which posited that an apocalyptic eruption of the volcano caused a population bottleneck that reduced humanity to a few thousand people). Volcanoes are both a curse and a blessing; while millions of people live at the mercy of volcanoes, they are also what make the soil fertile in the first place. Indonesia is also infamous for its earthquakes, due to its location at the borders of the Australian, Indian, and Sunda Plates. There is at least one major earthquake each year, and some very large ones cause a tsunami on top of that. Earthquakes were the culprit for Indonesia's deadliest modern-day disasters, like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 160,000 people, and the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake that killed over 5,000.

There are many popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. Bali, an island east of Java, is probably more well-known than the country itself. It boasts beautiful beaches, various cultural attractions, and artistic hotspots. The island's prestige was briefly damaged by a terrorist bombing in 2002, which killed over 200 tourists (mostly Australians), as well as a follow-up bombing in 2005, but since then the island has witnessed no major incident and tourists have made a slow but steady comeback. It is the setting for the final third of Eat, Pray, Love, a feel-good Hollywood movie that is easily the biggest international exposure the country received until The Raid came along. Aside from Bali, Indonesia's natural attractions include the Bunaken reefs in the north of Sulawesi, the only place where Coelacanth is found (discovered by foreigners in the nineties, locals call it "raja laut" (king of the sea)), and the Raja Ampat (Four Kings) Islands, located off the coast of New Guinea, known for their rich coral reef ecosystems and possibly the richest in the world.

As for monuments, Indonesia hosts some of the world's largest Buddhist and Hindu temple complexes. Most of them are located in Central Java, the most famous of which is Borobudur, a gigantic Buddhist temple constructed in the style of a mandala and featuring delicate reliefs depicting the path to enlightenment across three different realms. Borobudur is located adjacent to two other Buddhist temples (Mendut and Pawon), and it is widely believed that there was some kind of a ritual procession involving the three, although knowledge of it has been lost. Another gigantic temple complex is Prambanan in Yogyakarta province, which contains three big Hindu temples dedicated to the Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva), as well as hundreds of smaller temples surrounding them that have unfortunately been swept away by time. There is also Garuda Wisnu Kencana, a massive, 122-meter tall Hindu statue depicting Vishnu riding on Garuda, which broke ground in 1997 but experienced a lengthy Development Hell thanks to the 1990s financial crisis that only ended in 2018. The statue dominates the skyline of southern Bali, and can be seen as far away as Tanah Lot, located 33 kilometers to the northwest.

As for fauna, Indonesia is home to the Komodo dragons, orangutans, rhinoceroses, and proboscis/long-nosed monkeys (known in Indonesian as 'bekantan', and known for being the mascot of Jakarta's biggest theme park, Dunia Fantasi/Dufan (Fantasy World)). There are also a lot of snakes, including around 360 species and 76 of them are venomous (and one of them being the most venomous King Cobra, it's a good thing that the Black Mamba didn't live there) and yet they only have antivenoms for three species so far. For the most part, snake bites were handled with a more 'general' antivenom, or traditional healing. Therefore, getting bitten by a snake in Indonesia can be one of the deadliest things in the nation. With less knowledge on snakes and Indonesia still pushing on modernization on rural areas, it's only a matter of time that the modern people encounter the snakes that were driven away from their habitat (usually by accident, since there are lots of tall grasses in rural areas of Indonesia where farmers work, farmers are more likely to encounter snakes by chance while either cutting grasses or walking through the territory, accidentally provoking the snakes), though death by snake bites is still rare in the country.note  Aside of snakes and the rare Komodo dragon, the highly dangerous saltwater crocodiles are widely spread throughout Indonesian swamps and rivers (especially Papua), and they're protected by animal protection laws.

Backpacking culture is rising since late 2012 thanks to local travel youtuber and TV personalities (Jalan Jalan Men and such) and the introduction of traveling and cheap flight / hotel apps, becoming a borderline lifestyle. There's a lot of controversies around this however, especially on "cheap travelers" that occasionally damage the world-renowned travel destination mentioned above with vandalism and littering. Indonesia's capsule hotel businesses is also getting hotter, noted for affordable luxury and novelty, like Bobobox and they even add ones in airport and stations.

The capital Jakarta is rather notorious that every once in five years, there will be a great flood rushing into the city, causing atomic blackouts, and occasionally, the floods would even reach adult's chest for about a week or less. Scientists have voiced concern that the city is literally sinking every year unless some sort of drastic action is taken, and there have been proposals to move the capital way to a less crowded and low-lying location. In 2020, they did just that; Jokowi announced that a new capital city called "Nusantara" will be built in East Kalimantan, and is expected to be completed by 2024.

    Territorial issues 
Indonesia has had some territorial disputes and independence movements. The most well-known and still enduring one is the West Papua independence movement, which has been persisting since 1962. Indigenous Papuans are of the same ethnicity as those in Papua New Guinea, and some have been campaigning for independence since the region was integrated to Indonesia in 1969 (while West Papua was a Dutch colony, it was still controlled by them until the 1960s, years after Indonesia gained independence). The West is not generally keen to support them because their integration to Indonesia is valid from an international standpoint (it was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations). Economic reason is also a factor, as the United States operates one of the largest diamond and gold mines in the world there, so it wants to keep the region as stable as possible.

East Timor's annexation and subsequent independence is also known internationally. Unlike New Guinea, its independence movement did get support from the West, as Indonesia, under the dictator Soeharto, had blatantly flouted international order by invading and annexing the former Portuguese Timor upon independence. The country was ruled as a province of Indonesia from 1976 to 1999, when provisional president B.J. Habibie, who presided over the remainder of Soeharto's five-year term following his fall, allowed a referendum for East Timorese whether to remain in Indonesia (78% rejected it). The country was subsequently governed by a UN mandate until 2002, when it finally gained independence.

Other than West Papua and East Timor, there is also the Aceh Independence Movement (GAM, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka), which was founded in the 1970s to vouch for the independence of Indonesia's westernmost province, apparently inspired by East Timor's successful independence. It was a major headache for the Indonesian government in the early 2000s, but the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami brought about a ceasefire, and two years later, Indonesia agreed to grant autonomy to a new province of Aceh under Jakarta's authority. Aceh is now the only province in Indonesia where enforcement of sharia law by the government is expressly permitted, and the provincial government has, to the consternation of human rights advocates, exercised this privilege with gusto.

Indonesia formerly disputed a pair of islands off the coast of Borneo with Malaysia, Sipadan and Ligitan, which in 2002 were awarded to Malaysia by the International Court of Justice, as Malaysia went out its way to build infrastructure on the islands before Indonesia could do the same. While it presently has no land disputes with foreign countries, Indonesia still maintains oceanic territorial disputes with Malaysia regarding Ambalat, an area in the Celebes Sea that contains natural gas deposits, as well as with China regarding portions of the South China Sea, specifically China's claim of the nine-dash line that overlaps with the Exclusive Economic Zone of Indonesia's Riau Islands province.

Indonesian roads are often very small, and the ones that aren't are mostly stuffed with restaurant tents on the sides. Motorcycles are incredibly common since they're cheaper and more suitable in navigating the alleys than cars. The capital Jakarta is notorious as one of the most crowded, vehicle-infested cities out there, with some calling it 'the city with worst traffic jam in the world'. Because of the above, whenever you drive a vehicle, sometimes you will find people just standing up in the road and guiding cars on when to cross or make a U-turn. They may request small tip for services (in as much as you give to beggars), but in times when there's a big traffic jam, they can be vital to make sure your vehicle doesn't bump into others, so giving them money, while optional, is often considered being grateful, and if their services gets you through really hard situation, giving more money than usual is often considered much more grateful. Indonesians call these guys 'Pak Ogah', literally translated 'Mr. Reluctant', but actually based on the same-named character from a traditional puppet TV show "Si Unyil", who's a Lazy Bum, since while actually useful in roads at times, in other times it could also add up to the traffic jam problems, or being considered a job for rather lazy people.

Public transportation in Indonesia is still a work in progress. Many people continue to find it more convenient to use private cars or motorcycles to go around, resulting in traffic jams being common sight during rush hours. During the New Order, aside from conventional buses operated by the state-owned DAMRI (Djawatan Angkoetan Motor Repoeblik Indonesia, "Motor Transport Enterprise of the Republic of Indonesia"), public transportation was dominated by share taxis called angkot (short for angkutan kota, "city transport") or mikrolet. They have a fixed route and charge a fixed fee, but in return you'll have to be patient as they stop to load and unload passengers whenever they feel like it. A few places offer autorickshaws that use the Daihatsu Midget, which do not have a fixed route and can seat fewer passengers than angkot. Jakarta's autorickshaws are called bajaj, and they have become something of a cultural icon. Manual cycle rickshaws used to be very common until Jakarta banned them in 1970s, citing public order concerns, though they still can be seen in slums and smaller cities. There are also motorcycle taxis, ojek, whose fee is customarily haggled between the driver and the customer before the trip begins, and which often do not bother to offer the passenger a helmet to wear, making them technically illegal. Despite its shady reputation, ojek are often preferred over Western-style taxicab service, because they are cheaper. Modern taxis entered Indonesia during the 1970s with the Blue Bird Group, and their relative priciness compared to the services mentioned above caused them to be stereotyped as something that only rich people use.

In recent years, though, the country has attempted to turn the issue around by building more efficient public transportation. Jakarta inaugurated its bus rapid transit system, TransJakarta, in 2004, which eventually grew to become the world's longest BRT system, serving 251.2 km worth of roads. Today, most big cities have a BRT system, supplanting DAMRI buses. Meanwhile, the Information era allowed Indonesian programmers to develop apps that revolutionize taxis. This results in Go-Jek, an Uber-esque ride-hailing app. Their name is a play on traditional motorcycle taxis, and in a way they are modernized ojek. At first, only motorcycle rides were available, but eventually they began offering car rides (Go-Car) as well. As with Uber, the app has many other services that people can use, most notably for food delivery (Go-Food) or item delivery (Go-Send), but also shopping (Go-Shop), medical assistance (Go-Med), entertainment ticket selling services (Go-Tix), and a digital wallet (Go-Pay). Go-Jek's popularity has eclipsed traditional taxis, both shared and private, and there are routine protests from taxi drivers demanding for the service to be limited or even taken down, protests that mostly go nowhere due to strong opposition from customers (although Blue Bird taxis seem to have foreseen their imminent downfall by cooperating with Go-Jek to offer services). Go-Jek is popular enough that it has expanded to the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Indonesia, Go-Jek primarily competes with Grab, a Singaporean ride-hailing service that absorbed the Southeast Asian branch of Uber in 2018. Many other ride-hailing services have popped up since the 2010s that rival both, however.

Controlled-access highways in Indonesia are known as jalan tol (toll roads), because every single one of them charge a fee. The very first toll road in Indonesia, Jagorawi Toll Road, was built in 1978, connecting the capital Jakarta with the farthest of its four satellite cities, Bogor (the other three are located adjoining the city). In the years after, more toll roads were constructed in and around Jakarta, as well as other metropolitan centers like Surabaya, Medan, Semarang, and Makassar, and there were plans to construct a huge network of toll roads connecting all of Java (paralleling the Javan North Coast Road) and Sumatra before the 1997 financial crisis hit. Construction of toll roads picked up at a swift pace under the current presidency of Joko Widodo, who wanted to make interconnectivity his main legacy. The long-dormant plan to build a toll road throughout the northern coast of Java was realized in 2018, meaning it is now feasible to reach Surabaya from Jakarta in under 10 hours (previously, it took 20 hours). New roads also connected settlements in Sumatra, Sulawesi, as well as the first toll road in Indonesian Borneo (Balikpapan-Samarinda Toll Road).

Indonesia's railways are operated by the Indonesian Railways Company (PT Kereta Api Indonesia). They are inherited from networks built during the Dutch colonial period wholesale, and there have been no major expansions since the country gained independence. Rail transport exists only in Java and parts of Sumatra; there used to be railways in Borneo and Sulawesi, but both were shut down. Urban rail transit in Indonesia currently consists of two light rail transit networks in Palembang (built to coincide with the opening of the 2018 Asian Games) and Jakarta, one mass rapid transit/metro rail in Jakarta, four airport rail links, several commuter rail lines, and a high-speed rail line connecting Jakarta with Bandung. The high-speed rail, the first in Southeast Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, is named Whoosh (short for "Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Hebat", lit. Time Saving, Optimal Operation, Superior System). It is based on China's high-speed trains, and is operated by a Chinese and Indonesian joint venture company, PT. KCIC (Kereta Cepat Indonesia China). It began operations in 2023.

Being an archipelagic state, aviation is an important industry in Indonesia, with flights being the primary mode of transportation that connects the major islands. Between 2009 to 2014, air passengers grew threefold, and are expected to increase in the coming years. Indonesia's flag carrier and most popular full-service airline is Garuda Indonesia, while its most popular airline overall is the low-cost Lion Air. These two, alongside Garuda Indonesia's low-cost subsidiary Citilink, as well as Lion Air's three subsidiaries Batik Air (its foray to the full-service market), Wings Air (regional airline best known for its all-turboprop fleet), and Super Air Jet (a low-cost airline that targets young adults) form some 80% of Indonesia's market share, with the remaining 20% being in turn dominated by the hybrid airline Sriwijaya Air, its regional subsidiary NAM Air, and Indonesia AirAsia (which began as the fully domestic Awair; AirAsia purchased 49% shares of Awair in 2005 and rebranded it as its Indonesian branch). Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, Lion Air, Batik Air, Indonesia AirAsia, and TransNusa (a former regional airline that was relaunched as a nationwide low-cost airline after the COVID-19 Pandemic) all have international routes, though compared to hubs like Singapore, Indonesia's offerings are rather lacking. Garuda Indonesia, currently flying only to nine countries today, used to service major European and North American destinations before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which forced it to scale back operations, something that it never recovered from (currently, the only European destination it serves nonstop flights to is Amsterdam). Also, Indonesia has a rather notorious reputation in the world for its poor airline safety record, with no less than six plane crashes claiming at least 100 fatalities occurring between 2002 and 2018. The 2007 New Year's Day crash of Adam Air Flight 574, which resulted in the airline ceasing its operation shortly afterwards, followed by the relatively minor but still deadly crash of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 later that year, caused the European Union to impose a blanket ban on Indonesian airlines from crossing into its airspace, although the major airlines successfully petitioned to have their individual bans removed, before the law was scrapped completely in 2018.

    Ethnic groups 
Indonesia hosts over 1,300 ethnic groups speaking around 700 languages, though they are not evenly distributed. Half of them are in eastern Indonesia, which is significantly less populated compared to western Indonesia, which has few ethnic groups with large numbers.

The Javanese, at 95 million people, make up 42% of the total population. Their language is the most-spoken native language in the country, and is the world's single largest language with no official status. Their native homeland is the provinces of Central Java, East Java, and Yogyakarta, but, owing to their historical dominance (like the Majapahit Empire), they have spread far and wide throughout the archipelago, and their culture is felt across the nation. The Dutch settled hundreds of thousands of Javanese outside Java during the colonial period, a policy continued by the Indonesian government as part of the Transmigrasi program. All seven Indonesian presidents to date are ethnic Javanese (although three of them: Soekarno, his daughter Megawati, and B.J. Habibie, are only partially-Javanesenote ). Among linguists, the Javanese language is considered an odd member of the Malayo-Polynesian family, as it is grammatically and phonetically very different from neighboring languages like Malay, Sundanese, and Balinese, to the point that some have considered it to form an independent branch within Malayo-Polynesian. Javanese has three separate registers that are used depending on situation and formality, and was formerly written in a Brahmic script, but thanks to Dutch colonization, it is now written in the Latin script. The Javanese language heavily impacted modern Balinese and Sundanese languages; both of these contain three registers that are influenced by Javanese (with their "high" register basically replacing their vocabulary with Javanese loanwords), and their traditional scripts are descended from the Javanese Kawi script. Despite the Javanese being majority Muslim, their language has absorbed fewer Arabic loanwords compared to Malay, and their loanwords instead mostly came from Sanskrit. Many Javanese people today still give their children Sanskrit names regardless of their religion.

Living together with the Javanese in the Javan region are the Sundanese and the Madurese. The former are Indonesia's second largest ethnic group, and mostly live in West Java and Banten, though like the Javanese, many have migrated out of the island as part of Transmigrasi. The Sundanese are ancient neighbors and historical rivals of the Javanese; an old saying is that a marriage involving a Javanese and a Sundanese will always end in tragedy, which is rooted from the Bubat Incident during the Majapahit era (see the above folder). However, near the end of the 2010's, both sides have agreed to bury the hatchet. The Sundanese are the original inhabitants of the land that became Jakarta today, and many toponyms in Jakarta are clearly rooted in the Sundanese language. Meanwhile, the Madurese live in Madura, located off the coast of Surabaya in East Java connected by the Suramadu Bridge, Indonesia's longest. Historically, they were noted for their warlike culture, but are best known today for producing a lot of barbers who proudly advertise their business as Potong Rambut Madura (Madurese barbershop), and, less glowingly, for being the centerpiece of an ethnic conflict in Borneo during the early 2000s.

Sumatra is home to a dozen ethnic groups, but the most numerous are the Malays, who are the third largest Indonesian ethnic group. They are dominant in Riau, South Sumatra, Jambi, and the Bangka Belitung Islands, and constitute significant minorities in North Sumatra and Borneo's West Kalimantan. Sumatra was the heart of the Srivijaya Empire, a humongous medieval Malay state that was something of a precedent to the later (Javanese) Singhasari and Majapahit. The standard register of Malay as used in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore is based on the dialect of Riau. There are many other Malay dialects, though, and the language was used as part of the extensive trading network during the early modern period, spawning myriad of language creoles, including Manado Malay, Ambonese Malay, and famously, Betawi (the language of Jakarta; it's often said that Jakarta has no native inhabitants because it's a city of immigrants, and appropriately, it's "native" language is a creole). If you include people who speak these creole languages as part of ethnic Malays, then the number of Malay Indonesians swell from 8.7 million to around 16 million. Still, these numbers are dwarfed by other ethnic groups like the Javanese and Sundanese, which is why Indonesians don't like it when their country is lumped as part of the "Malay nation"; while the Malay identity forms the nucleus of Malaysia and Brunei, in Indonesia, it is merely one of the many identities that exist within the country. Despite the Indonesian language being a standardized register of Malay, many Indonesians draw a sharp distinction between their national language and Malay, which is regarded as just a regional ethnic language in the same vein as Javanese and Sundanese.

Aside from the Malays, Sumatra is also home to the Acehnese, the Bataks, the Minangkabau, the Rejang, and the Lampungese. The Acehnese were the first Indonesian ethnic group to convert to Islam, and today (in)famous for imposing Islamic laws in their everyday life. Interestingly, rather than their Sumatran neighbors, the Acehnese language has more in common with the moribund Chamic languages of Vietnam (formerly spoken in Champa, the only Austronesian state in Indochina, it was absorbed by the Vietnamese in the 19th century). The Bataks of North Sumatra are the largest Christian-majority ethnic group in Indonesia, and produce some of the country's best singers, orators, and, lawyers (those ministerial trainings definitely help). Their presence in the military even predates Indonesia, serving in the colonial army and bringing their expertise to the nascent Indonesian army. The Bataks are a tribal nation, and divide themselves into six major tribes, two of which are majority Muslim. Their religious divide is largely a result of the Padri War, initiated by the Bataks' southern neighbors, the Minangkabau, under the Wahhabi-influenced Padri movement led by independence fighter Tuanku Imam Bonjol. As for the Minang, they speak a language that is closely related to but not mutually intelligible with Malay (and may have been descended from an archaic form of Malay). They are a matriarchal, scholarly nation, and Minang men are traditionally expected to emigrate to seek higher learning and success elsewhere. One result of this is that Minangkabau cuisine is a common sight in cities, as these emigrants set up shop and opened restaurants known as Rumah Makan Padang. A Minang delicacy, rendang, made headlines when a 2011 CNN survey voted it the world's most delicious dish. Another result is that Minang people have made disproportionate gains in politics and entertainment relative to their size. A particularly famous Minang politician is one of the country's founding fathers, Vice-President Mohammad Hatta. During the 15th century, waves of Minang emigrants settled the Malay peninsula under the protection of the Malacca Sultanate, and their descendants formed Negeri Sembilan, a federal monarchy that elected rulers (Yang di-Pertuan Besar) on a periodical, rotational basis. Their form of government later inspired Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, to institute Malaysia's current kingship system, which elects a supreme monarch (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) on a rotational basis.

Meanwhile, Borneo is home to a related group of tribal people called the Dayaks. They live along the riverine and highly forested terrain of interior Borneo, and follow an animist religion, although some have converted to Christianity and Islam. The Dayaks are the first settlers of Borneo, but their position as the dominant people have been sidelined by ethnic groups that came later, such as the Malays, the Banjarese (another quasi-Malay ethnic group much like the Minang, they used to rule over a sultanate covering swathes of southern Borneo), the Chinese (they set up many company towns in West Kalimantan during the colonial period, called kongsi), and, most recently, the Javanese. Central Kalimantan is the only province where the Dayaks constitute a plurality.

Beginning with Sulawesi to the east, large monolithic ethnic groups give way to hundreds of smaller ones. Sulawesi alone has over 100 languages spoken, compared to Java's less than half a dozen, while half of Indonesia's 700 languages are concentrated in New Guinea, the most linguistically diverse area in the world. Among notable ethnic groups in Sulawesi include the Bugis and Makassarese (they are often conflated with each other, but their languages are mutually unintelligible), the Torajas, and the Minahasans. The Makassarese established Gowa, the most powerful precolonial state in Sulawesi, while the Bugis produced the only Indonesian president to be born and raised outside Java, B.J. Habibie (who was not actually an ethnic Bugis, though he was raised as one).

Indonesia also has a large community of ethnic Chinese (known officially as Tionghoa Indonesia, and colloquially as Cina Indonesianote ), with estimates of their population ranging from 2.8 to up to 8 million people. They are stereotyped as being talented in business and good with money, which is, to an extent, Truth in Television; according to a 2022 survey, seven of the ten richest Indonesians came from the Chinese community, including the first one (Robert Budi Hartono, co-owner of Indonesian cigarette conglomerate Djarum). Their ancestors mostly came from Fujian and Guangdong; according to a census conducted during the 1980s, Southern Min (e.g., Hokkien and Teochew) was the most widely spoken Chinese language in Indonesia, followed by Hakka and Cantonese. However, the majority of Chinese Indonesians in Java no longer speak Chinese, instead using either fluent Betawi, Javanese, or Sundanese (depending on where they live) in their daily lives. During the New Order period, Soeharto instituted a state-sponsored policy of discrimination against Chinese Indonesians, because he was deeply suspicious of their economic connections to Communist Mainland China. Chinese Indonesians were forbidden from speaking in their native tongues and also had to adopt one of the five official religions at the time, not including Confucianism (which wouldn't be recognized until 2000). Most ethnic Chinese in Java had been Confucian (or rather, folk religions that include Confucianism) at the time, and hundreds of thousands ended up converting to Christianity en masse. Although Chinese Indonesians in Java are predominantly Christian today, the majority outside Java have been Buddhists. Due to Soeharto's policy being targeted more towards people near the capital, non-Javanese Chinese Indonesians also tend to retain their mother languages, and to some respects they are culturally similar to Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese, who are largely Buddhist and Chinese-speaking. In addition, Chinese Indonesians outside Java are much more likely to use their Chinese names openly, whereas those inside Java have largely Indonesianized their names. The discriminatory policy was repealed after the fall of Soeharto's regime, but the legacy still lingers. While Christians in general are overrepresented in the military and police force due to Dutch preferential recruitment, there are barely any Chinese Indonesians due to Soeharto-era prohibition. The prohibition extended to all government employee positions, as well, which drove them to the business world that made them economically affluent in the first place.

Like Malaysia and Myanmar but unlike elsewhere in Southeast Asia, surname is a custom that has not caught on in Indonesia. It is also not unheard of for a person to have just one name (e.g., Soekarno, Soeharto), though this is becoming less common these days, and is officially discouraged (but not banned) by the government.note  A typical Indonesian will have either two or three names, all being given ones. A major exception to this rule is the Bataks, who use surnames (called marga in the Batak language) in much the same way as Koreans do.note  Aside from Bataks, surnames can be found in parts of Eastern Indonesia, as well as among foreigners and their descendants, such as the Chinese and Europeans.

Bahasa Indonesia (lit. Indonesian language, which means calling it Indonesian is more accurate than Bahasa) is a standardized version of Malay language used as the lingua franca of the country, influenced by other languages due to historical ties. Indonesian have a lot of loanwords standardized into the standard dialect (bahasa baku) from the former colonizers of the islands (Dutch, Portuguese, English) and trade partners and religious sources (Sanskrit, Chinese, Arabic). It can be said that Indonesian is mostly Dutch-influenced Malay, while Malay used in the neighboring Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei is mostly English-influenced. Some of Indonesian also made their way as loanwords in English, like paddynote , gongnote ,orangutannote , as well as amoknote .

The archipelago contains around 700 local living languages (which are not dialects of Indonesian because they have significant difference in grammar and vocabulary). It is estimated that 270 of them are spoken in Papua. Javanese is the most spoken local language in the country, as well as the most spoken language. Indonesia hosts the most trilinguals in the worlds, comprising 17,4% of the population. This is because most provinces have Local Content policy that mandates teaching of the local language of the province in primary and secondary schools. Besides that, Indonesian and English is also a mandatory subject from the central governmentnote , which means that the average kid would learn at least three languages in their formal education. What's interesting is that there are more second-language speakers than native speakers of Indonesian. This is due to Indonesian being spoken mostly alongside the native local language, especially in rural areas, while urban dwellers are more likely to have it as the first language. Sanskrit (known as Sanskerta) is used a lot like Latin is in Europe, just like in its native India. You'll see it in many government institutions' official motto and award and title names, e.g. the environment conservation award Kalpataru (from the Hindu divine tree), Anumerta (posthumous recognition), Indonesian Army motto Kartika Eka Paksi ("Unmatchable Bird with Noble Goals") and the Bhinneka part of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (commonly translated as "Unity in Diversity"; bhinneka is Sanskrit for "different", while tunggal and ika are Old Javanese for "one" and "it", so the closer translation is "Different, But One").

If you have been speaking Indonesian language for some time, you'd notice that Indonesians love to make portmanteaus of just about anything. Some are even done very much in a tongue-in-cheek way, often referencing multiple things at one time. Fine examples include Jabodetabek = the Jakarta metropolitan area (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.); Puskesmas = Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat ("Community Health Center," think of public clinics. Though unlike others below (except Kopaska), this is kind of accepted as an 'official' abbreviation unlike others that mostly would be considered slangs); Kopaska = Kommando Pasukan Katak ("Frog-Diver Command," think Indonesian equivalent to Navy SEALs); Pamer paha = padat merayap tanpa harapan (The joke goes twofold: Pamer paha means "Show Some Leg" (literally "thigh"), but the long form stands for "(traffic) extremely congested, abandon all hope"); Titi DJ = Hati-hati di jalan (Same joke: Titi DJ is the stage name of a famous TV Personality while the expanded form means "be careful in the road"); ABG = Anak Baru Gede, Angkatan Babe Gue, Audisi Band Gelo, Aku Baru Gajian ("insolent teenager", "my dad's generation", "band audition went shitty", and "I just got paid"; all from the same abbreviation, with many other variations not listed.); Anjal = Anak Jalanan ("street kids", nowadays used as a local substitute of the Precision F-Strike by youths.); Bucin = Budak Cinta (Property of Love).

The Indonesian language has no past tense or third-person gender-specific pronouns (which results in the English translation for the sentence "he kicks the ball" and "she kicked the ball" being exactly the same: "dia menendang bola").note  There are several first- and second-person pronouns with varying degrees of appropriateness. "I/me" can be "saya" (neutral/formal), "aku" (casual), "gua/gue" (Jakarta and surrounding areas, loanword from Hokkien Chinese, for close friends and peers only), "beta" (used in Eastern Indonesia), "hamba" (deferent, usually used ironically or by royal servants), etc. "You" can be "Anda" (very formal and can be seen as rude since it lacks deference), "Saudara" (literally "fellow humankind", mostly used by uniformed services), "kamu" (casual), "lu/lo" (counterpart to "gua/gue"), "Bapak/Ibu" ("Sir/Madam", formal and safest), "Adik" ("Younger sibling", used to address younger and young people), "Kakak" ("Older sibling," used to refer to elder but young people) and so on. There are no articles equivalent to "the/is/are/am/was/were". Also, like Spanish, the adjective is put after the noun ("Red apple" = "Apel merah", "Sky blue" = "Biru langit"), a common source of grief among Indonesians trying to learn English. "Akan" in Indonesian is (usually) the equivalent of "will" (of English future tense).

Some slang words are formed through word inversion (traditionally associated with the Malang dialect from Java) or letter rearrangement similar to Pig Latin, for example: "saik" from "asyik" ("fun"), "kane" from "enak" ("delicious"), "woles" from the English "slow" ("chillax"), "bokap" from "bapak" ("father"), "sohib" from "sahabat" ("best friend").

A rather common Indonesian Verbal Tic is to use tag questions by adding ", kan?" to the end of their sentences. The word "kan" is a shortened form of "bukan" (meaning "no"). In English, this amounts to something like, "Your name is John, no/isn't it?", or "Aren't you my friend?".

As a postscript, Dutch has all but died out and this is not considered an official language, nor in its Indonesian formnote  as a threatened minority language worthy of preservation. Only a vanishingly small minority of older people, who learned it during the colonial period, would still use or understand it. That said, the spelling of the Indonesian language is still influenced by Dutch, and it used to be even more Dutch-like prior to reforms in 1947 and 1972.note 

Indonesia is nominally a secular state but only recognizes six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism (since 2000). Indigenous belief systems, ironically, are struggling to be legally recognized and its adherents have to identify as one of the aforementioned six or risk not being able to be registered in the system, e.g. having a national ID card or marriage certificate, even though theoretically it is possible to identify as "Others". Minority sects of the six religions are often accused of heresy and persecuted by the more extreme religious organizations, sometimes violently. Any house of worship must be approved by the neighboring population, which can bring friction when the population of the local majority religion suspects the minorities building "too much" house of worship is an attempt to convert the majority, even though the minorities are from different branches. In a catch-22, regular worship in an "unregistered" facility is illegal too, which can end up very problematic with a lack of cheap and accessible public transport.

Islam, as the dominant religion, is practiced all along the archipelago. It is the majority religion in all provinces except for Bali, North Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, and the six Papuan provinces. Explaining Islam in Indonesia can take up pages upon pages showing how different it is to the "orthodox" Islam practiced elsewhere. General consensus is that it is very, very lax compared to those practiced in the Middle East and South Asia, because the religion was spread in Indonesia through Indian merchants, who mostly practiced Sufism. This made the religion open to acculturation with other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism; it's often said that had the Arab merchants were the ones who preached Islam in Indonesia, it wouldn't be accepted that easily. That said, Muslim Indonesians generally follow basic Islamic teachings like praying and not eating pork, drinking alcohol, or having sex outside marriage. Hijab is observed by an increasing number of women, when it was rather rare during the New Order period (mostly because Soeharto restricted hijab-wearing women from working in government, so it came to be seen as a symbol of defiance against his authority). In the mid 2000s, there's a surge of cultural movement called 'Hijrah', where people choose to become more religious in Islam and has sudden drastic changes in the lifestyle, such as dressing more modestly, and studying and preaching Islam harder. There's always a Token Religious Teammate in a group of people. The phenomenon has also led to many media to highlight this, such as Ayat-Ayat Cinta and Ketika Cinta Bertasbih. Music is an even hotter asset, where every year in Ramadan, artists release a "religious song", even when the artists have controversial reputations, with the modest fashion and all. Commerce is no exception, the rise of halal demand made many products want the halal label slapped to them, even for non-edible foods such as clothes and even halal fridge (no, really), theres also Halal e-commerce specifically to cater them.

Christianity is the largest minority religion in Indonesia, and is dominant in North Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, and Papua. Many provinces like North Sumatra (which actually has the largest Christian population in the country at 4.9 million people), Maluku, and West Kalimantan also have substantial Christian populations. Christianity was brought into Indonesia by the Europeans, and the faith was accepted by natives who formerly practiced tribal religions. Since the Protestant Dutch were the colonial power, Protestantism is considered the "default" Christian branch. When you hear Indonesians say about "Kristen", they're referring to Protestants (Catholics, by contrast, are referred to as "Katolik"). Interestingly, Indonesian Christians will sometimes call their God "Allah", similar to some Arab Christians. The tradition of Indonesian Christians calling God "Allah" is rooted in historical Malay translations of the Bible, which tend to utilize Arabic to translate phrases that were seen as being close enough to Muslim concepts (as Malays are traditionally Muslims, and Christian Malays are mostly descended from ex-Muslims). Indonesia actually has a couple of different ways to call God; other than "Allah", they have the Austronesian-rooted "Tuhan" (basically the native synonym of the monotheistic God), as well as "Dewa/Dewi", a term that may refer to the universal God but mostly used to refer to polytheistic gods or spirits (the term is derived from the Sanskrit word deva/devi). Aside from Allah, Christians also use Arabic phrases like "Alkitab" (the Bible), "Injil" (the Gospel) and "khutbah" (sermons). Usage of "Alkitab" and "Injil" outside their original context can be confusing for those not knowing that Christianity and Islam use them to refer to very different sets of books. As the most prominent non-Muslims, Christians and Muslims are usually the opposing parties in modern interreligious violence and disputes such as in Maluku and Kalimantan, though for the most part, the two get along, especially in the most cosmopolitan areas.

Hinduism is Indonesia's oldest foreign religion, and today chiefly practiced by the Balinese. Although the Balinese are nominally Hindu, their faith is best described as a syncretic religion that mixes Indian Hinduism with Balinese folk beliefs. Hindus traditionally believe in the existence of many gods who are aspects of the same essence, something that does not mix well with Indonesia's constitution, as it includes belief in one God as part of its principles. Hinduism also derives its diversity from having little in the way of common doctrine amongst its adherents beyond a belief in dharma, which doesn't sit well with a government overwhelmingly dominated by adherents of Abrahamic faiths with clear corpi of religious texts as such is hard to regulate. As a compromise with Indonesia's founding fathers, Balinese Hindus agreed to be recognized as citizens in exchange for "Acintya" (the Incomprehensible), also known as "Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa" (the Divine Order), being upgraded from merely an already novel blend of the Indian Hindu Brahman (universal principle) with the Javanese-Balinese monolatric entity "Hyang" to being the sole God, of which all other deities are merely a manifestation. Other than the Balinese, Orang Hindu is used as a catch-all term for people who adopt folk religions that do not fit the more rigid concepts of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. These include the Tenggerese (a remnant of Hindu Javanese who hold onto their beliefs after Majapahit was destroyed), the Baduy (the Sundanese equivalent of the Tenggerese, though they are more well-known for being isolationists who reject modern conveniences, akin to the Amish), and the Dayaks.

Buddhism, alongside Hinduism, is one of Indonesia's first foreign religions. Buddhism was the religion of the Malay archipelago's first superpower, Srivijaya, and many Buddhist terms survive in local languages long after the religion itself declined (e.g., sengsara, duka, agama, upaya). Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism went extinct when Indonesia became Muslim, and would not be reintroduced to the country until the colonial period, with the arrival of Chinese immigrants. The consequence of this is that, despite the role it played in Indonesia's past, it is seen as a "foreign" religion, in the same vein as Confucianism; this is much like how Christianity was viewed in China after the Church of the East lost its relevance and Jesuit missionaries reintroduced it. Buddhism thus winds up sharing a role with Confucianism as a catch-all for all religions chiefly practiced by the Chinese, like Taoism or simply Chinese folk traditions. As with Hindus, Indonesian Buddhists experienced the same problem while trying to fit their theology to Indonesia's constitution, only this time, rather than believing in too many gods, Buddhists believe in too few; Buddhists are, religiously speaking, atheists, as they either do not believe in a supreme God, or indeed any god, responsible for the creation of the universe or simply find the concept of "gods" irrelevant; the faith instead emphasizes on the achievement of human self-awakening and enlightenment. Buddhists made a similar compromise to get themselves recognized as citizens by including belief in "Sang Hyang Adi Buddha", the seed of Buddhahood that exists in every living being.

Thanks to the government designating six religions as official, 11 religious holidays are designated national holidays in Indonesia (Islamic New Year, Mawlid/Muhammad's birthday, Isra Mi'raj, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Good Friday, Ascension of Jesusnote , Christmas, Nyepi, Vesak, and Chinese New Year). Most of these holidays are immediately recognizable, aside from Nyepi, a uniquely Balinese Hindu holiday that celebrates the New Year. That said, Nyepi is well-known internationally, as the highly touristic island of Bali (including the airport) shuts down in its entirety while the Balinese observe the New Year in silence (nyepi means "go silent" in Balinese).

Since the fall of the New Order, presidents, politicians, and high-ranking figures precede their speech with a long greeting honoring the country's six religions: Assalamualaikum, salam sejahtera bagi kita semua, shalom, om swastiastu, namo buddhaya, salam kebajikan. The tradition originated during the presidency of Abdurrahman Wahid, who sometimes began his speech with assalamualaikum ("peace be upon you", Muslim greeting), salam sejahtera bagi kita semua ("good upon us all", Catholic greeting), shalom ("peace"; Protestant greeting). Megawati Soekarnoputri added om swastiastu ("I wish good upon you", Hindu greeting), and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono completed it with namo buddhaya ("praise be to all Buddhas", Buddhist greeting), salam kebajikan ("greetings of virtue", Confucian greeting).

Due to the country's dark past with communism, which is frequently equated with atheism, atheists have a poor standing in Indonesian society. Those who deem themselves atheists will do good not to let their beliefs known publicly, as many Indonesians can and do discriminate against them. Even strong agnosticism can be a risky position to present.

Belief in supernaturals are incredibly common in Indonesia. In many places, teenage boys go to cemeteries and abandoned houses (the latter is surprisingly common) in the middle of the night alone on a dare. There are many "dukun" (witch doctors), who can be hired to put "santet" or "teluh" (curses) on your enemies.

Much like Latin America, most of Europe, and much of the World, Indonesians are huge soccer nuts. Worth noting, however, is that despite in spite of the sheer popularity of the sport, the national team holds a record in the tournament stage of the FIFA World Cup for the fewest matches played. One match, to be precise, in the 1938 as the Dutch East Indies, where they were the first Asian team to ever play at the World Cup. The Indonesian team didn't have much of a chance as of since, since it refuses to play against Israel, and it falls behind many other Asian national teams in quality.

Worth noting are the local version of Football Hooligans. These guys come in several flavors depending on the team, like "Bonek" ("bondho nekat", meaning "reckless guys"), The Jak, and The Viking, and they're notorious for yelling ridiculously bad jingles, causing hellish traffic jams and riots whenever their favorite team loses, or wins, or sometimes for no reason at all, as Kelly Clarkson could attest to. Indeed, when one team lost a home match against its main rivals for the first time ever in 2022, a riot by the former's supporters and a subsequent heavy-handed police response led to the second-worst soccer-related disaster in history. That said, Indonesia has become a runner-up for the AFF Cup six times. Related to about soccer, English football club Manchester United once planned to visit Indonesia and play with the national team as part of the Asian tour, but had to cancel the visit when the hotel they were planning to stay (The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta) was bombed. Recently, though, when Italian club Inter Milan attempted to do the same, there's no bombing and the visit was a success.

Due to this, Indonesians adore Football-based video games and manga/anime series, such as football simulation video game series such as FIFA Soccer and Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution Soccer (by Electronic Arts and Konami respectively), which continue to headline most physical gaming stores you visit in Indonesia. And if there's a video game rental place (usually to provide those on the lower economic scale the joys of video games), or when an office provides a game console for its workers to play during break times, you can bet that it'll have either of those two, depending on the latest installment. On the PC-simulation side, Football Manager is the running champion, with people running games since Football Manager 2005. Captain Tsubasa is also a bonafide favorite anime/manga for sports goers. There were times that Indonesia aired some obscure soccer anime, but it's only Captain Tsubasa that became a sensation, even older workers that still like soccer enjoy this series.

Though its international soccer record is dismal, Indonesia puts its talent where its heart is in badminton, at which it fares much, much better. Its national team won the Olympic gold medal five times in a row, earned the most titles in the prestigious Thomas Cup, placed third in terms of titles in the Uber Cup, and earning the most medals in badminton by a large margin (100 medals out of 171) in the SEA Games, though in terms of titles it has started to lag in the past few years. It has become fairly rare for the New York Times to run a long-form slice-of-life article about the country, but the last, was about badminton. These achievements somehow get overshadowed by the antics of the above soccer nuts, however, as well as how badminton as an international sensation tends to get overshadowed by soccer or even basketball.

Just like many other Southeast Asian countries, another sport that has becoming really popular in Indonesia after the turn of the century is MotoGP. The popularity of MotoGP here far, far outweighs the popularity of Formula One even though Formula One briefly had an Indonesian driver in Rio Haryanto in 2016 whilst MotoGP hasn't had an Indonesian rider that competed in the MotoGP class yet. MotoGP's popularity is so huge here that if you compared the search numbers of MotoGP and Formula One on Google Trends, Indonesia is the only major country where the search results for MotoGP outnumbers Formula One.note  Also according to the Google Trends, it is the second most popular type of sport in the country, with soccer/football being the only type of sport that managed to beat MotoGP's search numbers on the internet. That's just how immense MotoGP is to the general public of Indonesia. The country has hosted a championship race in 1996 and 1997 in the purpose-built Sentul International Circuit, and returned in the calendar for the 2022 season with a street circuitnote  in the Mandalika resort area in Lombok island. There has been several reasons that explains why MotoGP is incredibly popular in Indonesia: Indonesia's status as one of the biggest motorcycle markets in the world, Valentino Rossi's immense popularity (him appearing in ads featuring Indonesian celebrities like this in the 2000's certainly helps), and the fact that Indonesia is one of the very few countries to have all of the races aired live on free television is often cited as the biggest factors. If you live in the cities and you overheard people talking about "Rossi", "Marquez", "Lorenzo", "Pedrosa", or "Stoner", chances are they will be talking about Valentino Rossi, Marc Márquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, and Casey Stoner respectively. Unfortunately, unlike the soccer case, the popularity of MotoGP did not translate into video games, as Indonesian gamers are too preoccupied with soccer games. However, the influence can still be seen in the latter era of arcade games: Practically every arcade hubs are required to have a racing simulation game (Take your pick between Daytona series, Initial D games, and other racing titles, or even Mario Kart). It helps that racing simulation makes for an 'out there' arcade experience compared to the console-based, joystick-operated soccer simulation.

Jakarta has been hosting the Formula E championship race since 2022, and is committed to do so until the 2025-2026 season, but its highly politicized background related to one of the presidential candidates means an extension of the contract might depend on the 2024 election and how the winning coalition considers the promotion of electric vehicle through the race.

    Popular culture 
The copyrights laws aren't very strong in Indonesia. Singaporean tourists sometimes visit ITC Ambassador, a shopping mall in south Jakarta to buy bootleg DVDs (which are sold by at least a dozen stands there)note  and copy the contents into a flash drive to watch at home. Bootleg merchandises of SpongeBob SquarePants and the Malaysian animated series Upin & Ipin are commonly sold in the streets. The bootleg DVD situation, however, ended up shaping the video gaming history in Indonesia with Sony ending up building a legacy out of bootleg PlayStation 1 & 2 discs, until 3 made it impossible thanks to changing to Blu-Ray format (you won't see bootleg Blu-Ray discs).

Indonesia has produced a number of Memetic Mutations. These include a vid between popular musician Ariel and some other woman, a dangdut lipsync, a policeman here who dances and sings to the song "Chaiya Chaiya" from Dil Se.. note , a comedian who did the same thing here (Indonesians sure love Bollywood), a man whose explosive criticism towards another went viral, Mad Dog from The Raid, a commercial for a mangosteen peel's extract, an X post featuring Ahok which utilized that certain meme from 300, young people shouting at passing busses, and plans to turn the popular instant noodle brand Indomie into Indonesia's seventh religion. Here's a compilation of Indonesia's own memetic figures. Also, blaming and criticizing the government is usually one thing, (the Orde Baru era saw many media and arts subtly criticizing the Orde Baru regime without being caught by Soeharto), but once the democracy got set in with many freedom of speech implemented and compounded with the rise of social media, 'blaming the government' got turned into a meme used by young people to complain on just anything that goes wrong, in a similar manner of 'blaming capitalism / MegaCorp' in bigger countries. While they are not without a point that corruption is still a big problem Indonesia is tackling and there are a few that expressed this eloquently, sometimes the amount and way of their complaining got to the level of hilarity that just couldn't be taken seriously.

There is one thing that tourists learned about Indonesia after actually visiting it. The fact that some Indonesians likes to do things later than it is scheduled, also known as Ngaret note  in Indonesian term. This is lampshaded in a Manga named Tokkyu. However, this is a stereotype, though true among the Obstructive Bureaucrat types, if only to squeeze you out of your money.

Also, Barack Obama once lived in Indonesia. This is something that Indonesians are proud of (aside from those who don't like anything remotely Western). It was, unfortunately, also used by those people who are opposed to his candidacy as President, most prominently the infamous "birther" movement (who claimed that Obama wasn't an American citizen by birth). The fact that not only he had an Arabic middle name but also grew up in the predominantly-Muslim country were, unsurprisingly, used by Islamophobics who claimed that America was electing a terrorist as president.

Quite a number of Indonesians are for all intents and purposes, smitten with JAV Idols and even Gravure Idols. Trashy newspapers such as Lampu Hijau ("Green Light", as in the traffic light, previously named Lampu Merah, meaning Red Light) once had a countdown on the best Idol (Gravure or JAV) ever, hilariously carrying religious messages in the same paper. Japanese AV idol Maria Ozawa (popularly known as Miyabi) was quite popular in Indonesia once, to the point that the tagline "Don't watch my DVDs." was slapped on her videos during Ramadhan. Whomever made it had their tongues planted firmly in cheek, yes, but still. Even more hilariously, a picture of her has been spotted in an English Worksheet for Junior High students, available publicly. Naturally, outrage ensued.

Indonesian commercials mostly rely on witty, subversive, or even sometimes "out there" approach. This is, amongst others, a distilled form of a general Indonesian predilection for wit. Not to mention the amount of local memes shoved in them. While commercials eventually got fizzled out, there were at times a commercial ended up getting banned because it was deemed too controversial for good reasons, even if it's a very funny case of Tempting Fate. The commercial in question and its sequel.Synopsis 

The government and daily life are heavily influenced by military tradition, stemming mainly from Independence War nostalgia and the longest-reigning president being a former Army general. Schools and many other institutions hold military-style flag raising ceremonies every Monday and many schools have flag raising clubs, which members have the chance to be selected for the annual Independence Day ceremony at the presidential palace. Phrases like "Semangat 45" ("'45 spirit"), "Merdeka!" ("Liberty!"), and "Siap!" (military "Yessir!" like the German "Jawohl!") are used in daily life.

Lately, Political Overcorrectness there. For example, smoking scenes are censored now. This is also the reason of why Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece got censored there too. Which is ironic, because mothers in '90s there didn't care at all about violent shows like Kamen Rider BLACK or Dragon Ball, and they even watched WCW Nitro at 1 P.M (yeah. It got showed there at that time slot) and brought their CHILDREN to watch it with them. It also had something to do with the increasingly rudeness of kids there. The phrase "Bodoh" (meaning "stupid") there has been turned by kids into an insult, so the parents heavily blamed it on entertainment. The rudeness also came with the Bloodier and Gorier Soap Opera there became more common (it's quite common to have a scene where someone bleeding profusely shown in a 6 P.M SHOW!), so they have some reasons. Censoring has been quite a problem that entertainment industry had to be careful on people who blamed them for anything. For instance, once upon a time there was a commercial of a telephone card which involves two salary men discussing about them and one of them invoking Tempting Fate that if such a cheap deal of telephone card exists (which is being promoted), he'll go off marry a monkey... and then they encountered a billboard that advertised that yes, such cheap deal existed, and the commercial ended with the awkward marriage ensuing. The commercial actually has a sequel where said salaryman hasn't heard the lesson and again, tempts fate that if a cheaper deal exists, he'll re-marry with a goat. It happened again, and now the monkey is mad that it has to share with the goat. Several times passed and then after a group of conservative people protested that the commercial is like an insult to the humankind nature for marrying animals, the commercial sets were banned. The more proactive people in the future would eventually point out that such censoring would be severely limiting creativity of the entertainment industry (and in a way, it could have been showing).

Out of sheer coincidence, the Indonesian (or to be more precise, Javanese) word for piggy bank is celengan, where celeng means pig/boarnote . Makes you wonder how the English and the Indonesian somehow came to relate saving money to pigs. These days, most traditional piggy banks, often made of clay, are shaped like roosters, perhaps to avoid the Islamic stigma associated with pigs today. Or more likely, this 'piggy bank'/'celengan' refers to the myth of Babi Ngepet, a wereboar-ish creature, a man who can turn into a black boar/pig and then magically steal money from other people. Black magic is involved.

Having internet can be a pain in Indonesia. Don't be surprised if you have to handle with the "Internet Positif" censorship regimen, which blocks any websites deemed "unhealthy" and overly non-conducive to the government's vision of an educational and economy-boosting internet. This may include pornography, piracy, and some image/video-hosting sites (even Reddit and Imgur, as those sites is allegedly the ones with the most porn). Interestingly, though, in spite of communism and political extremism being the government's favorite boogeymen, websites for such tend to go unblocked, like, disturbingly enough, Stormfront. Unsurprisingly, the country has one of the highest percentage of VPN users. At the very least, some netizens has taken advantage of this and created its Anthropomorphic Personification in form of Ipo-chan, which is surprisingly popular.

The internet subscription cost and speed are also relatively expensive compared to the average salary especially outside the larger cities in Java, partly due to the large swath of land with low density population separated by body of water. This means the opinion you find on the internet from Indonesians are heavily biased on particular demographics and might not represent the general population. Some political campaigns and product research forgot about this (even when they should've known better). English proficiency isn't given, so even though the censorship itself is easily thwarted, Indonesia is under-represented in English-speaking forums, even compared to her much less populated neighbors.

The fact that Indonesia is almost unknown to the rest of the world besides the popular tourist destination island of Bali (which many outsiders would think is a country or part of another country) is not lost on Indonesians. Due to the relatively quick proliferation of Internet recently, on several occasions that the country is mentioned, however briefly, you can be sure that more than several people will be commenting with "Proud to be Indonesian!"/"Hey, that's my country you know!". Due to how embarrassing this can be if said in Real Life, and the fact that comments can fill almost all of the comment section of a post rather quickly and obnoxiously, it's dubbed "Overproud Indonesians". It's widespread from Twitter / X to YouTube and SFW Image Boards like 9GAG, but kind of limited in sites blocked by Indonesian Government like Reddit or Tumblr.

The backlash concerning a cultural dance in Indonesia aired as Malaysian in Malaysian TV by Discovery Channel has sparked a lot of demonstrations. The issue of which culture belongs to which nation has always been Serious Business for Indonesians, who claim that Malaysians are stealing their culture. The point is kind of moot since most Malay-ethnic people in Malaysia have some Indonesian ancestry and due to the proximity to western/central Indonesia, it is inevitable that they would share cultures. Of course, claiming (intentionally or not) Indonesian cultures east of Java isn't exactly that plausible. The biggest punchline to the ad controversy above? The ad creators were Singaporeans.

Indonesians have been throwing insults at anything Malaysian for quite a while after they patented several Indonesian cultural items, such as batik (the technique of forming patterns on fabric by scribbling hot liquid wax, dying it, and boiling off the wax) or gamelan (a style of music centered around mallet-struck metallophones). Since the Minangkabau of West Sumatra are held by most academics to be the cultural precursors to Malays and their language that of Malay, Indonesians tend to have a stronger claim to them than their brethren over the Bornean border, but have also been much less civilized about it; cultural flare-ups are often marked by riots outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta. Between the "culture stealing", Soekarno's support for the communist guerrillas during the Emergency, and Malaysia being one of the few countries that can stand up to Indonesia at the one sport it's good at, Indonesia doesn't like Malaysia very much.

    Films and Television 
Most Indonesian films are romance comedies or horror movies. Around The '80s and The '90s, Indonesia was known as one of the countries that released a lot of terrifying horror movies, their styles were based on mystical creatures and ghosts. It also helps that around that era, Indonesia also got their own "Queen of Horrors", Suzzanna, that many horror films starring her as the titular horror provider would go down as local legendary films. Since the end of the New Order, the quality of horrors have gone up and down, reaching their Audience-Alienating Era in the late 2000s/early 2010s when the market was dominated by sex-selling, hilariously-titled, B-grade horrors. However, Indonesian horror has experienced a renaissance by 2017, beginning with the release of Danur: I Can See Ghosts, to the point that the current highest-grossing Indonesian film of all time is a horror film released in 2022. "Religious romance" is a new genre that surfaced since the late 2000s, with the high-budget ones shot in the Middle East. The genre popularizer for this is Ayat-Ayat Cinta, which tells the life of a man who enters a polygamous marriage and the implication that entails.

Television reached Indonesia in the 1960s; the oldest established television network in Indonesia, the state-owned TVRI (Televisi Rakyat Indonesia), began broadcasting in 1962, in conjunction with the 1962 Asian Games held in Jakarta. For most of the New Order era, TVRI was the country's only television network, and was used to air propaganda related to the regime. In 1987, however, Soeharto's government approved a five-year plan to allow commercial television networks and programming. The country's second, and first privately-owned, television network, RCTI (Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia), started airing in 1989, followed by SCTV (Surya Citra Televisi) in 1990, MNCTV (Media Nusantara Citra Televisi) in 1991, and ANTV (Andalas TV) in 1993. Since TVRI was still sponsored by the government, these networks initially had to operate under a set of rules restricting their broadcast coverage,note  and were forbidden from airing news, which was deemed TVRI's right. With the advent of Reformation, these restrictions were clipped away, and more and more television networks have popped up, while TVRI's popularity has faded away, now being regarded as a niche channel providing highbrow and educational shows. Aside from RCTI, SCTV, MNCTV, and ANTV, the entertainment television scene is now dominated by Indosiar, GTV (Global Televisi), Trans TV, and Trans 7, while the news broadcasting scene is dominated by tvOne and Metro TV.

Somewhere around The '90s, Indonesian TV watchers enjoyed episodic Latin American TV Series presented by the telenovela genre. Due to its success, local Indonesian TV networks tried to give the genre its own local spin. And thus, 'Sinetron' (Sinema Elektronik/Electronic Cinema) was created, and it became a popular hit for many lower class and local crowd, but generally panned by more intellectual crowds for being a gigantic Cliché Stormnote , plot rehash (Generally redoing similar plotline of the folklore Bawang Merah Bawang Putih with a Wicked Stepmother who tortures the kind hearted protagonist For the Evulz and Greed is a pretty common plotline to rehash. If not that kind of cliche, they'd go for teenage romance angle), Broken Aesop and generally Rated M for Money (For the locals. There's a tendency that if a sinetron received high rating at first, the TV station declared that it needed to have more episodes to capitalize on the profit. Cue the almost-inevitable Seasonal Rot). It also didn't help that due to being created for once-a-week basis (instead of the aforementioned telenovela, which were basically already finished, imported products), production value might suffer, thus bad CGI can be expected. Sometimes, they deviate with slight mysticism or rather Anvilicious religious horrors, but generally, the Broken Base remain the same. With Korean Drama gaining popularity in the year 2000's onwards, it could be said as the second coming of telenovela (except this time, it came from an Asian region). There are also people who do not care much about television cinematic in general and watch those shows just because the actors and actresses are attractive. One thing for sure, Indonesian TV drama fans tend to create a drama out of themselves.

In the 2000s, there are at least two Dramedy soap operas titled Yoyo and Wah, Cantiknya!note , both of which tell the story about young male protagonists with developmental disorder that essentially turn them into Manchild. As mental illness is not something that is taken seriously by traditional Indonesian society, their disabilities are often played for comedy, though also played for drama in few occassions. The titular protagonist in Yoyo is a Momma's Boy who's regularly beaten by his abusive father who absolutely hate having a mentally disabled son. He's also occassionally beaten by bullies in his neighbourhood (one of whom is a shameless sexist man who regularly harasses Yoyo's female childhood friend no less) and insulted by a Rich Bitch whose daughter either took pity on Yoyo or fell in love with him. The male protagonist in Wah, Cantiknya! is a fatherless Momma's Boy who speaks with unnaturally high-pitched voice and often behaves like an airhead. He's conned by the female Villain Protagonist (who hate men after her then-fiance stood her up and dumped her when he's supposed to propose her) into marrying her because she isn't allowed to get her late father's wealth if she remains unmarried. He eventually figured out her deception and ran away (in the most childish way possible) and randomly got hit by a car. He's eventually recovered with his hospital bills being paid by his wife and her two Rich Bitch Gold Digger Maiden Aunts, only to find out that his wife had abandoned him and ran away to Europe and filed for divorce. Ouch. At the very least, eventually for Yoyo, the protagonist was somehow 'cured' from the mental disorder and because of that, things got really better for him, even his abusive father stopped being cruel (despite some of his abrasiveness towards others still remained). Although it unfortunately implies that Indonesians look down on people with mental disorder since things only got better when you somehow got cured of it, however the method is.

Indonesia has its own version of The Three Stooges called Warkop DKI, consisting of comedians Dono, Kasino and Indro. In the old days around The '80s or The '90s, they're famous locally by releasing many local comedy movies (though not exactly international famous level). Unfortunately, as of now the group has disbanded as first Kasino, then Dono passed away, leaving Indro to be the sole surviving Warkop member. Unique among comedy groups of their time, their routines were considered the more intelligent "undergraduate comedy". Indro himself made a nostalgia film that that references the usual classic Warkop style (and starring him as well, but not as the main protagonist) titled "Komedi Moderen Gokil!" (Crazy-Awesome Modern Comedy!). Indro later greenlit a remake of Warkop itself in the modern age by recasting himself, Dono and Kasino with new actors, thus a new set of movies titled Warkop Reborn saw releases. Warkop's jokes actually can fell on slapstick category (such as by falling into a river after causing chaos on an uncontrolled vehicle), though they often made breakthrough jokes and satires. One popular joke that came from their movies is people misinterpreting the proper way to do something just because someone joins the conversation at just the right time (e.g, someone talks about how to make soup, only for another to cut him by talking about the good way to service abike. As a result, apparently, the best spices for a soup are oil and screw).

Indonesia has held several singing contests on television, including local spinoffs of Pop Idol, The X Factor, The Voice, and Rising Star, though there are also homegrown ones like Akademi Fantasi Indosiar (which predates the foreign spinoffs by many years), and those that focus on dangdut music. The quality of the singers is mostly mediocre, though, and you'd be forgiven for wishing that someone like Simon Cowell should have existed in them.

In The '90s, there were some music groups that gained fame by taking already existing songs (doesn't matter if local or international music), change the lyrics into something utterly hilarious and some of them also get hilarious music videos. The most famous are Padhayangan Project. This practice right now is nonexistent. The music group in question is called Project Pop. They're still making parody lyrics that would make Weird Al Yankovic proud. It was actually a Spiritual Successor of the previous Padhayangan Project. Speaking of Padhayangan Project, worth noting is one certain music based on one of Indonesian's classic popular Idol Singer Desy Ratnasari titled "Tenda Biru" (Blue Tent). The song was originally a powerful and Tear Jerker song about the betrayal of love. In Padhayangan Project's hands? It's an utterly hilarious music about the betrayal of love... Played for Laughs...with guns, and tango, and metal, and river dancing. The music video is equally hilarious with Indian-American background parody. It's that kind of song.

Speaking of musicians, in the year of 2009, Indonesia has produced a minor One-Scene Wonder musician in form of Mbah Surip with his rather catchy hit song 'Tak Gendong' ('I'm Gonna Carry You On My Back') which portrays him as a Dirty Old Man trying to hit on girls and carry them on his back. In a short time, it become a mega-hit for Indonesian song... but Mbah Surip himself died due to heart attack in the same year shortly after he gained his fame.

Indonesian cuisine mostly involves spices, leading to the stereotypes that all Indonesians enjoy the taste. Java is a partial inversion, as while you still have super-hot sambal varieties in Java, but the taste of most Javanese foods itself is actually quite mild; the taste of some foods (as in, main courses) even lean towards sweet. At least, in the "hot" sense, anyway. The "sweet" cuisines are pretty much also loaded with spices, though not nearly as piquant/tongue-raping. Sambal (essentially chili mixed with other ingredients then ground) is one of the quintessential sauce in Indonesian cuisine, Western and Central Indonesia in particular. There exists specific sambal variations accompanying just about every kind of cuisine in Indonesia. Not only that, there is at least one unique sambal variety in a given region which is found nowhere else in or outside the country. One can probably spend a good chunk of their life just studying sambal mixes throughout Indonesia.

"Bakso" (meatballs) and "siomay" (dumplings) are often sold on roadsides on wagons as one of the most common sources of income for the lower class. It should be noted that despite being derivated from the Chinese Shumai, "Siomay" has a stark difference. First and foremost, the main spice used for Siomay is spicy peanut sauce and sometimes sweet soy sauce (see below), and they're more likely to use fishes than other kinds of seafoods or other types of meats. It's pretty popular for students as street food and sometimes you see some local stores specializing in them but don't think you'll see this kind of "Siomay" in Dim Sum menus (Shumai will be there, though).

A common dressing on Indonesian food is kecap (soy sauce), made with water, soy and brown sugar. The kind sold in plastic bottles in the stores are usually pitch black, while the kind sold in large glass bottles at the countryside is usually thicker and brown. Indonesians usually recognize 2 types of kecap. One is sweet kecap, the other is salty kecap. Aside from the obviously explanatory difference in taste, they're generally discernable by their viscosity and aroma. Sweet kecap is quite thick, while salty kecap is basically like water or vinegar, except black. There are also variations made by mixing spices to the basic 2 tastes of kecap to produce other tastes. The British colonizers brought some back to Britain. Several culinary experiments involving tomatoes later, "ketchup" was born.

Two unique Indonesian foods made from soy are tempe and tahu (a type of tofu). Tempe is made by boiling soy several times over, seeding it with a particular kind of mold note  (which is Serious Business on its own since if you used the wrong fungi, you can end up fatally poisoning people, though thankfully, fatal cases are more or less a thing of the past), and fermenting it. It's often used as a substitute for meat in poorer areas, but as of late it has also attracted foreign following given it's supposedly rich protein content. Tempe is also well known for being soft by nature, which led to a particular Indonesian derogatory phrase known as 'Mental Tempe', AKA having the mentality as soft as a tempe's, in other words, referring someone as being a gutless coward. While thicker slices of tempe are usually served with rice, thinly-sliced tempe are fried and served as snacks, and come in two distinct varieties: typical 'dried' tempe, and mendoan, which is softer-textured and not cooked as long as the 'dried' version. Meanwhile, tahu is usually firmer than Chinese or Japanese tofu, and served by frying. Like tempe, it comes in two distinct varieties: filled and/or coated with dough, or plain, often called Sumedang-style fried tofu.

Aside from tempe and tahu, traditional snacks popular in Indonesia include fried banana (Indonesians don't really differentiate between bananas and plantains, so anything goes), bakwan (basically a fried lump of dough mixed with sliced cabbage, spring onions, carrot, and sometimes shrimp), keripik (chips of all sorts, including those made of fruits like apples, bananas, and jackfruits), martabak (which comes in two totally-different varieties: savory martabak telur, a direct derivative of the Arabian mutabbaq that is basically an omelette inside folded thin dough, and sweet martabak manis, aka terang bulan, kue bandung, hok lo pan or apam balik, depending on location, which is made from two layers of fried dough with the sweet topping of your choice in-betweennote ), and pempek (fried fish cakes in a dough, served with a mix of salty soy sauce and vinegars that can also give a hot taste, plus cucumbers and a small portion of noodles, it originates from the Chinese community of Palembang; legends have it that the cook who brought it from China was called "Pek-Apek", slang for 'old man' in Indonesian Chinese, which then evolved into "Empek-empek" and then shortened to "Pempek").

Perhaps the most popular branch of Indonesian cuisine is West Sumatran cuisine, otherwise known as Padang food (Padang is the capital city of West Sumatra), and they are usually sold in the so-called "Rumah Makan Padang".note  Such restaurants are distinguishable for stacking food plates on top each other on their front window. Most such restaurants will put out all they have to offer on the table with the exception of certain menus, and let you pick whatever you want to eat. Payment will be counted according to what's eaten and what's not after you're done eating (counting is done per plate, so polish them off!). The reason they are popular? While most Indonesian cuisine is spicy, the spices are different in each region. However, Padang food taste general enough that they are palatable to most Indonesians. According to a 2018 survey, Padang restaurant chain Sederhana routinely beats KFC in terms of the number of customers served each year in Indonesia, even though the latter operates triple the number of outlets.

Oh, and Manado cuisine is (in)famous for its tikus rica rica, a dish that incorporates rat meat. It has achieved something of a memetic status among Indonesian food aficionados.

What Indonesians eat differs from one place to the other; from how people prefer it sweet and spicy in one place, while the other likes it plain SPICY to where in one place people have dogs for dinner while in another people eat caterpillars. Rice is considered staple food item for most areas especially on the western side; to the east, expect sago and yam. One thing most (native) Indonesians agree not to eat is pork, since a large number of them are Muslim. If a restaurant serves pork as a dish, the government requires that they use separate utensils for cooking the food, and they also need to pass a qualification to show that they serve halal food. Outside of non-Muslim enclaves, it's not uncommon for restaurants to forego pork servings from their menu altogether, including for Chinese dumpling and Japanese ramen shops whose dishes are otherwise famous for their intensive use of pork. Places where non-Muslims are the majority tend to forgo these laws, including Bali, where pork is the most widely consumed meat, though contrary to popular belief, it isn't because the Balinese are averse to cattle meat (Balinese Hindus do not revere cattle as Indian Hindus do). It's also quite prevalent in the eastern parts of Indonesia, where it ranges from soup-based to roasted crispy, as well as in Medan with its high population of Chinese and Bataks. And Java does have pork, too, though since it's rather taboo there (the mere Indonesian word for "pork" is the equivalent of the S-word in some places in Java), the best way to find it is to go to a Chinese/Batak/Balinese restaurant and ask about B2.

Much like several East and Southeast Asian countries; in the city Jakarta on Mangga Besar district, you can find a rare store where they sell cooked reptilians, including venomous snakes and their organs (don't worry, just stay away from the snakes, especially the head, as it can still kill you if it's still moving up to 1 hour after being beheaded (see here for a similar incident in China), and leave it to the pro to cook them). Kind of exotic and actually gives good benefits to the body, but the organs definitely taste bitter.

Instant noodles have a special place in the public consciousness, being cheap, tasty, while still easy enough to cook with minimal skill and equipment. The most popular instant noodle brand in Indonesia is Indomie, which, interestingly, has gained international exposure, as it has been exported to over 90 countries, including the United States, though it is especially popular in African countries. In Indonesia, there are entire cafes whose menu specializes on Indomie instant noodles, known as "Warmindo" (short for Warung Makan Indomie). There is also a meme deifying Indomie for its crucial contribution to producing the country's educated elites, namely, the claim that Indonesian college students survive on nothing but Indomie instant noodles, particularly on their last semesters, as they labor on their theses.

Western fast food joints like KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and A&W are quite popular. Interestingly, Western fast food joints in Indonesia are guaranteed to sell a fried chicken-and-rice combo, despite how uncommon said combination is in their home country. McDonald's is actually more well-known among Indonesians for selling fried chickens, and it's almost a Coming of Age Story for Indonesians who travel overseas only to learn, to their shock, that the Golden Arches' real specialty is hamburgers. Jokes have it that KFC, whose specialty actually is fried chicken, is a candidate for the country's seventh religion, and there are countless knockoffs that sell similar-tasted, and in some cases even similar-named, fried chickens with much more affordable prices. The most popular of these "KFC alternatives" is California Fried Chicken (CFC), which, oddly enough, began its life as a franchisee of a Western fast food joint, specifically, Pioneer Chicken (its founders were Indonesians who fell in love with the joint while studying abroad in California, and wanted to bring it back home). CFC cut its ties with Pioneer Chicken in 1989, however, and evolved into something of an Indonesian Jollibee, successfully opening hundreds of stores on its own. It is noted that burgers are generally more expensive than chickens, thus limiting their appeal to the lower-middle class that Indonesians mostly belong to, while many western restaurants add rice to their menu because it's a surefire way to have customers, since the majority of Indonesians have rice as a staple of their diet. Burger King, however, had a story where they just simply vanished from Indonesian stores (sometime before the Trisakti Incident, although the incident had nothing to do with the vanishing), only for it to reopen years later and has since reclaimed its place as one of Indonesia's most popular fast food joints.

Indonesian tea is usually served plain or with sugar, depending on the region one of them is considered the "default" and customers would have to specifically ask if they want theirs prepared differently. Tea with milk is rarely served outside of some restaurants. Iced tea is sold in bottles, mostly by the tea company Sosro, leading to the famous slogan "Apapun makanannya, minumnya Teh Botol Sosro!" (Whatever you're eating, drink Sosro bottled tea!)note . Bottled iced tea is incredibly popular thanks to the hot tropical climate, and is recommended by Croatian pianist Maxim. As for coffee, there's a great variety of coffee beans in Indonesia, their aromas and taste varying by region. Most foreigners are familiar with Java beans, but there are many more, from Toraja, Aceh, Mandailing, Bali, and more, each with their own palate. You can get coffee that tastes really sour from Bali, really bitter from Mandailing, and some variations that are even spicy, as in, hot. Preparation also differs from region to region, with some adding butter to it.

Although most Indonesians are averse to alcohol, it is not forbidden and is widely accessible and available. Local beers include Bintang, Anker, and Bali Hai; Heineken and Paulaner maintain breweries in-country; and there's active experimentation with wine. That said, the Indonesian government applies hefty taxes on alcohol purchases (18% tax on local brews and upwards of 150% on imports), there have been campaigns by some Muslim groups to prohibit alcohol sale, and it is totally illegal in Aceh province.

Compulsory education in Indonesia spans twelve years, generally between the age of 6 and 18, divided into six years of elementary school (Sekolah Dasar, SD) and six years of secondary education. The latter is further divided into three years of junior high school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama, SMP) and three years of senior high school (Sekolah Menengah Atas, SMA). There is also a non-compulsory preschool (Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, PAUD), which includes two years of nursery school (Playgroup, using the British term) and two years of kindergarten (Taman Kanak-Kanak, TK). In lieu of senior high, students may elect to attend vocational schools (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan, SMK), which also span three years but offer work-related subjects gearing up pupils to enter the workforce as soon as they graduate.

As for tertiary education, Indonesia has 183 public higher education institutions and over 3,700 private ones. These come in the form of standard-grade universities, polytechnics or academies. Some of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Indonesia, like the University of Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology, and Airlangga University, originated during the Dutch colonial period. Despite public universities being subsidized by the government, tertiary education remains out of reach for most Indonesians; according to a 2021 Population and Civil Registration General Directory survey, college graduates account for 5.9% of the population.

To cater to the Muslim-majority population, the Ministry of Religious Affairs sponsors Islamic schools called madrasah. There are Raudhatul Athfal (RA, the equivalent of TK), Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (MI, the equivalent of SD), Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs, the equivalent of SMP), and Madrasah Aliyah/Madrasah Aliyah Kejuruan (MA/MAK, the equivalent of SMA/SMK). Madrasah should not be confused with Islamic boarding schools (pondok pesantren), where pupils dedicate 80% of their time studying Islam. By contrast, madrasah is almost exactly like public schools, the biggest difference being the addition of no more than five subjects focusing on Islam. Enrollment to madrasah is rather low compared to public schools, and pious parents will just send their children to pondok pesantren if they want them to follow in their footsteps anyway. The Ministry of Religious Affairs also sponsors 58 public Islamic universities, variously called the National Islamic University (Universitas Islam Negeri, UIN), National Islamic Institute (Institut Agama Islam Negeri, IAIN), or National Islamic Higher School (Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri, STAIN), in decreasing order of scope (UIN offers the most amount of programs, while STAIN offers the fewest).

There are also public schools catering to religions other than Islam, though they are much fewer and less well-known than the Islamic ones. Protestant and Catholic public high schools are called Sekolah Menengah Teologi Kristen (SMTK) and Sekolah Menengah Agama Katolik (SMAK), respectively. In addition, there are 8 Protestant, 1 Catholic, 11 Hindu, and 2 Buddhist public universities. It should be noted that as religion is considered important in Indonesia, compulsory religious education (as in, teaching one particular religion to the student according to their belief) exists, from elementary school all the way to college (although non-religious universities usually only mandate students to take a semester of religious study), and there are religion-based extracurricular clubs in pretty much every school.

In regions with religious minorities, large schools either arrange all minority students in one class to simplify the schedule or have the entire year attend their religious class outside the regular hour (they effectively have a free period during the normal religious class). The first option means some of the local majority might grow up utterly unfamiliar with other religions since they never even share the same classes, and the second option means those from different religious branches still have a chance to familiarize themselves with the others' peculiarities. The difference can be notable when politician or celebrities demonstrate their knowledge (or lack of) about minority religions or non-mainstream branches and how the population responds.

School uniforms are the norm in Indonesia, with public schools requiring students to wear at least two different uniforms each week, and if their budget allows, one additional school-specific uniform. The standard uniform for elementary to senior high consists of a white shirt and either red, dark blue, or grey pants/skirt for elementary, junior high, and senior/vocational high schools, respectively. On two specific days of the week (never Monday, as it's considered the ceremonial flag-raising day and thus the standard school uniform is required to be worn), students wear the predominantly brown-colored Scouting uniform to honor the country's strong Scouting culture (Indonesia has the world's largest Scout membership). The school-specific uniform is usually a custom batik-inspired uniform, which really comes in handy when students from different schools mass together in big events like sporting matches or academic competitions.

Indonesia's military force is called the TNI (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, Indonesia National Armed Forces). The branches are TNI Angkatan Darat (Army, lit. "Ground Force"), TNI Angkatan Laut (Navy, lit. "Sea Force") and TNI Angkatan Udara (Air Force). They have several spec ops groups, most notably Kopassus (Komando Pasukan Khusus). Aside from doing things the government isn't comfortable to admitting in Timor Leste, Malaysia and Aceh, they've also participated in the UNPROFOR, but other than fighting in or subduing internal conflicts or preventing terrorism, the TNI is fairly inactive combat-wise. They also have a marine corps, which is attached to the Navy. They're pretty well-equipped, operating BTR-80 APCs and PT-76 amphibious tanks, but they're not as prominent compared to the other branches, unlike in other countries.

Regarding their equipments, the standard service rifle is the SS1 (Senapan Serbu = assault rifle), a licensed copy of the Belgian FN FNC carbine made by the government corporation (BUMN) PT Pindad. HK G3, M16 and 5.45 mm AK variants are also used, the latter oddly enough are more often seen in the hand of cops guarding ATMs while they're being filled. The spec ops units often use M4, HK G36 and Steyr-Mannlicher AUG. Recently, PT Pindad starts manufacturing an assault rifle called the SS2, which looks like an M16 with AK gas block, reversed front sight and slightly different detachable carrying handle. It's considered a lot more reliable than the previous model. As for sniper rifles, they mostly use the Remington 700, HK G3SG1 and the much-hated Galil-Galatznote . They own several French AMX light tanks, as main battle tanks aren't suitable for the Indonesian streets. It's more likely due to the abundance of rainforests, which slows most MBTs down. They also operate BTR-80 APCs and V-150 Commando IFVs. Early Cold War-era British armored cats also appear occassionally. Land Rover Defenders and Singapore's Flyer are used by both the police and the army, sometimes mounted with anti-aircraft guns or Singapore's CIS automatic grenade launchers. The South African Casspir is used by the police. The military has recently decided to buy a relatively large quantity of Leopard mk2 tanks from the Dutch government at bargain bin prizes, which faced opposition from the House of Representatives who claimed such heavy tanks are not suitable for Indonesian soil. Some consider that kind of reasoning as a load of crap, however, and claims that the House are against it because the purchase is done government to government, eliminating the role of brokers who usually 'fund' some House members. As for the local ones, Pindad also has started producing the Pindad Panser (meaning armored cat), a rather plain looking APC, but that wouldn't be necessarily bad if Indonesia's equipments don't have the nasty tendency to fall apart at the worst possible moment. They have also made several anti-riot vehicles. They have F-16 and Su-27 fighters. They also have A-4 Skyhawk and OV-10 Bronco ground attack crafts, but don't like to admit it, the former because they were bought from Israel, and the latter because they were bought for COIN operations in East Timor. The TNI AU is the second military forces outside of the US to operate the C-130 Hercules cargo planes. They have several black Mi-24 Hind gunships. The Mi-8 Hip helicopter is used by both the army and the police. The navy owns several types of naval helicopters, mostly British. The Broncos have been pulled from service and the Air Force has been thinking of getting their hands on a Super Tucano for a while. There's also been talks of cooperating with South Korea in a joint venture to produce a new 4.5th generation fighter, or get some new T-50s which were recently unveiled.

The police force is called Polri (Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia, State Police of the Republic of Indonesia). Regional units are called Polda (Polisi Daerah, Regional Police). The Brimob (Brigade Mobil) is pretty much the Indonesian SWAT, only they're less specialized and often perform tasks commonly done by the normal cops in foreign countries. Of note is the Densus 88, which is basically the anti-terrorist unit of the country. Their exploits are among the most widely publicized, and rightly so, if for somewhat conflicting reasons.

    Human rights 
Indonesia reserves capital punishment by firing squad for people convicted of murder, terrorism, and drug-related offences. The country, like Singapore, has some of the harshest laws regarding drug trafficking; its last known use of capital punishment in 2016 was for four men convicted of this reason. A year earlier, the execution of 14 people also for drug offences caused a brief diplomatic spat with the (abolitionist since 1984) Australia, because two of the convicted were Australian citizens.

LGBT rights are also something that have become a hotly-contested issue. Although Indonesia - where "LGBT" is often used as an uncountable noun instead of as an adjective - does not explicitly ban gay sex, it does not recognize same-sex unions, and there is no law that protects gays and lesbians from being attacked or discriminated against. The 2006 Law Against Pornography and Pornoaction explicitly includes a statement that forbids the dissemination of materials suggesting same-sex relationships, which is the reason why Indonesia routinely bans or edits out gay scenes from foreign films and televisions, though censors can often miss less well-understood references like pride flags. Although supporters exist, acceptance towards same-sex relationships remains middling to negative for most of the population. It speaks volumes that when dangdut singer Saipul Jamil was arrested and imprisoned for sex offences in 2016, the media seems obsessed in pointing out that the victim was male instead of the fact that he was a minor (Saipul was officially convicted for pedophilia, though). And when Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian student in Manchester, was convicted of 136 rapes of other men by a British court, the mayor of his hometown of Depok used it as cover to send the police after the city's gay community on the grounds of "strengthening families", without even using the sexual assault component of Sinaga's crimes as an excuse. By contrast, trans people have had a relatively easier time being accepted by the population and government. Unlike its attitudes towards homosexuality, the government actually does have laws that protect transgenders and transsexuals from harassment, and trans people are more likely to out themselves compared to gays and lesbians. There have been a couple of trans figures in entertainment, most notably the late Dorce Gamalama, a talk show host who also happened to be a devout Muslim (her hajj trip was widely documented, and she started wearing hijab in the 2000s). The only place where there are clear laws regarding LGBT rights is Aceh, where anything and everything related to it is forbidden; people accused of LGBT acts are routinely arrested and caned by the religious police.

However, human rights groups agree that things will deteriorate nationwide when Indonesia's first wholly domestic Criminal Code (its predecessor being Dutch-derived) comes into effect at the start of 2026. A sweeping legal package in the making since 1968, its bans on non-marital sex, domestic partner relationships, and cohabitation have alarmed casual onlookers and tourism commentators, though human rights advocates express concerns less about the fresh crackdown on philandery while on holiday in Bali and more about the general implications for privacy; with same-sex marriages not recognized, the Code also amounts to an implicit ban on homosexual relationships. It will also punish internet trolling and "hoaxes" with six years' imprisonment - a very real problem in a country with almost 200 million social media users, but also a deeply sticky one what with the government itself spreading disinformation about the 1965 politicides and underreporting COVID statistics to "prevent panic" - and will also punish anyone who "attacks the personal dignity and honor of the sitting president and vice president" with three and a half years. Bizarrely, it also bans claiming to be able to practice magic and witchcraft.

    Foreign media popular in Indonesia 
Around the eighties and nineties, Indonesia had a lot of Tokusatsu shows available in VHS format, paving way to its popularity. Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion was pretty popular in Indonesia, although older Metal Heroes series like Space Sheriff Gavan and Space Sheriff Sharivan were also aired. Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, on the other hand, are a different story. For Super Sentai; it's true that Himitsu Sentai Gorenger was available in VHS. But the one who reached popularity in Indonesia was Dai Sentai Goggle Five. To this day, Indonesians remember it as "the essential Super Sentai of Indonesia". It also helps that it stars Junichi Haruta (Goggle Black), who starred in Juspion as Madgalant. Hell, the whole cast of Goggle V once visited Indonesia! Gavan is a special case where it was a popular show back then, but many younger people actualy never watched the actual show, let alone know anything about it. However, the Memetic Mutation term associated with the show are a general daily life term. The Memetic Mutation in question: "Segede Gavan" (As Big As Gavan, referring to its popularity, to refer to something big or popular). Gavan himself, along with Goggle V above, visited Indonesia in the same stage show, and years later, his influence was still known in Indonesian entertainment that even the classic comedy group Warkop DKI gave him a tribute with one segment featuring one of its members (Dono) transforming to a low budget Gavan. For Kamen Rider, the original series also was available in VHS, but it wasn't as popular as the other show available in VHS (Dai Sentai Goggle Five). It wasn't until the TV Station RCTI aired Kamen Rider BLACK (rechristened as "Ksatria Baja Hitam"/"Black Steel Knight") that Kamen Rider became a sensation in Indonesia. Kamen Rider BLACK RX, which aired next, also enjoyed huge popularity. They even changed the name of the next aired Kamen Rider (though it was technically one of the previous installments), Kamen Rider Super-1, as 'Ksatria Baja Hitam Super-1', even if Super-1 doesn't have big black color motif. In short, just like how Goggle Five is the essential Super Sentai of Indonesia, Black is the essential Kamen Rider of Indonesia; and probably even bigger for Indonesian Tokusatsu. So much that, if Indonesian shows decided to make reference to Kamen Rider in general, they'd use Black rather than the original. These days are a bit different. The only Tokusatsu show that is still remembered to these days are Power Rangers in name only (as in not to specific show, just power rangers in general), but Black is pretty much untouched in term of popularity of the name. To put this into perspective, the bit about changing the names of Super-1 sticks, and "Ksatria Baja Hitam"/"Black Steel Knight" is essentially the local translation of Kamen Rider. Often times, Indonesian subtitled version of Kamen Rider movies shown in the cinema would often refer to Kamen Rider as "Ksatria Baja Hitam". Indonesia has attempted their own flair and style in creating their own Toku shows, but the qualities were usually questionable. That is, until the near present, where MNC TV decided to give another Indonesian Tokusatsu show a go, mostly basing it from, of course, Kamen Rider BLACK, and they ain't joking when they even got Ishinomori Production to oversee and collaborate. The result? Bima Satria Garuda. And the reception? Mostly pretty good! The season even got enough popularity for a second season, and even brought out Tetsuo Kurata (Kotaro Minami/Kamen Rider Black) to guest star! It kind of continues with the Toku love. For the first time ever, after the cast announcement of Power Rangers Dino Charge, an Indonesian actor/stuntman, Yoshi Sudarso, will take part as one of the main core cast, as the Blue Ranger! Even moreso in the successor show, Power Rangers Ninja Steel, the Blue Ranger is also Indonesian, Yoshi's younger brother Peter, in fact.

In the realm of manga, Naruto was hugely popular in Indonesia in 2006. A Malay animated series Upin & Ipin is wildly popular, mostly because Malay sounds hilarious to Indonesians, especially when spoken by two bald village boys. Naruto is still very popular to this day. Some people had came across some books that mostly talk about "Naruto vs Pain fight analysis" or "Naruto's various jutsu analysis" which its contents are mostly taken from Wikipedia. In the mid-nineties, pretty much all kids have read and watched Dragon Ball (mostly boys), Sailor Moon (mostly girls) and Doraemon (both). Speaking of Doraemon, it is without a doubt the longest lasting, most popular anime and manga in Indonesia. There are still some Doraemon-based events at times, which still run to this day (even longer than Dragon Ball, which also still runs to this day). Doraemon, Dragon Ball, and Sailor Moon currently hold the position of three longest-lasting shows in Indonesia, and all three of them still has their manga sold on local bookstores, and Doraemon constantly has education books (such as Math, PE, and Sports) and special collective editions which includes story that centers around one point from the whole series. In fact, during Holidays season, Doraemon movies always has a time spot (on that note, Doraemon is also the only anime to ever has its movie to be run in Indonesia). Aside of Doraemon, the otherwise obscure manga Tekken Chinmi (retitled as Kung-Fu Boy) was really big in Indonesia, it forms one of the most classic manga series (alongside Doraemon and several others) in the country. In general, during the old days, Pokémon, Digimon, Doraemon, Crayon Shin-chan, Tom and Jerry, Classic Disney Shorts, a Power Rangers show, Kamen Rider, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Dragon Ball are the kids shows of choice.

Mecha anime didn't get much attention in Indonesia, but in the 80's, there is one anime that hit the VHS and its national television channel (TVRI), becoming a hit similar to the Tokusatsu entries above: Voltes V. It didn't reach the 'virtually worshipped' level as the Philippines did, but kids of that age held great nostalgic feelings to Voltes V. If anything, back in the days, Soeharto was smart enough not to ban Voltes V and let it run to its end unlike Ferdinand Marcos.

Indonesian's taste in comics and magazines are influenced a lot by the European impact, especially Dutch influences. Disney comics have been published there since 1976 on various forms, and most of the translations appeared to lean on the Dutch's translation of the same books. After several name changes, Album Donal Bebek (Donald Duck's Album) and Poket Paman Gober (Uncle Scrooge's pocket comic, "Gober" being taken from Dagobert Duck, Scrooge's name in Dutch) have been mainstays since 90s. The most apparent influence is the triplets' names, which are lifted straight from the Dutch: Kwik, Kwek, and Kwak. Franco-Belgian Comics are also mainstays in bookstores. Tintin sells quite well enough that the publisher reprint the books and the translationnote . Lucky Luke and Asterix are also mainstays since the 90s.

Several obscure comics and show have became popular (or at least a cult-classic). Kobochan, an obscure comic-strip from Japan, is still printed there in comic form. An obscure Slapstick Manhwa called "Kungfu Komang" is also a cult classic here for the insanity of its slapstick and infamous common Face Fault with addition of mouth foaming and puking scenes.

Korean soap operas, and Boybands/Girlbands are a huge hit on Indonesia come the 2010s, concurrent with the Korean Wave. A bit of Hype Backlash came out from there, as some people disliked Korean stuffs for being corny. Before the Korean Wave, Indonesia used to have an obsession with Taiwanese media circa the early 2000s, thanks to Meteor Garden (an adaptation of Boys over Flowers, which itself was re-adapted to a popular K-drama in 2009). This "Chinese boom" actually started during The '90s, when Wuxia TV Series got a pretty big boom in Indonesia. Two series stands out in the eyes of many: The Return of the Condor Heroes and White Snake Legend (based on a tale similar to Green Snake, only more on the POV of the titular White Snake), the former even moreso because it's the one that starred Andy Lau (and shot him to big popularity amongst Indonesians). Many who were around The '90s would at least know more about either Yang Guo or Bai Suzen (the titular White Snake from the latter). The prequel of the former were also aired, giving Guo Jing a good deal of popularity too (though not as much as Yang Guo). The popularity of Wuxia eventually led to Mandarin drama craze, beginning with Meteor Garden, which starred the quartet F4. For old school Indonesians living in the 90's and early 2000's, they'd recognize the name 'Dao Ming Shi' (Mandarin version) more than 'Tsukasa Domyoji' (the original). The popularity of Meteor Garden actually led to one Indonesian TV channel developing a remake: Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta? (Who's Afraid of Falling in Love?), which was inspired by the Taiwanese drama rather than the original manga.

Are you a Fighting Game fan who likes going to arcades? Well, it might hard for you to live in Indonesia, for arcade booths are sorely lacking (said to be too violent for kids), with the exception of Tekken machines (mainline series and Tag Tournament). Racing simulations (such as Wangan Midnight), rhythm games, or light gun shooters (such as Time Crisis) are more common, though. And you'll mostly find the fighting machines in theaters, rather than concentrated in one place. In the wake of the decline of arcades, it seemed inevitable. However, ask any Indonesian people that had their childhood in The '90s, and they will remember that Indonesia, especially Jakarta, used to have arcade stands with classic arcade games available for play. In the 2010s, however, Bandai Namco Entertainment created an Indonesian division that localizes Namco arcade games into Indonesian, something of a rarity in the arcade game industry. Indonesian-localized games include Time Crisis 5 and Aikatsu!. This is perhaps why Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune has an Indonesia region, something of an issue as it means that Indonesian players cannot race player ghosts from or officially compete in Time Attack with most of the Eastern Pacific, of a vice versa.

Indonesians are specialized in Player Versus Player-oriented Video Games. Especially the MMO ones. Though League of Legends does have its following and local server here provided by Garena, most Indonesians usually stuck with the original Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars or Dota 2 as it was around for quite longer and the former supports LAN play, because as stated above, Indonesian internet are rather slow for dedicated online multiplayer (thus League could not take advantage of its early start until Garena provided the local server). As of late, the MOBA scene has grown big enough in Indonesia that some championships were held in Indonesia, though it's mostly Dota 2 and some mobile games, like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang or Arena of Valor, but Dota 2 was also not forgotten. In 2021, one Indonesian Dota 2 players, Xepher (part of the T1 team), managed to enter the 10th International tournament and during an interview, he's allowed to send a message and he spoke: "Mama, aku di TI" ("Mom, I'm at TI"), which immediately became immortalized as a playable chat voice, the first Indonesian voice chat in the game. Arena of Valor has gotten big enough in Indonesia that the country hosted a demonstration tournament during the 2018 Asian Games (which took place in Jakarta and Palembang), in which many Asian countries participate. Additionally, AOV becomes the first MOBA to host an Indonesian playable character based on one of their local novels, Wiro Sableng. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is also wildly popular in Indonesia that it also got a few Indonesian heroes: Gatotkaca (the local version, not the default giant version in Mahabharata, and Kadita, who is based on the local legend Nyi Roro Kidul (Queen of the Southern Seas, kind of like a local version of sea sirens including all its horrors, mostly known for her horror film played by Suzanna) On the other hand, Indonesian gamers tend to admit that they are the most toxic gamer crowd in Southeast Asia, rivaling that of the Filipino, or saying that they're worse. It's still unclear on who's actually worse (the Filipino are most likely not willing to admit that they're not the worst, and none of the Indonesian gaming insult words has become a little more known in the other world as opposed to the Filipino's "putang ina mo" or "bobo").

Speaking of MMO, Ragnarok Online is pretty popular in Indonesia. Popular enough to have collectible card sets included in snacks, numerous ads in local television channels for a while, having Ragnarok the Animation aired immediately after it ended in Japan, and several official doujin contests (with most of the winners ended up being professional artists/illustrators/designers, to boot). Several memes it created are being used as Indonesians' internet slangs, the most infamous one being "hode"note . Naturally, most of MMO that brought after RO's success Follow the Leader. And if you ask the older generations what PC games they know, there's a good chance they will answer either RO or Nexia. Yeah, it's that popular. When the sequel is finally brought to Indonesia, it got promoted as much as when the first game reached its peak in popularity. And as the era of mobile-gaming enters, once again Indonesians quickly fell in love with Ragnarok's mobile version. Most of its success could be traced from how Gravity Co. pushed a lot of its ads to the country and also allowed Indonesian players to play for free (though there are some items that required payment with real money, predating the Pay To Win model decades before it became a notorious term). Considering Indonesia's economic state, it was a match made in heaven. And it also helped that it got popular before World of Warcraft took the world by storm, so even if many Indonesian turned towards World of Warcraft (at one point, even there was a private Indonesian server for The Burning Crusade, until they're forced to deal with the international prices) later, Ragnarok Online has left its legacy in the nation.

As noted in Germans Love David Hasselhoff page, the First-Person Shooter Point Blank is even more popular here than in its origin country. At least it was before the MOBA storm happening. Inverted by Team Fortress 2 which is fairly obscure there. Left 4 Dead is much more famous there. Before Point Blank and Left 4 Dead, Indonesia's most common choice of FPS games would be Counter-Strike, as it can be found in any internet cafe during the heydays of LAN Multiplayer gaming, side-by-side with Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars. Many of its jargons still existed in the minds of Indonesian gamers that lived in that era. As a result, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive becomes Indonesian gamers' go-to Valve's shooter game as opposed to Team Fortress 2.

Indonesia has a peculiar history when it comes to Video Game Consoles and the gamer generation. The earliest known video game consoles within Indonesia was naturally the Nintendo Entertainment System from the 80's. Come the late 80's to 90's, Sega Genesis and later on Super Nintendo took over the console gaming scene and the effects of the first Console Wars era spread into Indonesia as well. It should be noted that just like other countries, the earlier era of video games was quite harsh for Indonesian gamers, with parents citing that it's a game just for kids and nerds, if you grow up and still play video games at the time, you could get considered very childish. At the very least though, there was no movements to demonize video games just like in other countries. The turning point of video game history was at 1998, when the Trisakti Incident happened. The resulting riot targetted many video game stores (a lot of them ran by Chinese-Indonesians) and resulted one of the most central video game store-containing malls in Jakarta, Glodok Bridge, to be burnt down. This, combined with the decline of Indonesian economy power, forced gamers to think of other ways to get their games, since both Sega and Nintendo game prices ended up very expensive with their cartridges and their main hub (Glodok Bridge) was destroyed. Additionally, both consoles were at their final years, quality games from those would be scarce at that point. Around this time, the medium CD saw a rise, and with it, Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, where developers flocked to make their new games after departing from SNES and Genesis. Piracy ran amok thanks to how easy the CD was pirated, and PlayStation and Saturn were no exception, but Indonesia was in the middle of restructuring thus the government didn't put much attention to piracy laws... and the CD format eventually made these games very cheap and affordable as opposed to the super expensive 16 bit cartridges; and they have a 'general price' system: No games would be more expensive than other games, and there was no region-locking, therefore Japanese language games can also be played just as fine as English language games. Thanks to this, Indonesian gamers decided to embrace piracy and the 32-bit gaming era, with PlayStation taking the lead (Saturn lost the race, staying as a Cult Classic, while the Nintendo 64 didn't sell that well here due to using cartridges). While Sony did not mind much on this, they were incidentally building a legacy in the heart of video gamers in Indonesia. When DVD rose in the next generation, naturally Indonesian gamers switched onto PlayStation 2, there was no other question, since DVD was also easy to pirate. Because of this piracy thing, there's quite a lot of games that would be usually considered niche everywhere else but became fondly remembered as cult classics amongst Indonesian console gamers. When PlayStation 3 was released, Sony has noted about the rampant piracy within their game console and decided to do something about it: Blu-Ray disc format, firmware updates and internet connection. They also noticed the legacy they accidentally built in Indonesia and capitalized on it by opening their own office branch in Indonesia, and Indonesia has stabilized itself a bit so they finally could push on more original-quality disc. With this, piracy was curbed down, and the generation of gamers in Indonesia realized that they have to get back to the age of expensive original quality games. Luckily for them, at that point, they're at the age where they could make money on its own and no longer needed permission from their parents to get video games. And around the same time, it turned out that those who ran their store at Glodok Bridge successfully made their exodus and reopened their stores in the nearby Mangga Dua district and specializing in original gamesnote . Thanks to the legacy Sony built from their consoles, the majority of Indonesian gamers stuck with PlayStation 3 despite its troubling launch history and it paid off: When Sony finally sorted out the issues in PlayStation 3 (around the release of the Slim model), Indonesian gamers have already flocked onto PlayStation 3 and matured from depending on piracy into being able to support Sony by buying their products. While there were competitors that still allowed measures of piracy (such as Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii), they still lost to the sheer legacy that PlayStation had over Indonesia. Only in the next generation that things began to shake up: While PlayStation 4 still had a strong following, Nintendo provided its more capable console: Nintendo Switch, which means that they pose strong competition with Sony within Indonesia. Xbox One gamers existed, but they seem less outspoken compared to Sony and Nintendo gamers within Indonesia. Regardless of Nintendo's rise, it's already clear that as far as Indonesian gamers think of, their choice for legendary console would be the PlayStation family.

Mobile gaming is a lot more accepted in Indonesia due to its easier access and the option to go Free-To-Play if one has enough endurance and perseverance (though some people do pay for their monetizations as well), and most likely has become the more go-to platform for Indonesian gamers, as most console games and maintenance tends to be expensive. At best, PC games are also more welcomed. Generally, Indonesian taste of games in the modern times leer more into the Southeast Asian taste than neither Japan's or Western's.

Less about modern media, but due to its Hindu history and implementation of Wayang Kulit, Hindu Mythology epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana gains a lot of following there, but most notably, the character Ghatotkacha from the former gains such a huge following thanks to a more local version (where he's usually referred as 'Gatotkaca', yes, just all his 'h' removed) and popular Wayang shows featuring him, that he's sometimes treated like the Indonesian/Hindu version of Superman, with phrases like "Otot Kawat, Tulang Besi" (Wire Muscles, Steel Bones) to refer to his strength. Gatotkaca is also usually depicted with Adaptational Attractiveness in Indonesia as well, while he's a honorable being in both versions, it's worth noting that he's a giant in the original. In the Indonesian version, Gatotkaca is more human-sized and quite well-built (which was comparable to that of Superman above, hence the comparison). This is Ghatotkacha. This is Gatotkaca. Shikhandi is also a Mahabharata figure that got a rather huge boost in Indonesia. Known more as Srikandi, her female figure was more pronounced than literally changing into a man, becoming a more pronounced woman warrior and even became Arjuna's final wife. The name Srikandi becomes synonymous with ideal/honorable women throughout Indonesia, the fact about Srikandi being a man in the original is often dismissed, made easier with how transgenderism is still having a hard time in Indonesia.

    Famous Indonesians 
  • Gajah Mada, 14th century military leader from the Majapahit Empire. Proclaimed the famous Palapa Oath, which affirmed his plan to conquer the Malay archipelago.
  • Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman, the first modern artist and painter from the Dutch East Indies. Traveled to Europe and received many royal orders to create portraits.
  • Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, the most famous Femme Fatale in the world, even though she was not that successful. She was actually a full-blooded Dutch and was born in the Netherlands, but later moved to the Dutch East Indies, where she immersed herself in the local culture and came to speak perfect Malay. Her stage name, Mata Hari, means "sun" in Malay.
  • Kartini, a late-19th century era Javanese noblewoman, and a proponent of Indonesian women's rights. Her birthday (April 21st) now serves as the unofficial Women's Day in Indonesia.
  • Hamka, an Islamic religious scholar and famous writer of several classic novels, many of which has been adopted into the big screen.
  • Adrian Zecha, a famous hotelier who established the luxury hotel brands Aman and GHM. He is part of the Lauw-Sim-Zecha clan, an upper-class Chinese family whose members have mostly emigrated from Indonesia following its independence.
  • Suzzanna Martha Frederika van Osch, or Suzzanna, for short, an Indo actress best known for portraying ghosts and evil spirits in horror films, granting her the nickname "Indonesian Horror Queen". She retired in the 1990s, led a brief career resurrection in 2008 for another horror film ("Hantu Ambulance"), which was cut short when she succumbed to diabetes the same year.
  • Wahjoe Sardono, Kasino Hadiwibowo, and Mahatkarta Indrodjojo Kusumonegoro, better known as Dono, Kasino, and Indro, the most known members of the comedy group Warkop DKI, Indonesia's answer to The Three Stooges and considered legends in Indonesian old comedy shows. Kasino and Dono passed away in 1997 and 2001, respectively, leaving Indro the sole survivor of the group.
  • Eddie and Alex Van Halen of the Van Halen fame are both half-Javanese.
  • Christine Hakim, actress. Internationally, you may know her as Liz's Balinese friend from Eat, Pray, Love.
  • Virgiawan Listanto, better known as Iwan Fals, a legendary Genre-Busting singer who has done songs satirizing, among other things, the Indonesian government. Keep in mind that he did that since the start of Soeharto's dictatorial regime and managed to get away with it. His lyrics have a certain tendency to include Buffy Speak, while his romantic songs feature colorful lyrics (and yes he did made a romantic protest song, like "Galang Rambu Anarki"). This is to emphasize how a lot of the victims have lower education, thus making them easier to manipulate and hit the hardest in economic crises. Alternately, they emphasize how the poor folk are really, REALLY angry.
  • Alan Budikusuma and Susi Susanti, legendary Chinese-Indonesian badminton players, also pretty well known worldwide in the badminton world, winning several cups for Indonesia. They ended up marrying and then teaching new generations of badminton players in their country.
  • Ade Rai, a bodybuilder with some international awards under his belt. Pretty much an Indonesian Arnold Schwarzenegger except without his political inclinations, acting career and accent.
  • Anggun C. Sasmi, best known as one of the first Indonesian artists to break through overseas, being especially popular in France and the rest of Europe before Indonesia itself recognized her. She acquired French citizenship in 2000 and as a result lost her Indonesian one, as Indonesia does not recognize multiple citizenships, though she still performs there from time to time. Her family is of royal blood, descended from members of the Yogyakarta Sultanate.
  • Joe Taslim, a martial arts-focused actor who rose in popularity following his starring role in The Raid and its sequel, earning him international attention. A prime example of Mean Character, Nice Actor, since he often landed roles as the bad guy, but is known to be friendly off-stage.
  • Iko Uwais, another martial arts actor who also broke through overseas with The Raid. He is currently the go-to person whenever Hollywood needs an Indonesian actor to star in their action films. Aside from The Raid, he has starred in Mile 22 and Wu Assassins.
  • Michelle Branch, American Grammy-winner singer, is of partial Javanese descent through her Indo mother.
  • Raditya Dika, comedy writer, actor, director, producer and stand-up comedian. Some of his material are derived from his experiences living as a college student in Australia.
  • Agnes Monica Muljoto, better known by her stage name Agnez Mo, singer and dancer. She was invited to attend the 2018 Grammy Awards, making her the first Indonesian artist to receive the honor.
  • Yoshua "Yoshi" and Peter Sudarso, American siblings and actors of Chinese Indonesian descent. Yoshi portrayed Koda the Blue Ranger in Power Rangers Dino Charge, while Peter portrayed Preston the Blue Ranger in Power Rangers Ninja Steel. They also portrayed Joe and Marvin Shih in Power Rangers Hyperforce. Unlike in Dino Charge and Ninja Steel where their characters aren't related despite appearing together in the crossover, their characters in the Hyperforce are actually brothers.
  • Muhammad Panji, a social media star who rose in the 2010s, sometimes called the Indonesian Steve Irwin. Panji started out as the host of the reality TV show "Petualangan Panji/Panji's Adventures", where he goes to the wild to study various animals (mostly reptiles), keeping them as pets, showing great care for them and giving out details about the animals. After the show ended, he moved to YouTube to become a content creator. His content mostly focused on saving snakes and releasing them into the wild. He also owns a pet king cobra named Garaga.
  • Brian Imanuel Soewarno, better known with his rap alias Rich Brian. He reached worldwide popularity in 2016 with his song "Dat Stick", and is credited as one of the biggest players in the booming Asian hip hop scene. Since then, he has released two albums, the latest in 2019.

    Indonesia in foreign media 
Anime & Manga
  • Ken Akamatsu seems to have an appeal for Indonesian language and culture.
    • Albireo Imma/Ku:nel Sanders from Negima! Magister Negi Magi possess a Pactio that is said to be closely affiliated to Indonesian culture, even quoting Sir James George Frazier about "[t]he Tolampoos of Celebes".
    • There are also some Indonesian/Malay words peppered as spells and yells. The incantation of Nii (Fate's "sister") is "Meralega Merasado Nasi Goreng". Besides that, "Api!" is shouted by the crowd when a fire broke out in UQ Holder!, perhaps to emphasize New Tokyo's diversity.
  • Several cases of Q.E.D. and C.M.B. happen at Indonesia, or specifically, Bali. One case involves the local belief of Leak, a cannibalistic creature.
  • One episode of Jormungand takes place in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta as part of the SR Squad arc. At the end of series, it revealed that the entire country had been plunged into massive unrests, including riots in Jakarta targeting Chinese ethnicities that eerily familiar to the 1998 May riots, that led to addition of one new Province, but also the secession of three others.
  • From Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple we have the member of One Shadow, Nine Fists Yami Silkwat/Silcard Jenazad/Junazard/Jenazard, his Yomi disciple Radin Tidat Jihan, and their fellow countrymen from Tidat, a fictional kingdom located in Indonesian Archipelago. The history of the country is even similar, up to Jenazad's intervention. Their martial arts, Pencak Silat, is a real martial artnote  indigenous from Indonesian Archipelago, practiced since even before the aforementioned Singosari Kingdom.
  • Papaya Island from Dragon Ball is heavily based on, none other than, Bali. The manga's author, Akira Toriyama, had a holiday in Bali with his wife and they're impressed with the island. Also, Toriyama got along with a local tour guide named Wayan Budhiyasa, hence why Toriyama created a carricature version of Budhiyasa to appear as a cameo in one panel (on the left) in the manga as a token of his appreciation for the guide.
  • In CLANNAD, the suitcase belonging to Kotomi's parents is said to being transferred to other people from various countries, one of them being Indonesia, so the words "If you see this suitcase, please bring it to our daughter." is also said in Indonesia. Also, in the anime, the scene accompanying the Indonesia segment uses Jakarta's infamous congested traffic jam situation.
  • Yuuko from Nichijou speaks surprisingly good Indonesian (or Malay). In Episode 1, Yuuko can be seen greeting her classmates with "Selamat pagi!", Indonesian/Malay for "Good morning!" She also said "Selamat tinggal" (meaning "Goodbye" or "Farewell") in Episode 7.
  • Elvy Hadiyat from RahXephon is explicitly identified as being Indonesian. Her nickname, "Bunga Mawar" means "Rose Blossom."
  • A very minor Bridge Bunnies character in Buddy Complex is named... Soeharto. Yes, after the infamous second president of the nation. Thankfully, being a minor character, they only share the name, not the dictatorship corrupt tendencies.
  • Nadira, a housekeeper in Kakushigoto: My Dad's Secret Ambition, is Indonesian. She apparently is intimate enough with Javanese spirit-calling and name-changing practicesnote .
  • Indonesia is a character in Hetalia: Axis Powers; he wears a police uniform, but is said to be shy and afraid of the dark.


  • A Marvel Comics character associated with New Warriors and Initiative, Komodo, is implied to be Indonesian, if her alias and real name are anything to go by ("Melati" and "Kusuma" are pretty common names in Indonesia. The former is usually a first name, the latter can be either first or last name).
  • In DC Comics, Cascade, aka Sujatmi Sunowaparti, is the Superhero of the Global Guardians and she is Indonesian.
  • Tintin and co. had an adventure in Indonesia in Flight 714.
    • They stopped for transit in Jakarta on their flight to a conference at Sydney.
    • They landed on Kemajoran Airport, a now-closed airport in Jakarta after replaced by Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Newer translation simply uses Cengkareng Airport, the old name of the latter.
    • Mid-flight to Sydney, they are contacted by Makassar, a province capital in Sulawesi.
    • They're taken to an Sondonesian Island of Mystery, with Komodo Dragon and Bekantan, some iconic fauna of Indonesia.


  • Mothra's Song from Mothra originated in Indonesian, but sung in a Japanese approximation.
    Mosura ya Mosura / Mothra ya Mothra
    Dongan kasakuyan indo muu / Dengan kesaktian indukmu
    Rusuto uiraandoa / Restuilah doa
    hanba hanbamuyan, randa banunradan / Hambamu yang rendah, bangunlah dan
    Tounjukanraa kasaku yaanmu / Tunjukanlah kesaktianmu
  • The Raid is an action film following a Detachment 88 squad as they clear out an apartment building taken over by a drug lord. As the credits show, it (along with its sequel The Raid 2: Berandal) is almost entirely an Indonesian production, with the exception of the British screenwriter.
  • The 1982 film The Year of Living Dangerously was set in 1965 Indonesia during the fall of Sukarno.
  • The 2013 action movie Java Heat starring Kellan Lutz (better known as Emmett Cullen) and Mickey Rourke as the Big Bad takes place in Indonesia. The Deuteragonist is a Detachment 88 lieutenant and features plenty of other Indonesian actors. Filming took place mainly in Central Java & Yogyakarta, most notably at the Yogyakarta Sultan's Mansion & the Borobudur Temple complex.
  • The final third of Eat, Pray, Love is set in Bali. It features a wise Balinese medicine man and a mild dose of White Man's Burden when Liz (a white American woman) befriends Wayan, a healer and single mother that she decides to help out by supporting her business and raising funds for her to buy land to build a house on.
  • The 2015 action movie Blackhat starring Chris Hemsworth is about a hacker who hacks a nuclear power plant in China, whose server is apparently based in Jakarta.
  • Jakarta is one of Asian capital cities mentioned by Alice's father in the beginning of Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • Banda Sea is mentioned as the place where the Quinjet controlled by the freaking Hulk landed in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • Skull Island in the King Kong film series is located west of Sumatra.
  • In Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Jakarta is mentioned as one of the cities where the crime organization Syndicate did one of their acts.


Live Action TV

  • Girlboss: One episode has Sophia shoplifting a book and getting caught by the security guard. As she gets upset for getting caught, she mentions that she's sick of being racially profiled because she looks like an Indonesian. This scene received backlash by Indonesians due to it seemingly made fun of them.
  • Jessie: Jessie, Bertram, and The Ross children got lost on a deserted island in Indonesia, after their jet that was supposed to take them to Bali had difficulties.
  • Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Scott, and their children went on a trip to Bali in season 16, where Kourtney and Scott discovered that they might be soulmates from another lives after seeing a medium.
  • Lizzie McGuire: There was a new student in Lizzie's class who came from Indonesia, whom everyone laughed at for speaking very little English. After a mishap on participating a Mexican game show, Lizzie learnt a lesson on understanding cultures from another country and ended up presenting about the facts on Indonesia in class.
  • The O.C.: Zach mistakenly tells Summer that being smart doesn't mean that you need to know that Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Indonesia. She later corrects him, as Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia.
  • Orangutan Island, an Animal Planet show documenting an orangutan conservation ranch, was filmed on Borneo.
  • The Real Housewives of Orange County: The cast went on a trip to Bali in season 9, where one of the cast, Tamra, thought Bali looked more like Tijuana, as she imagined it to be like Bora-Bora.
  • In SEAL Team, the Batman Cold Open of the third season episode "Last Known Location" begins with a mission at an Indonesian oil refinery in Kalimantan.
  • In the second season of Gordon Ramsay's Uncharted series for the National Geographic, the starring chef went to West Sumatra to learn how to cook rendang from living culinary legend William Wongso, the leading figure of Indonesian culinary diplomacy movement famously known for writing the award-winning cookbook Flavors of Indonesia and granted a medal from the French government for his service to cuisine.
  • In The Last of Us (2023), it's revealed that the first outbreak of Cordyceps pandemic was discovered in Indonesian capital city of Jakarta. The second episode of the series opens with a flashback in the city itself, featuring a mycologist (played by native Indonesian actress Christine Hakim) from the real life University of Indonesia and the Indonesian military studying a cadaver of the first known infected. The Cold Open ends with the mycologist declaring that there's no hope for cure and advising the military to just level the entire city and everyone in it, including herself.

Video Games

  • The obscure (but still available on Steam) Novalogic multiplayer FPS Joint Operations Typhoon Rising takes place in Indonesia and, as the title implies, features multinational elite forces and Indonesian elite forces as playable characters.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune had a group of Indonesian pirates as one of the main antagonists. Which gave us this memorable exchange by Nathan Drake (using slangs which are pretty accurate, if a little weird to native speakers)...
    Guard: Halo? (Hello?)
    Nathan: Buka pintu. (Open the door.)
    Guard: Siapa ini? Bicara sekarang! (Who's there? Speak, now.)
    Nathan: Ah crap... SIALAN LO! CEPATAN BUKA PINTU!! (Ah crap... DAMN YOU! OPEN THE DOOR, QUICK!!)
    Guard: Ah... tai! (Ah... shit!)
  • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow's plot focuses on a fictional conflict between Indonesia and East Timor, roughly conflating the latter's vote for independence in 1999 (something that B.J. Habibie supported and helped bring about, but was subject to violent pushback and intimidation campaigns from pro-integration militant groups and nationalistic elements within the Indonesian military) with aspects of America's then-recent military intervention in Afghanistan. The main baddies are one such militia group, a terrorist gang called Darah Dan Doa ("Blood and Prayer"), that want to drive out the U.S. military presence stationed in East Timor so the country can be re-annexed by Indonesia and, with the help of the obligatory CIA Rogue Agent, nearly achieve this by essentially holding America hostage through bioterrorism. Among the locations Sam Fisher travels to in defusing this threat include DDD's guerilla bases in the jungles of "Kundang" and Komodo, and a DDD-occupied TV station in downtown Jakarta.
  • One of the Alliance cruisers in Mass Effect that fell in the battle against Sovereign is named after the Indonesian capital Jakarta. It's mentioned during Shepard's "The Reason You Suck" Speech against Al-Jilani.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Raging Beauty is Indonesian, we kid you not. While the other B&B corps members are described as being from "Europe", "Africa", or "South America", Raging Beauty is specifically identified as being from Aceh. Aceh has been the source of many tough rebellions, from the colonial period against the Dutch (one of the National Heroes, Teuku Umar, pulled off an ingenious plan and it took the Dutch nothing short of inserting a culturalist to understand and defeat them), until almost recently. During the Soeharto regime, an Acehnese rebel group called GAM (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, lit. Free Aceh Movement) started their rebellion. Of course, the Soeharto regime, being very paranoid against dissent, slapped Aceh with the "DOM" label (Daerah Operasi Militer, lit. Military Operations Zone), which meant that the military was given free reign to do whatever they damn well pleased, and the situation took a turn for the worse. Their resistance continued even after the 1998 turmoil and it took nothing short of a Real Life Deus ex Machina (the Boxing Day Tsunami) to put an end to the fighting. It wiped out both the government and the rebel military and actually enabled them to meet for one last negotiation, brokered by famous Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari. Now, Aceh is an autonomous special region with free reign to practice Islam as fundamentally as they wish, and rebellion is a thing of the past. Hopefully.
  • Indonesia also has a mech pilot, though his usefulness is questionable. Linny Barilar from the third Front Mission 3, is an Indonesian from the island of Celebes (Sulawesi). His main concern is how to popularize his family's dung powered mechs.
    • There's also Nina Rahman from Power Dolls, although it's rather debatable since Rahman is a common Malay/Arabic surname.
  • Indonesia has been used for some background stages of several fighting games. The King of Fighters 97 used Bali as one background, while Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has a Java-based stage called "Wayang Kulit". Also apparently, the Big Bad of King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2, Jivatma, was born Indonesian.
  • Indonesia is a playable civ in Civilization:
    • The first appearance of Indonesia as a playable Civilization is in Civilization V's expansion pack, Brave New World, with Gajah Mada as it leader, thus mixing modern Indonesian cities (Jakarta, Surabaya, etc) and some of Majapahit cultures. Also this means you get to build Borobudur as one of the possible Wonders. Before the expansion, Indonesia had been represented by Jakarta as one of the City-States you could visit, making it an Ascended Extra.
    • While it didn't appear in the vanilla version of Civilization VI, it returned as one of the post-launch DLCs, now led by Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi, although she's listed as her alternate name, Dyah Gitarja. Her regnal name, translated into English as The Exalted Goddess of the Three Worlds, instead became the name of her unique leader ability.
    • Indonesia also appear as part of the Polystralia Commonwealth in Civilization: Beyond Earth with several current Pacific countries. The name of the Leader of the Commonwealth, Hutama, is an Indonesian name and he got his degree from Universitas Sumatera Utara, a real uni at the capital of North Sumatera Province.
  • Anno 2070 is set in the waters of Indonesia. Based on its location, the island the game takes place in is probably the remnants of Maluku (Moluccas) island.
  • Indonesia has a Fantasy Counterpart Culture in Ragnarok Online in the form of Dewata. Yeah, named after one of Bali's many nicknames. Inappropriately, it's modeled after traditional Java, complete with the Borobudur Temple complex. Its dungeon is modeled after the famous Krakatoa Volcano, containing several monsters from Bali's own myths as its inhabitants.
  • Two of the Demons/Personae in Shin Megami Tensei are also taken from Balinese mythology: Barong and Rangda. They are the fusion materials of Vishnu, which is proper as Bali is famous for having a Hindu majority when the rest of Indonesia is Muslim majority.
  • Indonesia is featured in Criminal Case World Edition (Season 3 of the game).
  • Chapter 19 in Super Robot Wars: Original Generation Moon Dwellers took place in Jakarta. The map is designed to emulate parts of Thamrin road where the Selamat Datang Monument is located (though the monument itself is omitted)
  • Both Just Cause 2 and Far Cry 3 took place in a No Communities Were Harmed version of Indonesia, with the former combines elements of neighboring ASEAN countries.
  • Age of Empires II: Rise of the Rajas will feature Gajah Mada as the hero of a new included civilization the Malays, which once again makes sense considering that the archipelago that would become Indonesia was called 'Malay' during the Majapahit era, though Gajah Mada occasionally called it Indonesia anyway and unlike Civilization V: Brave New World, the common units used modern Indonesian language instead of ancient Java. True to history, it ends with the Bubat Incident and Gajah Mada's career crashing down.
  • Dead or Alive 6: NiCO, while obviously not native to Indonesia, partially used its national martial arts Pencak Silat as a base of her fighting style. Her other style? Lightning attacks.
  • Total War: Shogun 2: Indonesia is an available trade route where you can get Incense. It made sense because Indonesia was in the Islamic Sultanate era (before the Europeans came) during the timeline of the Sengoku Period.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Despite being born in Dutch, Mata Hari is by far the only Servant associated with Indonesia, with her epithet being 'From Java With Love' (as stated, she's raised in the Dutch East Indies during the colonization era), although in-story, Indonesia was only mentioned as a possible 'tropical area' visited by a certain character. The game being popular enough to spawn tons of fan works, Mata Hari is often used in tandem with tidbits/knowledge about Indonesia.
  • Body Harvest: Act 2 of the game takes place on Java Island in 1941, where the alien Bugs are taking advantage of the chaos of World War II to isolate remote villages and harvest humans away from prying eyes.

Web Comics

  • The island of Sulawesi is mentioned in a few strips of xkcd.
  • In Polandball, Indonesia usually dons a songkok or Conical Straw Hat to differentiate them from Poland and Monaco. Without it, the three flags are identical in the format.

Web Original

  • There are two Indonesians that have gotten an entry in Badass of the Week. The first is Iko Uwais, for his badassery and action scenes in The Raid. The second one is from Indonesian history... but surprisingly, it's not Gajah Mada: it's Raden Wijaya, for his screwing over the Mongols by making sure Kublai Khan's last invasion would be the one he got on Singhasari (before he changed it to Majapahit).
  • Indonesia did get a mention in bill wurtz's work history of the entire world, i guess, where he constantly failed to spell Majapahit right (he got it right eventually).

Web Animation

  • Majapahit is the topic of Extra History Season 29, for a few videos.
  • hololive has an entire branch dedicated for Indonesian talents. In fact, they are the second overseas branch established by Cover (after the now defunct Chinese branch) even before the English branch.

Western Animation

  • The Transformers: The episode "A Plague of Insecticons" mostly takes places in Indonesia, specifically in Bali where the Insecticons devour crops, prompting both the Autobots and Decepticons to investigate.

See also:

The Indonesian flag
The flag is very similar to that of Monaco, except it is longerdetails . Red and white are the colors of the Majapahit Empire, and symbolize body and spirit, respectively, the components of a human being. Or alternatively, Red symbolizes "Bravery" (Berani), while White symbolizes "Purity" (Suci). Just don't turn it around and say it's Indonesia. Malaysia learned it the hard way.

National emblem of Indonesia
Due to the country's Indian influences (even though the country is Muslim), the Garuda was adopted on 11 February 1950. According to Hindu legend, Garuda is the vahana of Vishnu. The Garuda carries a white ribbon containing the national motto (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or Unity in Diversity). The shield represent the national ideology, Pancasila, which contains five parts. The star represents the belief in the one and only God (Ketuhanan yang Maha Esa). Some believe the star represents the five religions (Islam, Protestantism, Hinduism, Catholicism and Buddhism), others believe that it represents socialism, while still others believe that it unifies the population of the country. Both the star and the black colour represent the night sky over Indonesia. The chain represents a just and civilized humanity (Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab), with its 17 rounds representing the unity of men and women (8 for men and 9 for women). The banyan tree represents the unity of the country (Persatuan Indonesia), as trees are significant in many cultures of the country's ethnic communities and ethnic groups. The banteng (Javanese wild bull) represents democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations among representatives (Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan/perwakilan). The banteng is an endangered species due to poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation, and susceptibility to disease. The rice and cotton represent social justice for the whole of the people of the country (Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia). Both represent ​sustenance and livelihood, and they are some of the country's top exports.

The Indonesian national anthem

Indonesia, tanah airku
Tanah tumpah darahku
Di sanalah aku berdiri
Jadi pandu ibuku

Indonesia, kebangsaanku
Bangsa dan tanah airku
Marilah kita berseru
Indonesia bersatu!

Hiduplah tanahku, hiduplah negeriku
Bangsaku, rakyatku, semuanya
Bangunlah jiwanya, bangunlah badannya
Untuk Indonesia Raya

Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!

Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!

Indonesia, tanah yang mulia
Tanah kita yang kaya
Di sanalah aku berdiri
Untuk selama-lamanya

Indonesia, tanah pusaka
Pusaka kita semuanya
Marilah kita mendoa
"Indonesia bahagia!"

Suburlah tanahnya, suburlah jiwanya
Bangsanya, rakyatnya, semuanya
Sadarlah hatinya, sadarlah budinya
Untuk Indonesia Raya

Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!

Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!

Indonesia, tanah yang suci
Tanah kita yang sakti
Di sanalah aku berdiri
Menjaga ibu sejati

Indonesia, tanah berseri
Tanah yang aku sayangi
Marilah kita berjanji
"Indonesia abadi!"

Selamatlah rakyatnya, selamatlah putranya
Pulaunya, lautnya, semuanya
Majulah negerinya, majulah pandunya
Untuk Indonesia Raya

Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!

Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka! Merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!

Indonesia, my homeland
Land where my blood shed
Over there, I stand
To be my mother's guide

Indonesia, my nationality
My nation and homeland
Let us exclaim
Indonesia unites!

Long live my land, long live my country
My nation, my people, all of them
Build its soul, build its body
For Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
My land, my country which I love!
Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
Long live Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
My land, my country which I love!
Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
Long live Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia, a noble land
Our wealthy land
Over there, I stand
Forever and ever

Indonesia, a heritage land
A heritage of ours
Let us pray
Happiness for Indonesia!

Fertile may its soil, flourish may its soul
Its nation, its people, all of them
Aware may its heart, aware may its mind
For Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
My land, my country which I love!
Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
Long live Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
My land, my country which I love!
Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
Long live Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia, a sacred land
Our victorious land
Over there, I stand
To guard the true mother

Indonesia, a radiant land
A land which I adore
Let us pledge,
Indonesia's eternal!

Safe may its people, safe may its children
Its islands, its seas, all of them
Advance its country, advance its scouts,
For Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
My land, my country which I love!
Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
Long live Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
My land, my country which I love!
Indonesia the Great, be free! Be free!
Long live Indonesia the Great!

  • Unitary presidential constitutional republic
    • President: Joko Widodo
    • Vice President: Ma'ruf Amin
    • House Speaker: Puan Maharani
    • Chief Justice: Muhammad Syarifuddin

  • Capital and largest city: Jakartanote 
  • Population: 270,203,917
  • Area: 1,904,569 km
(735,358 sq mi) (14th)
  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah (Rp) (IDR)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: ID
  • Country calling code: 62
  • Highest point: Puncak Jaya (4884 m/16,024 ft) (27th)
  • Lowest points: Indian Ocean (3,741 m/12,274 ft) (-) and Pacific Ocean (10,911 m/35,797 ft) (-)