Culture and Geography
Reviewed by: Editorial Staff
Since the seventh century, Indonesia has been an important trade post. Indonesian spices attracted Portuguese merchants as early as 1511, and this became an important stop on their trade route. The Dutch fought off the Portuguese for control of the Indonesia, as they set up a spice monopoly which lasted up to the eighteenth century. After nearly three centuries of foreign rule, Indonesia secured Independence after the end of the Second World War. However, the country has since been plagued by social, political and financial unrest.
Indonesian is a melting pot of diverse cultures. With over 336 separate ethnic groups, languages and cultures merging to create an Indonesian identity. You can see strong Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist influences in the day to day life, as well as in the arts.Indonesia is situated in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s largest archipelago with more than 13, 677 islands. Of these there are five major islands (Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Irian Jaya) and about 30 smaller groups. Indonesia shares boarders with Timor, Malaysia, Singapore and Papua Guinea.