Popular destinations INDONESIA
Geography and Landscape
Bali is an Indonesian island east of Java and west of Lombok. It is the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The island measures 5561 km² and has more than 3 million inhabitants. The current capital is Denpasar (Singaraja was the capital until 1958).
Photo:Flominator Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
Photo:Thomas Fuhrmann CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made
The island is dominated by volcanic mountains; some of the volcanoes are still active. The literal highlight is the Gunung Agung with a peak of 3,142 m above sea level. The Gunung Batur, near the Danau Batur (Lake Batur), is 1717 m high with a crater of 11 km and 180 m deep.
Bali is separated from Java by the shallow Bali Strait, which is only 8 km wide at its narrowest point. The wider Lombok Strait separates Lombok. To the north is the Bali Sea, to the south the Indian Ocean.
Furthermore, the varied landscape is characterized by lush rainforests, original crater lakes, fast-flowing rivers and deep ravines. Bali has white beaches in the south, the beaches elsewhere are covered with gray or black volcanic sand.
Climate and Weather
Photo:Simon_sees Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic no changes made
The average temperature in Bali is about 30 degrees and there is a high humidity. The rainy season is from November to April and there is an average of 1500 mm per year. In the afternoon it often rains very locally for a few hours, which freshens up everything and the temperature drops slightly. Most rain falls in January and February. Most of the rain falls in mountainous areas. In terms of temperature you can visit Bali all year round, but most tourists prefer the dry period from April to October.
Plants and Animals
Photo:Michael Gunther CCAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made
In Bali only 25% of the original vegetation is left. You will find tropical rainforests mainly in the north of Bali. Characteristic trees of Bali include the palms: coconut palm, oil palm, nipa palm, lontar palm, pandan palm, sago palm, aren palm (palm wine, sugar), betel palm (betel nuts), rattan and many types of Ficus.
Photo:Gsarwa Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
Most wildlife variety can be found in the forests of West Bali. Leopards, wild boars, deer, bantengs, monkeys, oxen, snakes have their habitat there. There are also many bird species on Bali, including the Balinese starling, golden oriole and yellow-crested cockatoos.
Sea creatures include the green water turtle, shrimp and dolphins.
History of Indonesia
Photo:Gerbil Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
The first inhabitants of Indonesia lived on Java. The skull of Java man (homo erectus) was found there in 1891. This hominid, which used fire, already walked upright and lived about 500,000 years ago at the beginning of the Pleistocene. The Java man is explicitly not the direct predecessor of the current Indonesian population. In 1931 skulls of a more developed human species, the Solo human, were found.
The first true human species to migrate to the Indonesian archipelago was an Australoid pygmy race, called negritos, from New Guinea and the Lesser Sunda Islands. Later still, about 10,000-12,000 BC, the Wajak man lived in Java, the first homo-sapiens, and the true ancestor of the present population.
Photo:Gunawan Kartapranata CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
Around the 2nd century AD. the first Indian merchants landed in Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. It has become clear from ancient writings that Indian historians have been around 600 BC. made mention of Java. The influence of these Indians reached far, but especially the ruling class took over many of these people, especially Hinduism. The many loan words that can be found in the current Indonesian language are also clear evidence of the strong Indian influences. In the 5th century Brahmin sects developed in Java that worship the Hindu god Shiva.
In the 7th century, the Sriwijaya Kingdom came to a head in southern Sumatra, the trading empire that controlled Malacca and Sumatra and shipping from India to China. On Java, especially on the coast, rich and powerful Hindu-Javanese states flourished, including Kediri, Sailendra (Buddhist mountain princes) and Papajaran.
Buddhism is also not to be neglected as a modifying factor in this development: it showed no racial prejudice and displayed a strong missionary activity. The followers of Hinduism and Buddhism, incidentally, lived peacefully side by side.
Towards the end of the 10th century, Java and Sumatra vied for supremacy. The conquests of Airlangga (until 1042) achieved a balance of power in the archipelago: Java controlled the east, Sumatra the west. Sriwijaya was gradually weakened, partly due to a raid by the South Indian Cholas on Malacca and Sumatra. The balance of power remained until the 13th century.
The Majapahit Era, the Golden Age of Indonesia
Photo:Gunkarta Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
In the 14th century, Majapahit Empire was the most important state of Indonesia, as well as the last Javanese-Hindu kingdom. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Muslim merchants set foot ashore and found well-organized kingdoms, especially in Sumatra and Java; this was much less the case in Borneo and hardly the case in Sulawesi. How strong the influence has been from India is evident from the Indian script that was used in many places until the 20th century.
Arabs had already come to Indonesia in the 4th century to trade. In the 14th century, the activities of the Arab traders expanded considerably towards Indonesia. Inevitably, Islam also gradually entered the archipelago, first from the north of Sumatra and then through Java. In general, it can be said that Islam was most successful in those areas where Hinduism was the least successful. At the end of the 15th century, the first two important cities became fully Islamic, Demak and Cirebon in Java.
Later on, the Hindu Majapahit Empire was left with nothing left and replaced by some twenty Muslim kingdoms scattered throughout the archipelago. Often Hindu princes converted to Islam for monetary gain, and the population followed suit without much difficulty. For example, Islam had a major influence on the development of Indonesia in many areas at that time.
The Portuguese Period
Photo:Hadiyana at the indonesian language wikipedia CCAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
The Portuguese period did not last very long, from about 1511 (conquest of Malacca) to about 1662. However, it was they who brought European civilization and culture to Indonesia, including Roman Catholicism and the Portuguese language, which in the 16th century was the trade language or 'lingua franca' of the archipelago. It was remarkable that the Portuguese focused entirely on trade and the spread of Christianity, and not so much on conquering areas. Yet they did not have as much influence on the major international trade routes as later on the Dutch.
In 1570 the Portuguese murdered a sultan in order to get more favors from his successor. However, the people did not accept this and chased the Portuguese from the island of Ternate. It would later turn out that this was the beginning of the end of the Portuguese supremacy in Indonesia.
The great influence of the Portuguese expressed itself in, among other things, the language, music, the import of tobacco and the design and construction of ships.
At the beginning of the 16th century, a new Islamic empire also emerged in Aceh.
Indonesia under the VOC and as a colony of the Netherlands
With the arrival of the Dutch in 1596, a new and radical chapter in the history of Indonesia began, a chapter that would last more than three centuries. In order to give the trade in this area more structure, the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) was founded in 1602, which after a few years had full control over the archipelago. The Dutch appointed an Indian government under a governor-general and in 1619 Jan Pieterszoon Coen made Jacatra the capital Batavia. He also managed to keep the English out of the archipelago. In the eighteenth century, the power of the VOC was gradually diminished and was taken over by the English worldwide. In 1798, all of the VOC's assets and liabilities were taken over by the state. The once powerful Dutch East India Company ceased to exist in December 1799 and at that time the colonial period of the Dutch East Indies began constitutional law.
Fortified "factories" or trading posts were established in strategic places to protect themselves against other European powers. From 1808, the authority of the Dutch was strengthened under Governor General Daendels. At one point, the Dutch also became increasingly involved in the internal affairs of the various Indonesian states. In 1830, the infamous culture system was introduced, with almost all of Java effectively becoming a state-run labor camp. The farmers were forced to grow specific crops, resulting in, among other things, a major famine in 1849-1850 in the rice region of Cirebon.
The English were the major competitors for the VOC from the early 17th century. Despite agreements between the English and Dutch trading companies, the various parties regularly clashed. From 1811-1816 Java was occupied by an English expeditionary force, and the sultan's "kraton" in Yogyakarta was stormed and destroyed. Stamford Raffles, envoy of the English East India Company and founder of Singapore, was appointed governor. In 1816 most areas were returned to the Dutch (according to the London Convention of 1814), and in 1824 the English withdrew completely from Indonesia.
Photo:The Portable Antiquities Scheme/ The Trustees of the British Museum CCAttribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made
Dutch colonial rule was based on a racial caste structure and was governed by a sophisticated civil servant system. Before that time, the immense archipelago was efficiently managed with only a few tens of thousands of civil servants.
Inevitable in a situation of oppression by another people is the emergence of nationalistic feelings. The first nationalists were aristocrats and intellectuals, led by the son of a Javanese sultan, Diponegoro. After an incident, a holy guerrilla war (1825-1830; Java war) was unleashed in 1825, in which approximately 15,000 Dutch and 250,000 Indonesians were killed. Most Indonesians died of contagious diseases. After the constitutional reform of 1848 in the Netherlands, the system of forced cultures was abolished in 1854.
In early 1873, the Aceh War began, a chronic guerrilla war as a result of the plans of the Dutch to annex independent Aceh. It was not until 1898, when Van Heutz and Snouck Hurgronje were appointed military governor and advisor for Internal and Arab Affairs respectively, that the effective, often bloody, occupation of the whole of Aceh began. Until the eve of the Second World War, attacks on Dutch people were regularly carried out.
In 1905, mighty Russia was defeated by little Japan, which was good news for the nationalists. Yet around that time the Netherlands was already engaged in the so-called "ethical politics", with the aim of promoting the importance of the indigenous population and their education for independence, especially through better education. However, Indonesia was still fully in the hands of the Dutch in 1911, although immediately afterwards they started to lose their grip on the country again. To counter this, gifted Indonesians were sent to the Netherlands to receive a high education. However, it was counterproductive because these new intellectuals later became the fiercest nationalists and in fact made the Dutch redundant. During the period of the First World War, many nationalist organizations emerged, especially among the Javanese population. In 1927, Partai Nasionalis Indonesia (PNI) was founded, which openly pursued independence ("Merdeka") and was inspired by the Indian Mahatma Gandhi.
This party was led by Sukarno, who quickly developed into a major political personality through his actions. Earlier, the Budi Utomo ("The Beautiful Endeavor") had been founded in 1908, and in 1912 the Sarekat Islam, a mass movement on an Islamic basis.
Due to the global economic crisis, the Dutch and the Indonesians increasingly faced each other. Exploitation of all mineral resources in Indonesia was increased and political concessions were all reversed.
A very violent police force kept the Indonesians in check and nationalist leaders such as Sukarno, Hatta and Sjahrir were arrested. Furthermore, all political parties were banned and all this naturally led to an increasing anti-Dutch mood. The establishment of a Volksraad in 1918 was nothing more than a bogus parliament. In 1938, for example, the Soetjardo petition was rejected, which should have resulted in Indonesia gradually gaining an independent place within the national context.
Photo:Tropenmuseum Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
In January 1942, Japanese troops entered Borneo and Sulawesi, followed by a major attack on Sumatra. Java was captured on February 27, Batavia was captured on March 1 and the Dutch army capitulated on March 9. The Dutch were interned in camps, where many died (an estimated 13% of the 90,000 civilians and 23% of the 37,000 prisoners of war), including many prisoners who had to work on the Burma-Siam railway.
The Japanese eventually promised the Indonesian nationalists and orthodox Muslims independence, but it soon became clear that the intention was to permanently integrate Indonesia into the Japanese empire, politically and economically it was entirely subordinate to Japan. The methods used by the Japanese to achieve this turned out to be even more cruel than was the case among the Dutch. Meanwhile, the economic situation, especially in rural areas, deteriorated rapidly. Thus the large agricultural enterprises came to a standstill and the situation was aggravated by the requisition of rice for the Japanese troops and the recruitment of labor, the "romushas".
Important to the nationalists was that Sukarno was appointed by the Japanese as governor and thus had the opportunity to develop the Indonesian population in a smart way. The language thus became Bahasa Indonesia, a great symbol of national identity and the armed landstorm, founded by the Japanese, was transformed after the war into a revolutionary militia that fought against the Dutch.
When the Japanese suffered the first losses, power increasingly fell in the hands of the Indonesians.
Indonesia becomes independent
Photo:Daan Noske/ Anefo in the public domain
On August 15, Japan surrendered to the Allies and two days later Soekarno and Hatta declared independence on August 17, 1945 and the Republik Indonesia was a fact. The returned Dutch immediately tried to restore their rule, but encountered fierce resistance, especially in Java and Sumatra. Initially, the Dutch were more bothered by gangs of young people than by the regular army. Initially, the Indonesians received little international support in their fight against the Dutch.
On July 21, 1947, the Netherlands started its first police action, which was stopped on August 5 at the hands of the United Nations. Within the republic it was fermenting between all kinds of groups, which ultimately resulted in a revolt against the pro-Dutch government, led by the communist party PKI.
In 1948 an ultra-conservative government came to power in the Netherlands, which decided to bomb and occupy Yogyakarta in December of that year by Dutch paratroopers. However, this second police action failed completely. Sukarno and many members of his revolutionary cabinet were taken prisoner, but the Dutch faced a lot of opposition from the republican Indonesians. The term "merdeka", meaning freedom, was on everyone's lips at the time.
After world opinion and also the United Nations increasingly supported the Indonesians, the Dutch occupation of Indonesia was soon over. In 1948, the US Congress decided to suspend Marshall support, and on December 27, 1949, the Netherlands transferred sovereignty to a free and independent Indonesia. Initially, the Netherlands and Indonesia were pressed into a union, which, however, was disbanded on August 17. Only in the South Moluccas, where an independent republic had been declared in April 1950, was armed resistance against this development, especially by former KNIL soldiers.
On December 16, 1949, Sukarno was elected president of the new federal state of Indonesia by the House of Representatives and the Senate. In September 1950 Indonesia became a member of the United Nations. The army, the PKI and Sukarno became the main centers of power. In this constellation of growing nationalism and advancing inflation, Indonesia canceled the Union with the Netherlands in 1956 because of the New Guinea dispute.
However, the early years of the young state were far from easy. Cabinets came and went at a rapid pace, and in 1955 there were 169 political parties going to the battle for 257 seats in parliament. Sukarno looked at it with sorrow and decided to intervene. He opted for the so-called "guided democracy" and installed a National Council made up of members elected by himself. The traditional "mufakat" was also introduced, meaning decision-making by consensus. Political parties and legislative bodies were sidelined and even dissolved in this system. The freedom of the press also came to an end.
All this was imposed from Java on the other islands, as a result of which they felt neglected and eventually revolted. In February 1959 an uprising broke out in Sumatra and North Celebes. Geeist became more self-determined through the Muslim-oriented islands. The uprising was crushed by Sukarno's troops within months.
In 1962 Sukarno finally wanted to take West New Guinea and the United States also exerted strong pressure on the Netherlands to give up the island. In the same year, the Netherlands transferred the territory to the United Nations, which in turn transferred it to Indonesia in 1963. It was demanded that free elections had to be called within five years. In 1969 all parties agreed that Western New Guinea would integrate with the Republic of Indonesia.
In the late 1950s, Indonesia had increasingly become a dictatorship and in the early 1960s the country left the United Nations and became fiercely anti-Western and militant. Sukarno put Indonesia on a par with the also anti-imperialist China. Sukarno had been so handy to forge all the different population groups and ideologies into one. Self-aggrandizement was not strange, and this was reflected in the construction of prestigious stadiums and other buildings, and sculptures that were strongly reminiscent of the Soviet style. On the other hand, inflation rose enormously, the national debt rose sharply and various groups such as soldiers, Muslims and communists were ready to take over, if necessary via a coup d'état. There was also a sharp contrast between the military top and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
On the night of September 30, 1965, six generals were kidnapped and murdered. Suharto, a previously unknown general, deployed a reserve unit, the KOSTRAD, to teach the "communist conspirators" a lesson. Ultimately, this situation turned into a political carnage in which about half a million people were murdered in cold blood. At that point, the communist party was dissolved and the army took over.
Suharto became president in 1967, who found his base of power in the army. Indonesia received financial aid from all sides, especially from the Netherlands and the United States. This made the country increasingly dependent on the West economically. At home, the people were very dissatisfied with corruption and the development of the economy, and the Suharto regime tried to maintain order by means of strong repressive measures. In 1969, Western New Guinea finally joined Indonesia and further a political reorganization took place, in the sense that a number of groups merged, and continued as Sekber Golkar. This party was strongly supported by the government and won the general election of 1971.
In 1975 the Portuguese troops left East Timor and the liberation movement FRETILIN tried to take power. However, Suharto intervened hard and on July 17 East Timor was unilaterally annexed to Indonesia as the 27th province, under protest from the United Nations.
The 1982 and 1987 elections were again won by the Golkar Party, despite popular discontent and social unrest.
In 1984 a number of Islamic groups revolted against the restrictions on their freedoms. Eighteen people were killed, followed by bomb attacks on Chinese companies and banks.
In the course of 1990 it became known that the government wanted to pursue a policy of "openness". This was expressed in more freedom of the press and a closer approach by Suharto to Islam. It was also remarkable that in 1991 the army killed dozens of protesters, and that Suharto held the army responsible. The years 1991 and 1992 were also marked by tensions in Aceh, resulting in thousands of deaths. In March 1993, Suharto was elected president for the sixth consecutive time. He had to accept General Soetrino, the army candidate, as vice president.
In the mid-1990s the economy grew strongly, but the gap between rich and poor was widening. This resulted in great social tensions, which were reinforced by a rising unemployment rate and many corruption scandals.
In 1996 some new opposition parties were banned and the leader of the Democratic Party, Megawati Sukarnoputri, toppled. The May 1997 general election was again won by the Golkar Party, despite a wave of political violence. Only the Islamic PPP managed to increase its following, gaining 23% of the vote.
The Fall of Suharto
In March 1998, Suharto was re-elected president for the seventh time, appointing his daughter and a number of confidants to key positions, despite growing protests against this turn of events. The economic crisis in which the country found itself, the price rises and crop failures also created a very tense atmosphere. Demonstrations by students campaigning for reform and demanding Suharto's resignation became more massive and received the support of various groups from the military and society. Amien Rais, the leader of the Islamic party Muhammadiyah, was emphatic in this, while Megawati Sukarnoputri, the leader of the PDI, waited quietly.
At the beginning of May 1998, violent riots broke out in various cities, and ethnic Chinese in particular suffered; some 100 Chinese women were raped and a total of 1,200 were killed.
On May 18, the Speaker of the People's Congress and the Golkar called on the President to resign. Suharto tried to set up a national committee, but the important religious leaders and many ministers refused to sit on it. Cornered upon which Suharto then decided to step down. Vice president Habibie was then sworn in as president and in the newly formed cabinet everyone belonging to Suharto's clan disappeared.
The IMF appeared to have confidence in Habibie, supporting Indonesia with $42 billion in monthly installments of $1 billion. After this, the course of the rupiah recovered.
Under the new regime, a greater degree of freedom of the press was created, which made the military atrocities in East Timor, Aceh and Irian Jaya known. Suharto's corruption and self-enrichment were also widely publicized, yet students continued to demand far-reaching reforms. Not only Suharto would have to answer according to the students, but also the People's Congress, which after all was still appointed by Suharto. The students were dealt with harshly and 14 people were killed in Jakarta alone.
After the disappearance of Suharto, things remained restless in Indonesia. At the beginning of 1999 serious riots broke out in the Moluccas and Borneo, resulting in hundreds of victims.
In January 1999, President Habibie announced a referendum on the future of East Timor against the wishes of the military. The East Timorese resistance agreed because it thought that the population would opt for independence. Forces in the army in particular did not want to let go of East Timor, and recruited militias to intimidate the population into opting for autonomy within Indonesia. Still, a large majority of 78.5% opted for independence. When the results were announced on September 4, the militias, with the help of the army, turned to the scorched earth tactic, which drove about 200,000 people mainly to West Timor. The United Nations then put such pressure on the country that the Indonesian government allowed the arrival of UN soldiers. The imprisoned leader of the East Timorese resistance, Gusmao, was released in September and returned to East Timor in early November 1999, which remained under UN supervision for the time being.
Elections were held in early June 1999. Megawati's reformist PDI-P became the largest party, but under new electoral laws obtained too few seats (153) to enforce a presidency. Habibie's Golkar came in second but got more seats (120) in the new parliament thanks to the same rules. Two other reform-minded parties, Abdurrahman Wahids PKB and Amien Rais' PAN, took 11% and a disappointing 7% of the seats respectively.
There was a sharp contrast between the camp of Megawati on the one hand and that of Habibie's Golkar supported by some Islamic parties on the other. In order to break this polarization, the almost blind Abdurrahman Wahid (known by the people as Gus Dur) was put forward by Amien Rais as the third candidate for the presidency. The military supported this proposal, where Wahid was elected president and Megawati elected vice president at Wahid's insistence.
Wahid's short reign was further characterized by constant quarrels between different political factions, a declining economy and bloody ethnic conflicts, particularly in Aceh, Irian Jaya and the Moluccas. When he was also accused of incompetence and corruption, it was soon over with Wahid.
On July 23, 2001, he was voted out by parliament and succeeded by Vice President Megawati, the daughter of ex-President Sukarno. Hamzah Haz was elected vice president.
Bloody ethnic and religious conflicts erupted regularly under Megawati's rule. The army took tough action against actions by separatist movements in Aceh and Irian Jaya. Thousands were killed, but Megawati insisted on keeping her father's Indonesia together.
In early 2002, the Indonesian economy was still in crisis and poverty was still increasing. On October 12 of that year, Indonesia was hit by a very violent extremist attack on Bali. Hundreds of deaths, including many Australians, were the result.
Photo:World Economic Forum CCAttribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made
In early October 2004, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was officially declared the winner of the presidential election. The former general defeated incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri in the first direct elections of the head of state in Indonesia. Yudhoyono received 60.6% of the vote; Megawati did not get more than 39.4%.
On Boxing Day in 2004, many countries in southern Asia were hit by a massive natural disaster, including Indonesia.
A seaquake occurred that measured 9.0 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the quake was off the west coast of Sumatra, near the province of Aceh, which was very badly affected.
The quake caused a wall of water to hit the coast of Sumatra. The waves of this so-called tsunami reached a height of ten meters in some places. In total, more than 140,000 people were killed, including more than 95,000 in Sumatra alone.
In December 2006, the first direct elections will be held in Aceh following the peace agreement with the rebels. Former rebel leader Irwandi Yusuf becomes the new governor. Former president Souharto dies in January 2008. In July 2008 the final report of the truth-finding commission of Indonesia and East Timo will be published, asking Indonesia to apologize for the violence in the struggle for the independence of East Timo. President Yudhoyono expressed deep regret, but no real apologies were made. In the May 2009 parliamentary elections, Yudhoyono's party wins votes, in July 2009 he also wins the presidential election. The Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was arrested in August 2010. Bashir is known as the leader of the terror group Jemaah Islamiah, which has links with al-Qaeda and was behind the 2002 Bali attacks. More than 200 people were killed, mainly tourists from Australia. In 2011, the Dutch government apologized for the massacre in Rawagade during the war of independence. In 2013, the apologies will be repeated in a more general sense.
Photo:kremlin.ru Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International no changes made
In the April 2014 elections, the PDI-P and Golkar will be the largest parties. Presidential elections are scheduled for July 2014. Joko Widodo, the governor of Jakarta and ex-general Prabowo Subianto, will fight on July 22, when the electoral council declares that Joko Widodo has become president. In 2015, a number of Europeans and Australians were executed for drug crimes, leading to protests and even recall of ambassadors. In 2016 Indonesia will also have to deal with attacks by the Islamic State. In December 2016, the Netherlands agreed to investigate the end of colonial rule in Indonesia in the 1940s. Dutch troops are suspected of killing tens of thousands of people during the war of independence. In May 2017, the Christian governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was sentenced to 2 years for alleged blasphemy.
Photo:Anne-Mette Jensen Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made
The largest population group in Bali is formed by the Balinese (approx. 3 million), who descend from the second wave of migrants.
Bali was inhabited relatively early and a Balinese Hindu-Buddhist culture developed with its own high quality character. Bali has the largest Hindu community in the world outside of India. Ninety percent of the Balinese population adheres to Balinese Hinduism.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the Balinese lived completely isolated from the rest of the world.
Photo:Midori Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made
The official language in Bali is Bahasa Indonesia, commercial languages are English and to a decreasing extent Dutch. The many other languages of the archipelago fall into two main groups: the Malay-Polynesian language family and the "non-Austronesian" language family.
The Malay-Polynesian or Austronesian language family consists of about 250 languages, within which 40 main groups can be distinguished, such as Acehs, Malay, Buginese, Javanese and Sundanese.
Non-Austronesian languages include about 240 Papuan languages. More than a hundred of these Papuan languages have less than a thousand speakers.
In present-day Bahasa Indonesia, the languages of the former rulers are still clearly identifiable. From Portuguese come the words mentega (butter), nona (miss) and sepatu (shoe). From Dutch are among others: mebel (furniture), bangrut (bankruptcy), karcis (cards), handuk (towel), pinter (clever) and donkrak (stupid power). Words like bodigar (bodyguard) and suplai (supply) are derived from English.
Bahasa Indonesia is a non-tonal language that is fairly easy to learn. The language is written in the Roman alphabet, words are pronounced as they are spelled, and the morphology is simple. Verbs and nouns are not conjugated.
The hardest part is using prefixes and suffixes to change base words into verbs and nouns. Accents are not indicated any more than in Dutch. The e at the end of the first syllable is always mute or toneless.
Like other languages, Indonesian has a predilection for abbreviations, which are often incomprehensible to outsiders (e.g. Pukesmas = Pusat Keséhatan Masyarakat).
From Maly to Bahasa Indonesia
Photo:Ichwan Palongengi Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 no changes made
The peoples of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula originally spoke different dialects of Malay. From these dialects a court language and a simple variant developed, which spread from Sumatra all over the archipelago and served as a colloquial language mainly for the trade contacts between the various peoples. The need for a colloquial language was great because hundreds of languages were spoken in the archipelago. The fact that Malay had a simple structure was convenient. Malay, a trading language or "lingua franca" at the time, could easily be spread through the major trading centers on either side of the Straits of Melaka. Foreign groups such as Arabs, Chinese and Europeans also used this language.
Many Dutch migrants used an even simpler variant of Malay in dealing with the indigenous population: Pasar Malay. Journalists and writers used Low Malay, a mixture of the simple Pasar Malay and Classical Malay, incomprehensible to Javanese, the book language of the royal courts along the Sumatran coast. Writers, who wrote extensively in Low Malay, popularized Low Malay as a written language.
The spelling of Malay was very diverse until the 20th century, and there was no need to establish a standard. Europeans, on the other hand, had an interest in standardizing Malay, but were unable to answer the question of where the "best" Malay was spoken. The Protestant mission made a first attempt to provide a Bible translation in Classical Malay from the Riau Archipelago. Dutch and native officials used this Malay to communicate with each other, and it was therefore definitively elevated to Standard Malay. Important in this was the teacher C.H. van Ophuijsen, who wrote a "Malay grammar" and a "Malay textbook" at the beginning of the 20th century. The result was that a written language was chosen that was close to Classical Malay and that was very different from most other Malay dialects and also from the popularized Low Malay.
Van Ophuijsen's Standard Malay gradually replaced Javanese Low Malay in the written language. In daily interactions, Malay-speaking Indonesians continued to use their own dialect, widening the gap between writing and spoken language.
On October 28, 1928, the participants in the Indonesian Youth Congress took the "Oath of the Young People", in which they promised, among other things, to fight for one language, Bahasa Indonesia. That Indonesian language was Van Ophuijsen's Standard Malay. Until the Second World War, however, Dutch remained an important competitor. For example, civil servants used Malay in contact with the population, but Dutch was taught in secondary schools. In 1942, the Japanese occupier forbade the use of Dutch, which marked the definitive breakthrough of Indonesian as the national language. It became the language of education, civil service, politics, the press and literature.
To obtain uniform grammar and uniform spelling, Indonesia worked together with Malaysia in a language union. In 1972 the two countries agreed on a new spelling, changing for example Jakarta to Jakarta and Aceh to Aceh.
At present, only a minority of the population speak the national language at home; it remains the language of the modern, especially urban elite. A large part of the population speaks no Indonesian at all and continues to communicate at home in the regional language or "Bahasa Daerah".
At the beginning of the eighties of the last century, Dutch was spoken by no more than one million Indonesians. Eighty percent of the population was born after 1950, so that Dutch is rapidly disappearing from Indonesia. The decline of Dutch is offset by the rise of English, a language that is also taught in secondary education.
The name Indonesia (Indonesia), first used by the British ethnologist G.R. Logan in 1850, is derived from the Latin. India and Greek nèsos (= island) means Indian archipelago.
Some words and expressions
- Thank you = terima kasih
- good morning = selamat pagi
- What is your name? = siapa nama saudara?
- Left = kiri
- Right = kanan
- Train = kereta api
- Plane = kapal terbang
- Shop = toko
- Tourist office = kantor pariwisata
- No smoking = jangan merokok
- Sunday= hari minggu
- Wednesday = hari rabu
- One = satu
- Two = dua
- three= tiga
- Hundred = seratus
- Night = malam
- Hour = jam
- What timme is it? = jam berapa sekarang?
- Signature = tanda tangan
Photo:Sean Hamlin Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic no changes made
Hinduism in Bali (Agama Hindu Dharma or Agama Hindu Bali) is the second major religion in Indonesia. In Bali, this religion is practiced by more than 90% of the population.
This religion cannot be compared with Hinduism in India or with the old Hindu Javanese religion. Yet these two elements, along with Buddhism, form the basis of complex Hinduism in Bali.
The Agama Hindu Dharma, in which the belief in one supreme being is central, is based on five principles, the "panca srada":
1. the belief in "Sanghyang Widhi Wasa", the one and one God.
2. belief in "Atman", the eternal soul.
3. belief in "Kharma Pala", the law of cause and effect.
4. Belief in "Punarbhawa", or incarnation.
5. the belief in "Moksha", the union with the Eternal Spirit.
Traveling across Bali, the many statues and temples give the impression that many gods are worshiped and worshiped. In reality they are different manifestations of the "trimurti", the trinity: Brahma the creator, Wisnu the keeper and Siwa the destroyer. This trinity is united in one god: Sang Hyang Tunggal, the "Most High," who manifests in different ways. Hence, the many gods and goddesses are only certain aspects of the "Most High" or the "Only One."
The center of the faith is the "pura desa", in which Brahmin priests perform the principal ceremonies. In addition to these large temples, there are also many thousands of other temples, including mortuary temples, family temples and house temples on the residential areas.
In Bali there is always a temple party or religious ceremony somewhere. The highlight of the year is the great temple festival, the "odalan," which is celebrated in every village to commemorate the foundation of the temple. When all festivals have to take place is calculated on the basis of the Balinese calendar, which is based on the "wuku" or lunar year.
The most "spectacular" ceremony to see is the cremation or "ngaben". This event makes a happy impression, and that is because the person who is cremated often passed away months or years ago. By the combustion the soul of the deceased is liberated and heaven can be reached.
The size of the towers depends on the closet and the wealth of the deceased. The tower represents the cosmos. The base is shaped like a turtle, wrapped by two snakes. Above it a platform has been made on which the body is placed, and is thus located between heaven and earth. Different rules apply to brahmins. They are cremated as soon as possible after death and are laid out in a bier shaped like a "padmasana" or lotus seat.
The differences with India are striking. In India these are simple ceremonies, but in Bali they are surrounded with a lot of ceremonial.
Photo:AnnieGreenSprings Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic no changes made
Pure Buddhism has few adherents in Indonesia. In Banjar, Bali, is the Brahmawihara Arama, a Buddhist monastery and meditation center inhabited by some Balinese Buddhist monks.
A revival of Buddhism experienced a revival in the 1930s. When the Europeans disappeared after independence, Indonesian Buddhism became an almost exclusively Chinese affair.
The Borobudur in Java is a gigantic Buddhist structure that cannot be compared to any other human creation. The construction required 56,600 m3 of stones, making Borobudur the largest "stupa" in the world and the largest historical monument in the southern hemisphere.
Borobudur's architecture also features Persian, Babylonian and Greek influences, and therefore has little in common with other Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia.
Its construction came about thanks to the Vajrayana sect of the Tantric school of Buddhism. The Saliendra princes had it built by farmers between 778 and 850. With the Saliendras being overthrown in 856, the structure soon fell into disrepair. Partly as a result of the many volcanic eruptions, the monument has been under a layer of earth for hundreds of years. Borobudur was discovered by an English colonel in 1814 and the building was cleared again in 1855. Only in 1973 was the restoration started.
Photo:Sergey CC BY-SA 2.0 no changes made
The religion of the many Chinese immigrants is a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, and is called the 'Three Religions' or 'Sam Kauw Hwee', a name changed to Tri Dharma in 1963 as part of the Indonesianization campaign. term taken from Sanskrit. Tri Dharma can be considered a Chinese form of syncretism. Buddhism and Confucianism in China were mainly a matter for the social and religious upper class, while Taoism dominated the perception of the common people. Because the Chinese migrants were mainly from simple peasant backgrounds, they brought this folk beliefs to the Indonesian archipelago. In addition to domestic temples, the gods and ancestors are also worshiped in larger Chinese temples or "klenteng".
Despite the small number of official adherents, the significance of traditional religions cannot be neglected. Many Indonesians continue to value elements of the old folk beliefs, even after they have joined one of the "great" religions. There are major differences between the original religions, they have all undergone their own historical development.
A common element is animism, the belief that nature and man-made objects can be animated. Especially old trees, mountains, caves and springs are popular places of residence of the spirits according to popular belief. Sometimes it concerns real nature spirits, but a deity or the spirits of the deceased can also reside there.
Belief in an inspired nature goes hand in hand with ancestor worship, another common element in most of the original Indonesian religions. There is a general belief that the spirits of deceased people influence earthly existence. The soul of a deceased must therefore be surrounded with great care. During rituals, shamans ensure contact between the common people and the world of the spirits. These and other rituals are the cement of a traditional society
State structure of Indonesia
Indonesia formed a federation at the start of its independence, but this form of government was soon converted into a unified state, the "Republik Indonesia".
The 1945 constitution was replaced by a federal constitution in 1949. In 1950 this federal constitution gave way to a provisional unitary constitution, after which in 1959 the constitution of 1945 came into force again and the system of "guided democracy" was adopted. The basis of this constitution is the official state philosophy instituted by President Suharto Pantjasila, which encompasses five tenets of the Indonesian united state: belief in one God, a unitary state, humanity, social justice and 'a democracy guided by the wisdom of deliberation (mushawara). and representation.
Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system, with executive power vested in the president and ministers. Ministers are appointed by the president and are accountable to him alone. The president and vice president are elected for five years, starting in 2004 by direct elections, and are re-eligible thereafter (for example, President Suharto has ruled for five full terms). He or she has the right of veto over bills ("Keputusan Presiden") and has great powers of attorney, notably because he or she can declare a state of emergency across the country and is also commander in chief of the military.
Legislative power rests with the 500-member parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR). Of these MPs, 400 are directly elected by the people and 100 are appointed by the president. After 2004, these appointed seats for police and military will be discontinued.
The highest body is the elected People's Consultative Congress (Malayis Permusyawaratan Rakyat), which has been made up of 700 members since 1999 and is composed of members of parliament and representatives of regional and professional groups; it meets at least every five years, sets political guidelines and elects the president. After 2004, the council will consist only of members of the House of Representatives and the Regional Representatives Council, who will be elected in the 2004 general election. The expectation is that the MPR will hold more frequent meetings and play a more active role in the economic and political policy of the government. The current political situation in Indonesia is described in the chapter history.
The country is divided into 24 provinces (propinsi) and three so-called special areas (daerahs): Jakarta Raya, Yogyakarta and Aceh (Aceh). These three areas all have a special form of government. The former East Timor province declared its independence in 1999.
The provinces are administered by governors ("gubernur") who are appointed by the president and are accountable to him or her. The governor has some leeway in education, religion and "adat" or customary law.
Each province is in districts ("kabupaten" headed by a "bupati" or regent)) or municipalities ("kotamadya" that are administered by a "walikota" or mayor). There are more than 300 districts and 55 municipalities. The districts and municipalities are again divided into more than 3,000 sub-districts ("kecamatan" headed by a "camat"), each comprising a number of villages ("desa") and "keluharan". A desa is ruled by a "kepala desa", a keluharan by a "lurah".
|Irian Jaya||Javapura||2.300.000||421.981 km2|
|Jawa Barat||Bandung||45.000.000||43.177 km2|
|Jawa Tengah||Semarang||32.000.000||32.549 km2|
|Jawa Timur||Surabaya||35.000.000||47.923 km2|
|Kalimantan Barat||Pontianak||4.500.000||146.807 km2|
|Kalimantan Selatan||Baniarmasin||3.000.000||36.535 km2|
|Kalimantan Tengah||Palangkarava||1.900.000||153.564 km2|
|Kalimantan Timur||Samarinda||2.500.000||210.985 km2|
|Nusa Tenggara Barat||Mataram||4.200.000||20.153 km2|
|Nusa Tenggara Timur||Kupang||4.000.000||47.349 km2|
|Sulawesi Selatan||Ujungpandang||8.200.000||72.781 km2|
|Sulawesi Tengah||Palu||2.500.000||69.726 km2|
|Sulawesi Tenggara||Kendari||2.000.000||27.686 km2|
|Sulawesi Utara||Manado||3.000.000||19.023 km2|
|Sumatera Barat||Padang||4.500.000||42.898 km2|
|Sumatera Selatan||Palembang||8.000.000||109.254 km2|
|Sumatera Utara||Medan||12.000.000||71.680 km2|
|Special areas||capital city||inhabitants||surface|
|Aceh||Banda Aceh||4.000.000||55.390 km2|
Photo:Tetra Pak CC BY-SA 2.0 no changes made
The Indonesian education system is quite simple in design. Importantly, the Japanese occupier put an end to the coexistence of diverse school types for different ethnic groups. Instead, the six-class primary school was introduced.
Primary school ("sekolah dasar") is still the basis of the Indonesian education system. Primary education is in principle compulsory, freely accessible and free. Compulsory education was introduced for all children between 7 and 12 years old in 1987. In 1989 98% of compulsory school children went to primary education. In 1998 primary education was attended by approximately 75% of the children. In urban areas this percentage was almost 90% and in rural areas almost 65%. In 1968 the average was only 41%.
This is followed by schools for three-year lower secondary education ("sekolah lanjutan tahap pertama") and three-year higher secondary education ("sekolah lanjutan tahap atas"). Most children who go to secondary school attend the general primary secondary school ("sekolah menengab pertama"), comparable to the former Dutch MAVO. Pupils who want to learn even further can go to the secondary school ("sekolah menengab atas"). A drawback in the Indonesian education system is the small number of primary schools for vocational education. There is more variation within secondary education. In 2000, on average, more than half of the children attended secondary education (1968 13%).
Indonesia has a very diverse offer for higher education, although it is concentrated on Java. There are many vocational and technical courses, teacher training courses and universities. There are currently 76 state universities and nearly 1,600 private universities and colleges. However, the quality of many private universities is poor. Good private universities are the Protestant Christian Satya Wacana University in Salatiga and the Catholic Parahyangan University in Bandung.
In 1968 only 1.6% of young people were enrolled in some form of higher education. In 2003 this percentage was around 10% or almost 3 million students.
Photo:USAID in het publieke domein
Health care in Indonesia has improved considerably in recent decades, but still not at an adequate level. For example, in 1999 there were only 0.6 beds per thousand inhabitants and no more than 0.2 doctors per thousand inhabitants.
The progress can mainly be seen in the decreased infant mortality and higher average life expectancy. Infant mortality decreased from 89.5 per thousand live births to 38 in 2002. Average life expectancy increased from 46 years to 69 years in 2003, 66.5 years for men and 71.5 years for women.
Much attention has been paid to expanding hospital capacity in rural areas. The number of public health centers increased from 1,250 to more than 7,000 from the early 1970s. First aid and mobile health centers are now close to 30,000. Furthermore, great emphasis is placed on prevention and on improving nutrition and drinking water.
Photo:Giovanni Sciarrino Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
In the music world, the gamelan is considered one of the most highly developed musical art forms in the world. Gamelan orchestras often provide the musical accompaniment to dance and theater performances.
The name gamelan is derived from "gamel", an Old Javanese word for handle or hammer, because most of the instruments of a gamelan orchestra are percussion instruments. The Indonesian term "karawitan" is the collective name for both Javanese and Balinese gamelan music. A gamelan orchestra can consist of five to 40 instruments, including "rebab" (two-string lute), "suling" (bamboo flute), "kendhang" (wooden drum), "bonang", "gender" and "gambang" (xylophone).
Bronze, brass and iron percussion instruments date back to prehistoric times, when the first gamelan orchestra was created is not clear. The heart of gamelan music is formed by the large bronze gongs, which can be heard from miles away.
Since the 19th century there have also been vocals, especially female ("pesinden"), in the gamelan. The lyrics of the hymns are written in an archaic or literary language and therefore difficult to understand even for Indonesians. No sheet music is used, but most of the compositions or "gendhing" are accurately recorded.
The Balinese gamelan music is very different from the Javanese. The Balinese form has shrill tones and lively rhythms, the Javanese form, on the other hand, has slow, measured sounds.
Photo:MartijnL CC-licentie Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen 3.0 Nederland no changes made
Batik (meaning "to draw with wax") is a recessing and embellishing technique for textiles that most likely dates back to the Hindu-Javanese period, but did not reach its peak until the 16th century. Each region has its own motifs, its own range of colors and its own style.
The method is as follows: with liquid wax, patterns are applied to a white cloth or "mori", after which the fabric is immersed in cold dye baths. The fabric then takes on the color of the bath in those areas where no wax has been applied. The fabric is dyed through and after processing the pattern is visible from both the front and the back. The oldest colors in use are indigo blue and "soga, a brown color, which was the most popular court color until 1700. Nowadays these colors are no longer vegetable but chemically composed.
In Java, a distinction is still made between "batik tulis" and "batik cap" (pronounce: tjap). With the labor-intensive and therefore expensive batik tulis, one writes, as it were, the wax, with the aid of a copper container with a spout or "canting", on the fabric. A single garment can carry hundreds of different patterns. With batik cap, the motifs are applied with a wooden or copper stamp. With batik cap the pattern is repeated over and over and it is the most used method. The advent of the batik cap revived the batik industry at the end of the 19th century. Mass production meant that everyone could afford batik fabrics and the export of batik from Java to the outskirts of the country started. Batik tulis is done by women, the batik cap technique requires much more strength, and is therefore mainly done by men.
Nowadays there are also many machine-printed batik fabrics ("batik cetak") for sale, which are bought en masse by tourists. Known locally as Kota Batik ("Batik City"), Pekalongan in Java is an important textile center for the colorful hand-crafted batik with regional patterns. After Yogyakarta and Solo, most batik is produced here. Pekalongan even has a batik museum.
Solo is a highly regarded center of batik production. The Solonese style batik motifs with their somber classic colors are more traditional and differ significantly from Yogyakarta.
Cirebon has a distinct style with its cloud motifs inspired by Chinese examples in bright blue or red, or the rock gardens with elephants and deer of the Suniaragi pleasure garden. The Sundanese batiks show large fringe motifs of birds with long tail feathers between reeds or bamboo, against a plain background. North coast batik has been heavily influenced by the tastes of Chinese and European ladies.
Photo:Jpatokal at the english language wikipedia CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
In a narrower sense, a wayang (meaning "shadow" or "ghost") is a flat or round doll that is used in Java for a stage performance or puppetry. In a broader sense, by wayang is understood all those theater performances in which figures or stories from the wayang repertoire are depicted. This can be done by means of unmasked actors (wayang orang or wayang wong), by means of human actors with masks on (wayang topèng), with flat buffalo dolls (wayang kulit) or with round wooden puppets (wayang golèk). The lyrics are usually in Javanese or Sundanese, sometimes in Indonesian. The songs are sung in Kawi or Old Javanese.
Wayang puppets are beautiful expressions of Javanese art. They are not real images of people, but shadow puppets that show the human figure as well as possible in the flat surface. The largest doll is sometimes a meter long, the smallest never less than 23 centimeters.
Wayang performances are given on the occasion of or on the occasion of ceremonial and festive occasions and important social or domestic events, including to ward off evil. The philosophy is that when disaster is averted on stage, harmony in the world outside is guaranteed for a while again.
Wajang originally only occurs in Java and Bali, but can also be found where Javanese have settled in colonies, such as in South Sumatra, South Borneo and Suriname. The shadow play with the leather dolls has spread further to Northern Malaysia and Southern Thailand. Balinese dolls are coarser and more natural, closer to the old wayang dolls. Javanese dolls have become more and more refined over the last two centuries.
Photo:Michelle Maria Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported no changes made
In addition to tourism, industry, agriculture and fishing are also important for Bali's economy. Balinese textiles are world famous (batik). Rice farming is also important. Rice cultivation takes place on Sawa’s, often in cooperatives where the farmers jointly take care of the irrigation. Other products include coffee, sugar, corn, coconuts and tobacco. The fishery mainly consists of tuna and sardines.
Holidays and Sightseeing
Photo:Cameron Kennedy Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
Bali, with its stable tropical climate, is one of the most popular Indonesian islands for tourism, although the island has suffered a number of tourist bombings in the 21st century that seriously damaged tourism. Nevertheless, the mainly Hindu Bali remains popular among tourists, partly because of its natural beauty with beautiful terraced rice fields (sawas) and volcanoes, the many medieval monuments, including the thousands of Balinese temples and the specific Balinese culture, such as the temple games, gamelan music and the art of dance.
The most famous beaches are located in the south of Bali, the east coast is the place for snorkeling. Kuta is Bali's main resort with a vibrant nightlife, Sanur is the oldest resort and, unlike Kuta, more suitable for tourists seeking tranquility. Balinese hospitality is famous, as is Balinese cuisine. Bali is a perfect holiday destination in both the dry period (March-November) and the rainy season (November-March)
Photo:Schnobby Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
The mother temple Pura Besakih, also the largest temple in Bali, is located in the center of the island, and consists of approximately 200 buildings spread over thirty complexes. One of the most visited temples and one of the six most important temples in Bali is Pura Tanah Lot, located off the west coast of Bali and built on top of a rock and therefore only accessible at low tide.
The Bali Museum consists of four buildings: Tabanan for musical instruments and masks, Karangasem for sculptures and paintings, Timur for archaeological finds and Buleleng for textiles. Taman Nasional Bali Barat is a national park in the northwest of Bali with a savanna, a mixed monsoon forest and a mangrove forest, which is home to about 160 animal species and many endangered plant species, including the Indian laburnum or drumstick tree and the sandalwood tree.
Photo:Rainhard Findling Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made
The largest of the Gitgit waterfalls is 45 meters high, making it the highest waterfall in Bali
Gunung Kawi is a rock-carved complex of candis or stupas, Tulamben is a diving area with many shipwrecks, Goa Lawah is a sacred bat cave, Klungkung the remains of an 18th century royal palace, Doa Gajah or Elephant cave is an 11th century cave with Hindu and Buddhist elements, Danau Batur is the largest lake in Bali, Pantai Lovina or Lovina Beach has a black lava beach and is known as a dolphin spot, Ubud is a beautifully situated artists' village and is widely regarded as the cultural center of Bali, and also houses a protected area for long-tailed monkeys, 'Monkey Forest'.
Click the menu button at the top left of the screen for more information
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country Profiles
Copyright: Team Landenweb