Customs and Traditions of Indonesia
Population and religion
In the field of tourism, Indonesia is a rapidly developing country. The extensive coastline, climate, nature and unique culture of the country attract tourists from all over the world.
The largest ethnic groups in Indonesia are Javanese (40%), Sundanese (15%) and Madurese (3%).
According to Countryaah, the population of the country professes different religious denominations. The majority of Indonesians (about 90%) are Sunni Muslims. The rest of the population professes Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. For example, on the island of Bali, preference is given to Hinduism.
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country. Islam has a strong influence on national traditions and norms of behavior.
The official language in the country is Indonesian, which is based on the Malay language. About 250 different languages and dialects are spoken in Indonesia. Check agooddir for recent history of Indonesia.
Of the local dialects, the most common are Javanese and Sundanese.
In addition, a large part of the population can speak Chinese; in large cities and resorts, tourists will be understood if they speak English as well.
It is not customary in the country to raise your voice in public places.
When referring to a man, in Indonesia it is customary to say “pak”, to a woman – “ibu”. The traditional greeting is “sembah” – palms joined on the chest.
Gestures and behavior
In Indonesia, it is not customary to point a finger at anyone and it is strictly forbidden to touch someone’s head, as the head is considered sacred by Indonesians.
For a pointing gesture, the thumb of the right hand is suitable, while the elbow should be pressed.
In addition, it is customary in the country to give only the right hand, because the left hand is traditionally considered “unclean”. The same applies to eating, which can only be done with the right hand.
It is not recommended to cross your legs in public places. Foreign tourists should be aware that public displays of affection, such as hugs and kisses between a man and a woman, are not accepted in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, you should not take pictures of people swimming.
Eating in Indonesia is accepted only with the right hand and, as a rule, without cutlery. In restaurants, a spoon and fork may be used, but the knife is considered a sign of aggression, which is why it is absent from the traditional table in Indonesia. Before and after eating, the right hand is washed in a special dish with water and a piece of lemon.
A few rules for visiting temples:
- Entrance to temples in Indonesia is most often free, you just need to put on special clothes (sarong), which is rented here or bought at a souvenir kiosk.
- No one should appear in the temple with any kind of bleeding on the body.
- One cannot sit above the priest and the gifts.
- You can not be in front of the worshipers during prayer.
European clothing standards are not always appropriate in Indonesia. It is not advisable for tourists to wear short shorts and skirts, as well as tight and overly open things.
You can only be on the beach without a shirt or in a swimsuit.
On the beaches, you should not sunbathe both topless and completely naked – this is against the law.
If you are going to visit government institutions and mosques, you need to remember the dress code. Clothing should cover knees and shoulders. Tourists are advised to dress conservatively to avoid unnecessary attention. It is advisable to bring a hat and sunglasses with you.
National Indonesian holidays:
- April 21 is Kartini Day.
- August 17 – Independence Day.
- October 1 – Defense Day.
- October 5 – Armed Forces Day.
- October 28 – Youth Pledge Day.
- November 10 – Heroes Day.
- December 25 – Christmas.
The most colorful holidays are Independence Day, which is accompanied by magnificent carnivals, the Hindu New Year, celebrated on a special scale on the island of Bali and others.
It should be noted that there are many religious holidays in Indonesia, Muslim and Hindu. One of the most important Islamic holidays is Ramadan.