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Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Total population (millions): 217.6
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 47%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.3%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 1,904,570

Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Javanese 45.2 %
Sudanese 13.8 %
Malay 7.6 %
Other 33.4 %

Main Cities Population
Jakarta 8 222 515
Surabaya 2 410 417
Bandung 2 025 159
Medan 1 601 606
Palembang 1 085 475
Semarang 1 003 575

Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Jakarta (GMT+7 ).

Official language: Indonesian (bahasa Indonesia)
There are 583 dialects, and English is well spoken by the urban population.
Business language: English.

Free translation tools
Free English-Hungarian-Indonesian dictionary

Religious practises : Muslims 87%
Protestants 6%
Catholics 3%
Hindus 2%
Others 2%

Political context

Indonesia is a unitary Republic state based on parliamentary democracy with Presidential form of government. Indonesia (official name: Republic of Indonesia) with its 440 governing districts provides lot of decentralisation.
President is both the chief of the state and the head of the government. President enjoys the executive powers. President appoints the cabinet. Both President and the Vice-President are elected through a direct vote for five-year terms. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and responsible for domestic governance and policy-making and foreign affairs.
The legislature in Indonesia is bicameral. The parliament called People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) consists of: DPR (House of People’s Representatives – lower house) having 550 seats with its members elected directly to serve five-year terms, and DPD (House of Regional Representatives- upper house) having 128 seats with each province electing 4 members on a non-party basis. President cannot dissolve the parliament but the President has the power to veto acts of the legislature, and in turn a supermajority of legislators may act to override the veto.The people of Indonesia have limited political rights.
The judiciary is not completely independent in Indonesia. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1945 which has gone through a series of amendments. The country’s legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law, again modified several times. The country does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The judicial language in the country is Bahasa Indonesia; having an interpreter is always possible.
Indonesia is not ruled by law. Foreign nationals in the country cannot expect a fair trial from the country’s judicial system. A considerable degree of corruption exists in the country, including judiciary and both corporate and public sector.

Major political parties

Indonesia has a multi-party system where a single party does not often have a chance of gaining power alone. Thus parties need to work together to form coalition governments. The major political parties in Indonesia are:
- PD (Democratic Party) - advocates ‘Pancasila’ – the Buddhist code of ethics;
- Golkar (Functional Groups Party) – initially an alliance of NGOs opposing communism, now advocates democratic and liberal values;
- PBB (Crescent Moon and Star Party) – a moderate Islamist party;
- PDI-P (Indonesia Democratic Party-Struggle) – based on ‘Pancasila’ ideology, a split-away group of PD lead by ex-President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Major political leaders

President: Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO (since October 2004) - PD
Vice-President: Muhammad Yusuf KALLA (since October 2004) - Golkar

Next political election dates

Presidential: Year 2009
Parliamentary: Year 2009






Number of visitors in Indonesia 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 5,321 5,002 4,871
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005


Tourist sites
Jakarta: the city counts 9 million inhabitants and extends over more than 25 km. Jakarta is the main economic heart of the country and a center for business. Formerly, it used to be a real miserable and ruined hell, but today the city wishes to stand as a modern and rapidly growing Asiatic major city. However, it still attracts thousand of miserable people and, once the centre is left, shanty towns can be seen. Listed as the most expensive and the most polluted town of Indonesia, Jakarta is sometimes compared with a " big durian ", this exotic fruit with a nauseous, unbearable smell to some people, but irresistible to others.

To be seen: the old Batavia (Kota), the most ancient and invaluable testimony of the Dutch presence in Indonesia, with the paved place, Taman Fatahillah, and the bridge of the chickens Market, dating from the XVII-th century; Sunda Kelapa's old port and its Makassar's magnificent schooners; Glodok, the district given to the Chinese in 1741; the national Museum, one of the most exceptional museums of Southeast Asia; Lapangan Banteng Square and the magnificent colonial architecture; the Wayang Museum. Street peddelers and night markets enable to eat at lower prices.

Jogjakarta: Daerah Istimewa (Jogjakarta's " special territory " ) constitutes the cultural centre of Java. The most active cultural, artistic and intellectual centre of the island, Jogjakarta (or " Jogja ", pronounce Djodja) counts 500,000 inhabitants who hang on proudly to their past and culture: the city is still under the custody of a sultan, whose fenced palace (kraton), where 25,000 persons live, constitutes the bastion of traditions and the proud of the palacial Javanese architecture with its magnificent halls, the vast courtyards and the pavilions.

Sumatra: four times bigger than Java, Sumatra is rich in natural resources, fauna, architectural treasures and traditional cultures.

Bali: tropical paradise of idyllic beaches, paddy-fields and luxuriant forests, in a 95% Hindu, the island has been turning into a purely tourist consumption place. However, it still shelters some unknown and put off places, and its culture is incredibly rich. In order to explore it, take the mountain roads. From Ubud, Bali's cultural heart, and you will be able to cross villages in its vicinity and discover their rich traditions in terms of dance, music and craft, their spectacular temples perched upon the sea and their magnificent coloured celebrations.

Nusa Tenggara (small islands of the Sonde): In Lombok, you will enjoy magnificent beaches and an impressive volcano, Gunung Rinjani, some beautiful local artcraft and a picturesque atmosphere, probably more relaxed than in Bali. Sumba will offer you a magnificent mixture of traditional culture and huge white sand beaches, still virgin.

For more information about tourism in Indonesia , check out the following web site(s) :
Indonesian Tourism Board


Traditional dishes
You will discover specialties such as those of the Toraja country, in Sulawesi, where porc and buffalo is roasted in bamboo pipes, generously poured over with tuak (alcohol of palm). In Kalimantan, you will enjoy the biggest river shrimps ever seen. However, generally speaking, the warung (cheap restaurants) or pasar malam (night shops) will serve you the usual food: Ayam goreng (chicken with fried rice), bakmi (rice noodles), babur ayam (usually sweet mushy, made of chicken, sticky black rice or mung beans), gado-gado (steamed soya shoots, accompanied with vegetables and a hot peanut sauce), krupuk (preparation based on shrimps and manioc flour, sliced and fried), nasi goreng (fried rice with vegetables or meat), satay (spicy kebab made of several sorts of meat and served with a peanut sauce), tropical fruits to profusion.

Food-related taboos
Culinary taboos vary with the practised religion.

Last modified on December 2006

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