Today the people on most of the islands continue to live in a manner similar to
the way they have in the past: living off of the land and the sea. However, there
are growing changes in the country; for example, on some of the larger islands cities
have arisen and urbanization is occurring at a fairly rapid pace. This urbanization
and changes in technology, communication, and transportation have made cities in
Indonesia the new immigration centers as this is where the jobs are being created.
While life now is similar to what it was in the past for many people, urbanization
is slowly changing, and driving changes in the culture. Today all the diversity
is becoming slowly muted as technology is creating a more unified and homogenous
culture. Through this process many people are abandoning their past way of life
for economic opportunities or are forgetting cultural aspects of their island in
exchange for a more uniform culture throughout the islands. Many aspects of the
local cultures and linguistic dialects are being abandoned for the comfort and ease
of life in the modern age, which is giving the country a much more unifying culture,
but is also a country losing much of its rural past.
Although the people are becoming more similar culturally and linguistically, from
an occupational viewpoint, there is only a shift in percentages as more people are
working in cities to take industrial or business jobs, leaving life farming or fishing
behind. However, these villages and farms are still occupied and the working population
continues to survive in many rural areas. While in some ways the culture is becoming
more uniform, in other ways the lifestyle and economic opportunities are growing
further and further apart from rural to urban setting.