• Indonesia!

    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    Indonesia
    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

  • Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Qatar!

    Qatar: Dhows in Doha Bay. Go Now!

    Qatar
    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Culture & Identity of Indonesia

Introduction

Being a long-stretching archipelago, Indonesia is a very diverse country and the way of life in the country is nearly as diverse. From landscapes and weather to jobs and living, there are extremes across the country. However, one of the few things that most people have in common is religion as most of the people are Muslim.

About half of the Indonesians live in cities and half in rural landscapes. These two settings vastly alter many aspects of the daily life such as transportation, ease of access to shops and goods, and even available jobs and occupations.

Likewise, the occupations of the people are fairly evenly divided as about 40% of the people work in agriculture, about half in the services sector, and the last 20% have jobs in industry. Just like the urban-rural divide, these jobs vastly alter the way of life for the people. Farmers tend to live by the sun, weather, and seasons as families tend to help out during busy seasons. Meanwhile many services jobs have very consistent hours, setting their schedules by the clock, not mother nature.

The diversity in the way of life continues in the landscapes as some people live on small tropical islands where the nearest people or town are hours away by local boats. These people are sometimes isolated and sometimes seek out the islands further away, while others may never want to leave their home. In other locations mountains are the typical landscape and these mountains can isolate the people in a similar way, but with different scenery and challenges.

No matter the lifestyle or way of life in Indonesia, the people are united as one nation and many of the people are also Muslim. While the people are of varying degrees of orthodoxy for many people Friday evenings are time for prayer. For some prayer is a requirement five times a day, making religion a central pillar in their lives, while for others prayers, even Friday prayers are rarely observed as Islam does little to alter the way of life.

Identity

The people of Indonesia only identify as Indonesian on the international level; at home they almost always identify by the island they come from or their ethnicity, of which Indonesia has hundreds. Each island and ethnicity has differing foods, languages, architecture, dress, and more. As many people are proud of their home island or ethnicity, the differences in these foods and architecture are often times magnified and quite pronounced. Although the people of Indonesia are also united in many ways, most notably in terms of citizenship and religion (most of the people are Muslim), it is generally home island, ethnicity, and language that define what it means to be a member of each individual identity.

This page was last updated: November, 2013