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Travel Guide: Indonesian Culture

VO: Rebecca Brayton
With a plethora of different ethnic groups and religions, a lovely climate and a beautiful natural habitat, there’s no wonder Indonesia continues drawing tourists. However the country’s culture is something that visitors should take in: from native traditional folk dances, to hand-crafted artwork, to religious sites and even the regional cuisine, Indonesia’s culture is truly unique. The varied architecture in Indonesia is something worth seeing. Some more traditional buildings feature sloped roofs and are built on stilts, while others feature external influences. The food is similarly influenced, with flavors from all over. In this video, learns more about the culture of Indonesia.

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Travel Guide: Indonesian Culture

This country boasts one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, though it is not an Islamic state. Welcome to, and today we’ll be learning more about the culture of Indonesia.

Unique Location, Unique Culture

The Republic of Indonesia spans the continents of Asia and Oceania, and also straddles the equator. This unique location has blessed the country not only with a beautiful tropical climate, but also with unique and diverse culture, as well as a rich and fascinating history.

Different Ethnicities

The country’s population of roughly 238 million is split into over 200 distinctive ethnic groups. For example, while the majority of the country adheres to the religion of Islam, the island of Bali boasts a significant Hindu population, as well.

Religious Variety

There are a number of beautiful religious monuments located in Indonesia that showcase this diversity: the Buddhist Borobudur temple is found on the island of Java, and is a shrine and pilgrimage spot for adherents of Buddhism. Meanwhile, Prambanan is a Hindu temple and UNESCO World Heritage site also found on Java. It is considered one of South East Asia’s biggest and most beautiful Hindu temples.

Interesting Architecture

Indonesian architecture is typical of many South East Asian buildings: many of the structures are built on stilts, and they feature huge sloped roofs. In contrast, the Dutch-built clock tower Jam Gadang in West Sumatra shows foreign influences.

Hand-Made Crafts

Indonesia is known for a number of visual arts, as well. From painting to sculpture, these pieces are all examples of traditional Indonesian culture. Hand-made crafts such as fabrics and textiles are another important cultural element, while wood carving and colorful umbrellas are more examples.

Native Dances

The cultural range of Indonesia is also presented in the country’s folk, tribal, traditional and contemporary dances. Many dances tell a story, and distinct ethnic groups are differentiated by varied costumes and styles.

Indonesian Cuisine

Indonesia’s cuisine is immensely diverse due to a variety of reasons: the country’s historical location along well-traveled trade routes and the abundance of inhabited islands are two factors that have led to variety in the food and culture. Asian influences abound, while Middle Eastern and European styles are also mixed in. Rice is a common staple of all Indonesian food, as it is harvested natively, while other food standards vary from region to region.

A Beautiful Place to See

With colorful traditions and a distinct history, Indonesia is a great place to take in some culture.

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