10 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT INDONESIA
Indonesia is such an Interesting country, but here are 10 facts to make this mysterious country more fascinating:
1. INDONESIA IS BIG!
from one side to the other it takes over twelve hours of flying time. Indonesia is a country of around 17,508 islands with a land area of 1,919,440 square kilometres. To put this into perspective the UK has a land area of 244,820 square kilometres.
2. THE EQUATOR DIVIDES IT
The equator cuts straight across the middle of Indonesia, crossing Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other various smaller islands with some of the most beautiful sights.
3. VAST AREAS OF RAINFOREST
Head away from the densely populated islands of Java and Bali to find vast areas of tropical rainforest, which support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity (after Brazil). Natural resources are abundant in Indonesia but the sustainable use of these is often hindered by problems with corruption and poverty
4. THE RING OF FIRE
Indonesia is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is home to numerous volcanoes, an estimated 150 volcanoes throughout the entire country, where unfortunately there will be the odd eruption causing destruction.
5. 238 MILLION PEOPLE
Indonesia is the forth most populous country in the world with over 238 million people and the world’s largest Muslim population, though some areas have Hindu or Christian majorities. Java is the world’s most populous island.
6. RELIGION MATTERS
Religion is important in Indonesia, where every citizen must officially subscribe to one of six recognized religions, these are:
Christian – Protestantism
Christian – Catholicism
With 87.18% of the population being Muslim. Two individuals of different religions cannot marry, unless they convert to the same religion!
7. EXTREMELY CULTURALLY DIVERSE
There are over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia, each with their own customs and traditions. This makes Indonesia extremely culturally diverse. As you can see from all our Fairtrade Indonesian handicrafts!
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the national language of Indonesia, used in schools and other state-run enterprises, as well as in the media. However, Indonesia has over 700 indigenous languages! Meaning that many Indonesians are bilingual, speaking their indigenous language at home and Indonesian at work or school.
9. OLDEST REMAINS
Fossilised remains of “Java man” or Homo erectus, have been found at sites across Java, suggesting that the area was inhabited two million to 500,000 years ago! You can see the fossils in Central Java.
Indonesia is a republic with a president and has been independent from the Netherlands since 1945. Independence Day is celebrated on 17th August every year.