The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising 13,466 large and small tropical islands fringed with white sandy beaches, many still uninhabited and a number even still unnamed. Among the most well known islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (formerly Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku Islands (or better known as Moluccas, the original Spice Islands) and Papua.
Straddling the equator, situated between the continents of Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, it is as wide as the United States from San Francisco to New York, equaling the distance between London and Moscow. Indonesia has a total population of more than 215 million people from more than 200 ethnic groups.
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Being a tropical country, Indonesia is blessed with two seasons, namely dry and rainy. Dry usually occurs from June to September and the rest is rainy season. Sunshine is abundant except in rainy season when the sky tends to be cloudy. It is advisable to visit Indonesia during dry season.
Living on more than 13,400 islands, the Indonesian nation today counts some 200 million population comprising more than 200 ethnic groups. After Independence in 1945 inter-marriages among people of different ethnic groups have welded the population into a more cohesive Indonesian nation.
Indonesia is constitutionally a secular state and the first principle of Indonesia's philosophical foundation, Pancasila, is "belief in the one and only God". A number of different religions are practised in the country, and their collective influence on the country's political, economic and cultural life is significant. The Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. However, the government recognized only six official religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism).
Bahasa Indonesia is the national and official language in the entire country. It is the language of official communication, taught in schools and spoken on television. Most Indonesians today speak at least two languages or more, Bahasa Indonesia and their local language, of which Indonesia counts more than 300 regional languages.
Bahasa Indonesia use Latin alphabets but some parts of Indonesia have their own scripts, too. Bahasa Indonesia is rather easy to learn and once you get the hang of it, youll find out that its actually quite simple. You can try some simple Indonesian phrases, to get youstarted.
Fact: there are 583 languages and dialects spoken by the different ethnic groups in Indonesia. Imagine a school of 583 students who each speaks different languages or dialects. Confusion will be an understatement. Therefore its very fortunate that every single ethnic group embraces Bahasa Indonesia as the national language.
The rupiah (Rp/IDR) is the official currency of Indonesia. In 2015, Bank Indonesia issued the the Mandatory Use of the Rupiah in Indonesia (henceforth BI Regulation No. 17) requires the use of the rupiah in cash and non-cash transactions (for example check, giro order, credit card, debit card, ATM card or electronic money) conducted within the territory of Indonesia.
• Transactions conducted in Indonesia for the purpose of a payment;
• Transactions conducted in Indonesia for the settlement of other obligations that must be fulfilled with money; and/or
• Other financial transactions conducted in Indonesia.
Indonesia is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +7)
In Indonesia, the keeping of standard time is divided into three time zones:
(WIB, Indonesian: Waktu Indonesia Barat) (UTC+07:00) is observed in:
• All provinces in the island of Sumatra and its surrounding islands including major cities such as: Banda Aceh, Medan, Padang, Pekanbaru, Palembang, Jambi, Batam and Bandar Lampung.
• All provinces in the island of Java including major cities such as : Bandung, Surabaya, Jakarta, Semarang and Yogyakarta
• Two provinces in Kalimantan island: West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. Including major cities such as: Pontianak, Palangkaraya, and Sampit.
• Muara Teweh and Maurainu unofficially uses Western Indonesian Daylight Time, which has the same time as Central Indonesian Time.
IANA time zone database identifiers are "Asia/Jakarta" and "Asia/Pontianak"
Indonesia Central Standard Time (ICST) (WITA, Indonesian: Waktu Indonesia Tengah) (UTC+08:00) is observed in:
• All provinces in the island of Sulawesi including major cities such as: Makassar, Manado, Palu and Gorontalo.
• All provinces in the Lesser Sunda Islands including major cities such as: Denpasar, Mataram, and Kupang.
• Three provinces in Kalimantan island: North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan, including major cities such as: Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, and Tarakan.
IANA time zone database identifier is "Asia/Makassar"
Indonesia Eastern Standard Time (IEST) (WIT, Indonesian: Waktu Indonesia Timur) (UTC+09:00) is observed in:
• Maluku Islands including major cities such as: Ambon City, Ternate City, and Tidore.
• All provinces in West Papua including major cities such as: Jayapura, Biak, and Merauke.
• All provinces in Papua including all major islands in the province.
IANA time zone database identifier is "Asia/Jayapura"