Indonesia is a beautiful country and a unique destination, famous for its enchanting islands, ancient temples and gracious people. It is a country in Southeast Asia that is comprised of more than 17,500 islands. It is the world’s fourth most populous nation with 203 million people living on nearly one thousand permanently settled islands. Some two-to-three hundred ethnic groups with their own languages and dialects range in population from the Javanese and Sundanese on Java, to those numbering in the thousands on remote islands. These islands are home to approximately four hundred volcanos, of which one hundred are active. Volcanic lava and ash contributed to the rich soils of upland Sumatra and all of Java and Bali, which have nurtured rice cultivation for several thousand years.
Islam is Indonesia’s main religion, with almost 88% of Indonesians declared Muslim, making Indonesia the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world. The remaining population is 9% Christian, 2% Hindu, and 1% Buddhist. The Indonesian people are humble, helpful, peaceful, and above all else, happy and love to laugh. It is their ability to smile and laugh that makes theirs such a hospitable culture. Indonesians are also very hardworking.
No matter how old or independent they are, Indonesians tend to keep tight relationships with members of their family. For many Indonesian youths, moving out of parents’ house is simply not a thing, even when they already have a stable income of their own. Many choose to live under their parents’ roof unless they absolutely have to. And it’s not necessarily a sign of dependency, it just shows the values and principles the nation has when it comes to family. Often three generations will live under one roof just to be close to each other notwithstanding a very large percentage of the population living in very meager circumstances.
Indonesian dishes are usually spicy, using a wide range of chili peppers and spices. The most popular dishes include nasi goreng(fried rice), Satay, Nasi Padang, and soy-based dishes, such as tofu and tempe. Chinese and Indian cultures have influenced the serving of food and the types of spices used. It is very common to find Chinese food in Indonesia such as Dim Sum and noodles, and Indian cuisine such as Tandoori chicken. In addition, Western culture has significantly contributed to the extensive range of dishes. However, the dishes have been transformed to suit Indonesian tastes. Refrigeration is still rare, daily markets predominate, and the availability of food may depend primarily upon local produce. Cities provide the greatest variety of food and types of markets, including modern supermarkets; rural areas much less so.