August, 2012
Delightful diversity in one country
Indonesia is a nation of 237 million people. That makes it the country with the fourth biggest population in the world! It is also a fantastically diverse place. The different communities speak different languages. Sometimes, they also follow different religions. NG YI-SHENG tells us more about just a few of these communities.

Javanese: Over two fifths of Indonesians are Javanese. They come from the island of Java, where the capital city of Jakarta is found. Most of them are Muslim. In the past, their kings built mighty monuments, such as the temples of Borobudur.

Bugis: The Bugis come from the island of Sulawesi. Most of them are Muslim. In the past, they were renowned fearsome pirates. Today, many of them are still great sailors.

Chinese: Chinese people have lived in Indonesia’s different islands for centuries. Many of them are businessmen and businesswomen, but some are shopkeepers and farmers.

Batak: The Batak come from North Sumatra. Most of them are Christian. In the past, however, they were known as cannibals! Butet Manurung is Batak.

Minangkabau: The Minangkabau come from Western Sumatra. Most of them are Muslim. Their women have always been very powerful. Usually, their daughters inherit their parents’ money. Their sons are expected to travel overseas to earn their fortune.

Balinese: The Balinese come from the island of Bali. Most of them are Hindu. They are famous for their festivals, in which they display beautiful arrangements of flowers and fruit.