Monica Hausler
November 1, 2005
History of Indonesia
• In the early 17th century is when the Dutch began to colonize
• The islands were occupied by Japan from 1842 to 1945.
• After four years of negotiations and hostilities, Indonesia
declared its independence on August 17, 1945 when Japan
• It is the world’s largest archipelagic state.
• Current Issues:
– Improving the widespread of poverty
– Preventing terrorism
– Continuing to transition to popularly-elected governments
after having four decades of authoritarianism.
Did You Know…
• Indonesia is slightly less than three times the size of Texas!
• The climate is tropical, hot and humid; but in the highlands it is
more moderate.
• The terrain is mostly coastal lowlands, however larger islands have
interior mountains.
• Natural resources: petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber,
bauxite, copper, fertile soil, coal, gold and silver.
• Natural Hazards: occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis,
earthquakes, volcanoes, and forest fires.
• Current environmental issues: deforestation, water pollution from
industrial wastes, sewage, air pollution in urban areas, smoke and
haze from forest fires.
• It’s an archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 are inhabited)
• Straddles the equator, next to the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean
People in Indonesia
• Population: 241,973,879 (as of July 2005)
• Population growth rate: 1.45%
• Birth rate: 20.71 births/ 1,000 population
– 2.44 children are born/woman
– Sex ratio at birth is 1.05 males/ female
– Infant mortality rate is 35.6 deaths/1,000 live births
– Life expectancy (at birth) males: 67.13 years; females:
72.13 years
• Death rate: 6.25 deaths/ 1,000 population
• Estimate of 110,000 people (as of 2003) are currently
living with HIV/AIDS
– 2,400 people have died from it
• There is a HIGH risk of getting an infectious disease.
• Major infectious diseases:
– Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal
diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, thyphoid fever
– Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya
and currently Avian Influenza (bird flu)
• Ethnic groups: Javanese (45%), Sundanese (14%), Madurese
(7.5%), coastal Malays (7.5%), and other (26%)
• Religions: Muslim (88%), Protestant (5%), Roman Catholic
(3%), Hindu (2%), Buddhist (1%), and other (1%)
• Languages that are spoken: Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch,
local dialects, the most widely spoken is Javanese
• 87.9% of the total population, ages 15 and older, can read and
Government of Indonesia
• Government type is Republic
• Capital is Jakarta
• Executive branches include:
– Chief of State: President Susilo Bambang & Vice President
Muhammad Yusuf (both since October 20, 2004)
– Head of government: President Susilo Bambang & Vice President
Muhammad Yusuf (the president is both the chief of state and the
head of the government)
– Elections: the last was held on September 20, 2004; both the
president and vice president are elected for five-year terms by direct
votes of citizens
• Flag: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white
(bottom); it’s similar to the flag of Poland, which has white
(top) and red (bottom)
Indonesian Flag
• Indonesia is composed of a large multilingual nation.
• Economic development problems include: high unemployment, a
fragile banking sector, widespread corruption, inadequate
infrastructure, poor investment climate, and an unequal resource
distribution among regions.
• Agricultural products include: rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts,
rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra, poultry (not any more),
beef, pork, and eggs.
• Exports: $69.86 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
– Export partners: Japan 21.86%, United States 13.5%, Singapore 9.2%, China 7.5%,
South Korea 5.9%, Malaysia 4.9%
• Imports: $45.07 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
– Import partners: Japan 19.3%, China 11%, Singapore 9.2%, Thailand 6.8%, Malaysia
6.5%, United States 5.7%, Australia 5%, Germany 4.2%
– Import merchandise: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuff
• Currency: Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
– 8,938.90 IDR/ U.S. dollar (as of 2004)
Indonesia’s Infrastructure
• Communications:
– 7.75 million people use main line telephones (2002)
11.7 million people use cell phones (2002)
31.5 million radios (1997)
41 television broadcast stations (1999)
8 million people are users of the Internet (2002)
• Transportations:
Railways = 6,458 km (2004)
Highways = 342,700 km (1999)
Waterways = 21,579 km (2004)
A total of 9 ports and harbors
667 airports (154 with paved runways; 513 with unpaved runways)
22 heliports
Did you say TSUNAMI???
• On December 26, 2004, a major tsunami took nearly 127,000
lives, left more than 93,000 missing and nearly 441,000 displaced,
and destroyed $4.5 to $5.0 billion worth of property.
• The tsunami was generated by an undersea earthquake and killed
approximately 275,000 people~ making it one of the deadliest
disasters in Modern history.
– Also known as the Boxing Day Tsunami
• The magnitude of the earthquake ranged from 9.0 to 9.3, making
it the second largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph;
however, authoritative estimates now put the magnitude at 9.15.
• In May 2005, scientists said that the earthquake lasted close to
TEN minutes, when most major earthquakes usually last a few
– It caused the whole planet to vibrate at least a few centimeters, also triggered
earthquakes elsewhere…as far away as Alaska
• With waves up to 30m (100 ft) high, it devastated the shores of
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, Thailand, and other countries.
Could you even imagine…
“Struggle for Water”
• Taken from the Jakarta Post, the article was about eight families
that live in the Kayen Village in Boyolali, Central Java.
• These residents rely on a small nearby river for their water supply
and when there is a dry season it makes for a really difficult time.
• Poverty is at the root of these villager’s problem because they
cannot afford to build a well.
– They make their living from farming
– Each household averages six people
• So when the river runs dry the villagers have to dig a hole in the
riverbed for water.
Dig a hole that is one meter-deep in the riverbed
After about 30 minutes, the hole will be full with a muddy puddle
Scoop out the water from the hole
Store it in a reservoir for one night to let the mud silt before it can be used
Using her hands, she digs a hole in the dried riverbed
to get water
A woman uses a
long cup to take
water from the
The water is then stored in a reservoir. It is usually stored there
for one night to allow all of the mud particles to settle.
Resi Yadnya (in Bali)
• The main aim of this ritual is to purify the body and soul of the person
who wants to be a priest. It’s also aimed to express gratitude to the
priests who transfer the religious teaching to the people.
– So basically, it is a holy sacrifice that is dedicated to the Rsi (priest)
• The Nitya Karma applications of the Resi Yadnya:
– Daily: building holy houses for the priests, give holy funds for priests, and pay great
respect for the priests
– Occasionally: Carry out purification ceremonies for the person who will become a
• The purification ceremony is essential because the priests have the
duty of leading the holy ritual ceremonies
• It is believed that the person who becomes a priest is reborn.
– The “first-born” comes from the mother’s fetus
– The “second-born” comes from the holy knowledge. After being reborn, the priest
must not think about the materialistic aspects, but now must be concerned with the
holy service to the religion~ by leading a holy ritual ceremonies and spreading out
the holy religious teaching
Ngaben: Cremation Ceremony
• The Balinese believe that each individual soul is reincarnated into
many lifetimes, through numerous struggles and stages, until one
has achieved union with the divine.
• For every Balinese Hindu, it is their duty to have children in order
to provide a “vessel” for the spirits of their ancestors to be
• Children are loved and highly appreciated in Bali.
– Especially male children because they carry the blood line of the family and
also take care of the burial and cremation of their parents
• A man does not become a full member of his Banjar (village
council)until he becomes a father.
• There are many rituals within the lifetime of Balinese and because
each life is viewed as a passage from one stage to another each ritual
represents a critical stage.
• The cremation of the dead, which is called pengabenan or
pelebon, is the most important and colorful ritual in the Balinese
• Cremation is necessary to liberate the soul of the deceased so
that it is free to make the passage into heaven and reincarnation.
• As a result of cost and complicated preparations, cremation
often doesn’t take place for a while after the death.
– Group cremations are held in order to share the labor and expenses
– The time between death and cremation, the body is held in the cemetery.
However, in the case of a wealthy person, the cremation process can be
arranged more quickly and the body of the deceased lies in the family
– It believed that during the time between death and cremation the body is
agitated and longing for release
• The day for cremation is chosen by a pendanda, or priest, after
consulting the Balinese calendar.
• Preparation for cremation begins long before the cremation day
– Each family builds a tower of bamboo and paper, extravagantly painted
according to the caste and wealth of the deceased and supported on a large
bamboo platform.
– A magnificent, brightly colored, life-size bull is also made of kapok wood,
bamboo, cloth and colored paper
• On the morning of the cremation, relatives and friends visit the
house to pay their last respect, and are entertained and fed by the
• At midday, the body is taken out of the house and carried, with the
tower and bull to the dead man’s banjar (village council).
– A loud, noisy, rowdy and energetic procession is designed to confuse the
soul of the deceased so that it will lose its way and not be able to return to
the family compound, where it could lead to mischief
• At cremation ground, the body is put into the belly of the bull and
a priest officiates the last rites and the bull is lit on fire.
• After the burning, the ashes are carried to the sea (or
local river) where they are thrown into the wind. This
represents the cleansing and disposal of the material body,
which causes for singing, laughing and celebration.
• After resting in heaven, the soul is then believed to be
• The status of the reborn soul is in relation to the personal
karma or conduct in the previous lifetime.
• The Balinese believe that the soul is reborn within the
same blood relations of the previous life.
• The cycle of death and rebirth gives reason for the
significance of the Balinese ancestors.
• Every Balinese person knows that one day they too will
become an ancestor.
Nyepi Day
• This day is the coming of the new year on the Saka calendar in
which the Balinese Hindus ‘celebrate’ in silence.
• This year, it was celebrated on March 25. It’s a culmination of
several days that are spent celebrating.
– March 21: gather all sacred apparatus that symbolize the supremacy of God in
the world of the temple village
– March 22/23: “Melasti day,” all of the statues of the gods from all of the
village temples are taken to the river in a long and colorful ceremony. They
are then bathed by the god Baruna and then taken back to the residence. This
symbolizes the purification of the village and everyone purifies themselves as
– March 24: “Pengerupukan” is when offering is given. All villages also hold a
large exorcist ceremony at the main village crossroad, here all of the demons
of the Bali world are let loose on the road in a carnival of monsters, known as
the “Ogoh-Ogoh”
– March 25: Silence begins at 5a.m. and remains for the next 24 hours
• The Balinese Hindus do not celebrate the new year with
partying, instead they celebrate with meditation.
– No pleasure, no traffic, no fire, no work!
– Everybody has to stay inside their house and there cannot be
any lights on in the house, there can be no sounds of radio and
no works, everything is just kept silent.
– Activities are only allowed in emergency rooms and the
maternity sections of the hospitals. Any emergencies are taken
into consideration and then tolerated.
– These prohibitions are aimed at controlling one’s self and also
represent their compliance with God.
• Ngembak Geni is the day that follows the meditations,
where people are happy and bless their success of
controlling themselves through silence. On this day they
have family gatherings and celebrate togetherness.
So, If You Are Planning a Trip
Research the Gregorian calendar to make sure that you don’t
arrive on the occasion of Nyepi Day.
• And if you do happen to arrive on that day…
– Hotels will be in service, but no outdoor activities are allowed and guests
are asked to stay inside the hotel.
– The whole island is in complete SILENCE
– Airports will be totally closed, no arrivals nor departures (don’t worry, all of
the connecting airports around the globe have been informed about it in
– No activity in bus terminals and there will be no traffic on that day in the
whole Bali island.
– Stay inside your house, don’t make any sounds while you are at home, do
not go outside of the house…if you need food or anything make sure you
get it the day before because nothing will be open.
Work Cited

Indonesia - Fort Lewis College