Portal:Indonesia

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The Indonesian Portal

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Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a nation of islands consisting of almost 18,000 islands located in the South East Asian Archipelago. It covers the distance from Sabang in the west to Merauke to east (about 5,000 kilometres [3,100 mi]) and from the island of Miangas in the north to the islands of Rote to south (about 1,000 kilometres [620 mi]). The country respects its diversity with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or "Unity in Diversity". Jakarta, the nation's capital city, is located on island of Java, which is one of the five most populous islands in the nation, along with Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi and New Guinea.

Europeans first started visiting the archipelago in the Sixteenth Century. For example the famous British circumnavigator, Sir Francis Drake arrived in Ternate in the Moluccas Islands in November 1579. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and British continued to arrive over the next century. Later, these countries demanded more than spices and began colonising the archipelago. The Dutch ruled the area for more than 300 years and, in 1942, the Japanese arrived in Indonesia and ruled for three years. Indonesia declared its independence on 17 August 1945. It is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation, with more than 250 million citizens.

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Masjid Raya Ganting crop.jpg

Ganting Grand Mosque (Indonesian: Masjid Raya Ganting) is a mosque located in Ganting, Padang, Indonesia. Construction began in 1805, making the mosque the oldest in Padang and one of the oldest in Indonesia. It is a Cultural Property of Indonesia and involved persons from various cultural backgrounds in its construction. During the 19th century the mosque was the centre of an Islamic reform in the area. Future president Sukarno spent a time of exhile at the mosque in 1942. The mosque survived the tsunami which struck Padang following the 1833 Sumatra earthquake, but was severely damaged after earthquakes in 2005 and 2009. The one-floor mosque continues to be used as a center for prayer, as well as religious education; it also functions as a pesantren for the community. The mosque is also a tourist attraction. (Read more...)

Selected biography

Soedjatmoko (1922–89) was an Indonesian intellectual and diplomat. Born to a noble family in Sawahlunto, West Sumatra, he first studied medicine, but was expelled by the Japanese in 1943 for his political activities. In 1947 Soedjatmoko was deployed to Lake Success, New York, to represent the newly-formed Indonesia at the United Nations. Afterwards, Soedjatmoko attempted to study at Harvard's Littauer Center for Public Administration but quit. By 1952 he had returned to Indonesia and become involved in the socialist movement. As President Sukarno's government became more authoritarian Soedjatmoko began to criticise the government. To avoid censorship, he left the country. In 1968, having returned to working for the government, he became Indonesia's ambassador to the US. In 1978 Soedjatmoko received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, and in 1980 he was chosen as rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo. (Read more...)

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Batak Warriors 60011135 edit.jpg
Three ethnic Batak warriors, c. 1870

Photographer: Kristen Feilberg; Restoration: Peter Weis; License: Public domain

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