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.
Borobudur is a Buddhiststupa related to the Mahayana tradition, and is the largest Buddhist monument on earth. It is located in the Indonesian province of Central Java, 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-west of Yogyakarta. It was built between 750 and 850 by the Javanese rulers of the Sailendra dynasty. The name may derive from the Sanskrit "Vihara Buddha Ur", which can be liberally translated as "the Buddhist temple on the mountain". It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. Borobudur is built as a single large stupa, and viewed from above takes the form of a giant mandala. The foundation is a square, 118 metres (387 ft) on each side. It has nine levels, of which the lower six are square and the upper three circular. This is said to be a map of the cosmos as conceptualized by the Buddhist philosophers of the time. The upper level features seventy-two small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is a bell shape pierced by numerous decorative apertures. Statues of the Buddha sit inside the pierced enclosures. Borobudur is still a place of prayer and pilgrimage. (Read more...)
Anggun Cipta Sasmi (born 1974) is an Indonesian and French-naturalised singer-songwriter. Born in Jakarta, she recorded a children's album at age nine, and in 1986 released her first rock-influenced studio album, Dunia Aku Punya. She followed it with a series of singles and three more studio albums, establishing her as one of the most prominent Indonesian rock stars of the early 1990s. Anggun left Indonesia in 1994 to pursue an international career. She released her first international album, Snow on the Sahara in 1997. This album spawned her international signature hit "Snow on the Sahara", which reached number one in several countries. Anggun is the first Indonesian artist to break into the European and American record charts, and she has received a number of accolades for her achievements. She has also been involved in numerous environmental and humanitarian works. (Read more...)