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The Indonesian Portal

Flag of the Republic Of Indonesia Coat of arms of the Republic of Indonesia
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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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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

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Marco Kartodikromo (1890–1932) was an Indonesian journalist and writer with Communist leanings. He first found employment with the national railway. After quitting over discrimination, in 1911 he made his way to Bandung and began working as a journalist; during the rest of his career he moved to several cities, including Surakarta and Semarang. In Surakarta he wrote scathing criticisms of the Dutch colonial government, for which he was imprisoned. He began writing fiction with an anti-colonial message during his time as a correspondent in the Netherlands. Involved with the Communist Party of Indonesia, Kartodikromo was exiled to Boven-Digoel prison camp in Papua after a failed rebellion in 1926, where he died of malaria. Kartodikromo was an early member of the Indonesian social realist movement and experimented with Malay language at a time when the state publishing house Balai Pustaka was attempting to standardise it. The Dutch considered him "crazy", while the leftist literary critic Bakri Siregar described Kartodikromo as the first truly Indonesian writer. (Read more...)

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Pitaya cross section ed2.jpg
A cross section of a pitaya, a common fruit in Indonesia

Photographer: SMasters; License: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA

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