Jakarta Tradition and Culture

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Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Threaded like beads across the equator, the islands of the Indonesian archipelago has clear blue seas lap primeval beaches, calm breezes that has scents of spices and flowers, and divers are entranced by the ocean’s riches. Inside the country, dramatic volcanic ranges tower above a green mantle of terraced hillsides and lush rainforest.

The national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, is an old Javanese expression typically interpreted as “unity in diversity.” The nation’s official philosophy, first expressed by President Sukarno in 1945, is the Pancasila, or Five Principles: belief in one supreme God; just and civilized humanitarianism; Indonesian unity; popular sovereignty governed by wise policies arrived at through deliberation and representation; and social justice for all Indonesian people. Indonesia was described from the start as the successor of the Netherlands East Indies.

Ever since 1950 the national anthem and other songs have been sung by children all over the country to start the school day; by civil servants at flag-raising ceremonies; over the radio to begin and end broadcasting; in cinemas and on television; and at national day celebrations. Radio and television, government owned and controlled for much of the second half of the twentieth century, produced nationalizing programs as diverse as Indonesian language lessons, regional and ethnic dances and songs, and plays on national themes. Officially recognized “national heroes” from diverse regions are honored in school texts, and biographies and with statues for their struggles against the Dutch; some regions monumentalize local heroes of their own.

The official language of Indonesia is known as Indonesian or ‘Bahasa Indonesian’. Indonesian is a standardized dialect of the Malay language and was formulated at the time of the declaration of Indonesian independence in 1945. Malay and Indonesian remain very similar.

Even though the official language, in truth it is most of the population’s second language. Because of the complete size and fractured, island make-up of the country most people speak regional dialects like Minangkabau or Javanese. These will typically be spoken at home and in the local community but at work or at school Indonesian is used.

Source: Jakarta Tradition and Culture


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