Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic country comprised of 17,508 islands. IndonesiaAsia and Australia/Oceania continents. This strategic position exerts a very strong influence on its cultural, social, political and economic aspects. stretches between 6 degrees of the northern latitude to 11 degrees of the southern latitude and from 97 degrees to 141 degrees of the eastern longitude and lies between the
Indonesia’s territory stretches over a distance of 3,977 miles between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. If the waters between the islands are combined, Indonesia will total some 1.9 million square miles in area.
The five major islands in Indonesia are Sumatera (473,606 square kilometers), Java (132,107 square kilometers), Kalimantan (the world’s third largest island, 539,460 square kilometers), Sulawesi (189,216 square kilometers) and Papua (421,981 square kilometers).
Art and Culture
The art in Indonesia is much influenced by other cultures. The famous Javanese and Balinese dances, for example, contain the aspects of Hindu culture and mythology. Many dances contain the Islamic values. Some of them can be found in Sumatra, for example, Saman Meusukat and Seudati dances from Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.
In addition, Indonesia’s leather puppet shows, which feature mythological stories, are also quite famous in the world. ”Pantun” (old poetry form consisting of four lines), ”gurindam” (a poem made up of two rhyming lines of equal length) and so forth from various regions such as the Malay ”pantun: and many others are often featured in certain events such as traditional feasts, art performances and so forth.
Meanwhile, in the apparel area, batik craft is Indonesia’s famous cultural legacy in the world. Some regions noted for their batik industry include Yogyakarta, Solo and Pekalongan.
”Pencak silat” is a unique art of self-defense originating in various regions in Indonesia. This self-defense art is often featured in performances along with Indonesian traditional music (gamelan) and other types traditional music from where this self-defense art originally comes.
The music in Indonesia, both traditional and modern, is really varied from Sabang to Merauke. Traditional music, including Javanese ”keroncong” is familiar to nearly all Indonesians, but modern music and ”dangdut” are predominant in Indonesia’s musical arena. ”Dangdut” is one type of Indonesian music that has gained great popularity among the people in the entire Indonesia.
It is a combination of the elements of Malay, Indian and Indonesian traditional music. The music is called ”dangdut” beause of the prominent ”dang” and ”dut” sound when it is played.
Generally, the sound of percussion and the flute are dominant in ”dangdut” music. ”Dangdut” songs are usually sung by the singers by swaying their bodies in a teasing and gentle movement that keeps up with the beat of the song.