Coming to Indonesia: Seven Things Worth Knowing
Are you a kind of person who feels worried when you want to come to Asia, especially Indonesia? Are you a person who comes from Europe, Australia, Africa, or the United States and you want to go to Indonesia but you might feel doubt to come to Indonesia? Then, this writing is worth reading for you. I myself write this post since I have met some foreigners who come to Indonesia to travel, do a business, voluntarily work, or teach in some schools and universities but they, in general, felt anxious when they would come to Indonesia for the first time. By knowing this, then, I intend to share my point of view to all people who come from countries above and want to come to Indonesia, especially for you. 🙂
What are the seven things?
The first thing that you should know is that Indonesia is an archipelago country. This term means that Indonesia has many islands that are surrounded by the seas and ocean. If you read some books which are describing Indonesian geographical area, this country has areas started from Sabang into Merauke. The islands are covering five big islands and thousands of small islands. The five big islands are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya. These big islands have many things that you can explore. Besides, the islands have many interesting places to be visited, such as Ngarai Sianok in West Sumatra or Lembah Baliyem in Papua, Irian Jaya. However, if you want to go there, you have to think about maps. This small thing is cheap but really works when you go by yourself in the middle of wild forests in Sumatra.
Then, Indonesia has many provinces and districts. As it has been explained above, the five big islands provide different provinces and in each province, there are some districts. For example, Sumatra island. This island has several provinces, such as Aceh, Riau, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Lampung, and Jambi. Meanwhile, Java island has some provinces as well, like East Java, Jakarta, West Java, and Middle Java. The same thing goes to Kalimantan island. It has North Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Middle Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan. This island is closely in distance with Brunai Darrussalam. In Sulawesi, the provinces are like North Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, and Middle Sulawesi. In Irian Jaya, it has some cities,but mainly the most-visited place is called Papua. Knowing this second thing can give a perspective of how to see Indonesia in its geographical area. In this case, it can be said that Indonesia has many provinces and districts. These various places are the first step for you to get close with when you want to reach and explore different tourism places in Indonesia. Choose an island, select the city, and go to the unique places there are things that you can search.
The third thing that you probably need to know is that Indonesia has many cultural activities and arts in each province. Since Indonesia has five big islands that have different cities in each province; as a consequence, you have many option where you can go. If you have selected one city as your destination, such as Padang, other city may also be considerable, like Bandung, and the other cities are waiting for your arrival there, like Kuta in Bali island. In these many provinces, you can find different cultural activities and arts there. For example, West Sumatra is well-known for its beauty in Minangkabau art. Minangkabau is an ethnic that lives in the area of West Sumatra. Batak cultures and arts are also available to be seen in North Sumatra. In Java, you can see Javanese and Sundanese cultures and arts. Jakarta, as the capital city of Indonesia, has Betawi cultures and arts. What I can say in this point is that there are many cultural things that you can see and taste in many different places in Indonesia. The only thing that you should do in this way is to go to Indonesia and see it by yourself.
Food has always been an interesting thing to have in everyone’s life. Therefore, food is the fourth reason of why you need to slow down a bit your worry for Indonesia. From Sabang to Merauke, Indonesia has thousands of recipe of Indonesian modern and traditional foods. All of the foods are made under the control of Halal certificate by Indonesian Food and Medicine Health division and Department of Religion. In this case, you have two options. First, you can go to various mall and plaza in big cities, like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Jayapura, and others. However, mall and plaza offer modern foods. If you really want to taste traditional foods in Indonesia, I suggest you to get outside from your hotel and go to smaller cities, like Garut, Padang, and Jember. These kinds of places can provide you many luxuries in traditional and friendly atmosphere. I suggest you to buy only Halal foods in nice places. Indonesian people never sell poisonous foods; therefore, you do not need to worry to come to Indonesia. So, why don’t you try?
In addition to the above point, the fifth good thing is the languages that are mainly used in Indonesia. Everybody who wants to go abroad, the ability to use local language of the country that he or she visits is important. Why? When you have problems, you can ask for a help. In my experience, Indonesian people are always welcoming foreigners into their country. You may use guide man service, but it will bring lots of interesting experience for you when you can talk in Bahasa Indonesia. To know Indonesia in several days will be so limited for you, then, if you can speak Bahasa Indonesia, you can go anywhere around Indonesia. The people always welcome foreigners and once again, don’t be worry! They always welcome you. If you have ever heard that Indonesian people are only looking for money, this concept is definitely wrong. The truth is “money is used when you as a visitor wants to run your life as if you are at your home”. In terms of the languages, there are two types of language in Indonesia. They are national language and ethnic languages. National language is Bahasa Indonesia that is used officially and nationally across the archipelago. Ethnic languages are used only by people who share the same ethnic cultures, like Minangkabau language. This language is used by Minangkabau people in West Sumatra. Another thing is like Sundanese language that is widely used in West Java. The point is that ethnic languages are found and spread in different provinces in Indonesia. Many linguists declare that Indonesia has millions of languages. Therefore, this thing has become one of the richest part that Indonesia can be proud of. If you can speak these ethnic languages, you will, of course, be easy to be a part of them, even considered as a member of a family.
(You may click this link to see this book for further example of Bahasa Indonesia)
When you want to travel to Indonesia, you also have to know kinds of places that are available in Indonesia. It becomes the sixth thing for you to know. There are two kinds of places there. The first kind is called as big cities and the second one is village or kampoeng. As I have explained above, big cities are found in each province of Indonesia. However, one thing for sure is that the concept of big cities for you and me could be different. Therefore, big cities in Indonesia are commonly set as in the capital city of each provinces. Indonesian people always consider these seven cities as the top big cities in Indonesia. They are Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Borneo, Medan, Semarang, and Yogyakarta. Meanwhile, village or kampoeng is seen in cities outside the seven cities above. Their topography will be traditional and have less mall and plaza for shopping.
How about Indonesian people? It means that this thing is the last thing that I consider as an important thing for you to know before you come to Indonesia. I suggest you to talk to Indonesian people as if you talk to culturalist and religious people. What I mean by culturalist is that the people whom you meet in Padang will have slight differences in terms of styles, behaviour, the way they talk, and custom compared to those who live in Jakarta. Padang people will be in slight different with people from Sunda, Batak, or Bali. In this way, are they completely different? How could they be together in such multi-culturally differences? The reason is only one. Pancasila. Indonesian people may have differences one another either in terms of social background or individual as well as collective differences but they still live together as one. Some social problems may happen but it is not common to see these kinds of things happen in every seconds of the life of Indonesian people. How to talk to them? As I have told earlier, Indonesian people are friendly. However, you still need to limit the access of you in meeting new people. Sometimes, crime can happen in an unexpected way just the same thing that exists in other countries in the world. The way you do is much more interesting that the way your country does to their country; nonetheless, it will be influential in some ways.
All in all, it can be stated that Indonesia is such a beautiful country that everyone who comes to it can feel relax and enjoy. The many provinces have made Indonesia as a better place for all of people to explore. Even I myself still have many places are waiting to be explored. Moreover, the geographical area of Indonesia from Sabang and Merauke has made this country either as a country with beautiful beaches or as a country with many wonderful things to explore in its green and wide lands. No matter how you see some other controversial things in Indonesia; in terms of relaxing places and interesting things to know, Indonesia has always been a great choice for you to have.
This post is written in my own perspective as an Indonesian; therefore, if you need to know more about Indonesia, you may click the following links:
If you want to travel around Indonesia by air, you may use and click the following airlines:
If you want to know more about Indonesia through available books in Amazon, please click here: Books about Indonesia.
Welcome to Indonesia!