Indonesia Guide to the World’s Biggest Buddhist Monument,Borobudur: is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Central Java. Resplendent with a total of 2,672 highly decorated panels and 504 statues of Buddha, the opulent monuments features three circular platforms atop square platforms. The main dome is on top of the central platform and is flanked by 72 statues of Buddha.

The Republic of Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, has 203 million people living on nearly one thousand permanently settled islands. Some two-to-three hundred ethnic groups with their own languages and dialects range in population from the Javanese (about 70 million) and Sundanese (about 30 million) on Java, to peoples numbering in the thousands on remote islands. The nature of Indonesian national culture is somewhat analogous to that of India—multicultural, rooted in older societies and interethnic relations, and developed in twentieth century nationalist struggles against a European imperialism that nonetheless forged that nation and many of its institutions. The national culture is most easily observed in cities but aspects of it now reach into the countryside as well. Indonesia's borders are those of the Netherlands East Indies, which was fully formed at the beginning of the twentieth century, though Dutch imperialism began early in the seventeenth century. Indonesian culture has historical roots, institutions, customs, values, and beliefs that many of its people share, but it is also a work in progress that is undergoing particular stresses at the beginning of the twenty-first century.Indonesia is a hugely diverse nation. It is made up of over 17,500 islands (6,000 of which are inhabited) which are home to over 300 ethnic groups.Each province has its own language, ethnic make-up, religions and history.Most people will define themselves locally before nationally.In addition there are many cultural influences stemming back from difference in heritage. Indonesians are a mix of Chinese, European, Indian, and Malay.Although Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world it also has a large number of Christian Protestants, Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists.This great diversity has needed a great deal of attention from the government to maintain a cohesion.As a result the national motto is "Unity in Diversity", the language has been  standardised and a national philosophy has been devised know as "Pancasila" which stresses universal justice for all Indonesians.

INDONESIA has always attracted the foreigners, adventurers and tourists from the lovely planet for its immense beauty in culture, nature, geography, bio-diversity and people. The indigenous people’s interaction with the people coming from multiple regions from time to time has produced a really rich, magnificent and diverse heritage of the country.The National costume of Indonesia are the national costume that represent the Republic of Indonesia. It is derived from Indonesian culture and Indonesian traditional textile traditions. Indonesia as described earlier is a huge multiethnic and multicultural society having hundreds of ethnicities and races. Each one has variations in their customs, traditions and culture. These diversities are exhibited in the traditional dancing events in Indonesia such as Balinese, Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, Palembang, Malay, Aceh and many other dances to promote the Indonesian culture and to flourish tourism in the country. The performers of these dances wear pure traditional outfits to fascinate the spectators.

The kingdom had diplomatic relations with the south Indian kingdom of Nalanda. The Crivijaya mission built a school on its premises where Indians could learn the art of molding bronze statues and broaden their knowledge of the Buddhist philosophy. With the spread of Buddhism, Crivijaya's influence reached out to many other parts of the archipelago.Another known Buddhist kingdom was Cailendra in Central Java. It was ruled by the kings of Cailendra Dynasty. During their rule (750-850 AD) the famous Buddhist temple, Borobudur, was built. In 772 AD other Buddhist temple were also built. They include the Mendut, Kalasan and Pawon temples. All of these temples are now preserved as tourist objects near the city of Yogyakarta. The Cailendra kingdom was also known for its commercial and naval power, and its flourishing arts and culture. A guide to learn singing, known as the Chandra Cha-ana, was first written in 778 AD.The Prambanan temple, which was dedicated to Lord Civa, was started in 856 AD and completed in 900 AD by King Daksa. Earlier Civa temples were built in 675 AD on the Dieng mountain range, southwest of Medang Kamolan, the capital of the Mataram Kingdom.In West Java were the kingdoms of Galuh, Kanoman, Kuningan and Pajajaran. The latter was founded by King Purana with Pakuan as its capital. It replaced the kingdom of Galuh. The kingdoms of Taruma Negara, Kawali and Parahyangan Sunda came later.At the end of the 10th Century (911-1007 AD) the powerful kingdom of Singasari emerged in East Java under King Dharmawangsa. He codified laws and translated into Javanese the "Mahabharata" epic and its basic philosophy, as exposed in the Bhisma Parva scripture. He also ordered the 12 translations of the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavat Gita.Meanwhile, the island of Bali was also ruled by King Airlangga, known as a wise and strong ruler. He had water-works built along the Brantas River that are still in use today. Before his death in 971 AD he divided his kingdom into the kingdoms of Janggala and Daha or Kediri. These were to be ruled by his two sons.King Jayabaya of Kediri 1135-1157 wrote a book in which he foretold the downfall of Indonesia. Subsequently, so he wrote, the country would be ruled by a white race, to be followed by a yellow race. His prediction turned out to be Dutch colonial rule and the Japanese occupation of the country during World War. However, Jayabaya also predicted that Indonesia would ultimately regain her independence. During the golden period of the Kediri Kingdom many other literary works were produced, including the Javanese version of the Mahabharata by Mpu (saint) Sedah and his brother Mpu Panuluh. This work was published in 1157.The kingdoms of East Java were later succeeded by the Majapahit Kingdom, first ruled by Prince Wijaya who was also known as King Kartarajasa.Under King Hayam Wuruk the Majapahit Empire became the most powerful kingdom in the history of Indonesia.  King Hayam Wuruk, with his able premier Gajah Mada, succeeded in gradually uniting the whole archipelago under the name of Dwipantara.During this golden period of Majapahit many literary works were produced. Among them was "Negara Kertagama," by the famous author Prapancha (1335-1380). Parts of the book described the diplomatic and economic ties between Majapahit and numerous Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, Thailand, Tonkin, Annam, Kampuchea and even India and China. Other works in Kawi, the old Javanese language, were "Pararaton," "Arjuna Wiwaha," "Ramayana," and "Sarasa Muschaya." These works were later translated into modern European languages for educational purposes.

Due to the diverse nature of Indonesian society there exists a strong pull towards the group, whether family, village or island.People will define themselves according to their ethnic group, family and place of birth.The family is still very traditional in structure.Family members have clearly defined roles and a great sense of interdependence.More than 700 living languages are spoken in Indonesia. Most belong to the Austronesian language family, with a few Papuan languages also spoken. The official language is Indonesian (locally known as Bahasa Indonesia), a variant of Malay, which was used in the archipelago, borrowing heavily from local languages of Indonesia such as Javanese, Sundanese and Minangkabau. The Indonesian language is primarily used in commerce, administration, education and the media, but most Indonesians speak other languages, such as Javanese, as their first language. Most books printed in Indonesia are written in the Indonesian language.The official language of Indonesia is known as Indonesian or ' Bahasa Indonesian'. Indonesian is a standardised 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.Although the official language, in reality it is most of the population's second language. Due to the sheer size and fractured, island make-up of the country most people speak regional dialects such as Minangkabau or Javanese. These will usually be spoken at home and in the local community but at work or at school Indonesian is used.

Traditional Wedding Ceremonies and Customs in Indonesia.The fascinating wedding ceremonies and festivities give expatriates a unique opportunity to gain insight into Indonesian culture and social mores.Given the broad diversity of ethnic groups in Indonesia, it stands to reason that wedding customs will reflect this diversity. Each ethnic group has different wedding dress and different marriage ceremonies and customs. Within ethnic groups, those of different religious backgrounds will have different practices as well. Considering how Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands, has six official religions and is home to over 300 ethnic groups, keeping up with the country's wedding etiquette can be overwhelming.

About 200 C.E. , small states that were deeply influenced by Indian civilization began to develop in Southeast Asia, primarily at estuaries of major rivers. The next five hundred to one thousand years saw great states arise with magnificent architecture. Hinduism and Buddhism, writing systems, notions of divine kingship, and legal systems from India were adapted to local scenes. Sanskrit terms entered many of the languages of Indonesia. Hinduism influenced cultures throughout Southeast Asia, but only one people are Hindu, the Balinese.Indianized states declined about 1400 C.E. with the arrival of Muslim traders and teachers from India, Yemen, and Persia, and then Europeans from Portugal, Spain, Holland, and Britain. All came to join the great trade with India and China. Over the next two centuries local princedoms traded, allied, and fought with Europeans, and the Dutch East India Company became a small state engaging in local battles and alliances to secure trade. The Dutch East India Company was powerful until 1799 when the company went bankrupt. In the nineteenth century the Dutch formed the Netherlands Indies government, which developed alliances with rulers in the archipelago. Only at the beginning of the twentieth century did the Netherlands Indies government extend its authority by military means to all of present Indonesia.Sporadic nineteenth century revolts against Dutch practices occurred mainly in Java, but it was in the early twentieth century that Indonesian intellectual and religious leaders began to seek national independence. In 1942 the Japanese occupied the Indies, defeating the colonial army and imprisoning the Dutch under harsh conditions.On 17 August 1945, following Japan's defeat in World War II, Indonesian nationalists led by Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence. The Dutch did not accept and for five years fought the new republic, mainly in Java. Indonesian independence was established in 1950.National Identity. Indonesia's size and ethnic diversity has made national identity problematic and debated. Identity is defined at many levels: by Indonesian citizenship; by recognition of the flag, national anthem, and certain other songs; by recognition of national holidays; and by education about Indonesia's history and the Five Principles on which the nation is based. Much of this is instilled through the schools and the media, both of which have been closely regulated by the government during most of the years of independence. The nation's history has been focused upon resistance to colonialism and communism by national heroes and leaders who are enshrined in street names. Glories of past civilizations are recognized, though archaeological remains are mainly of Javanese principalities.Ethnic Relations. Ethnic relations in the archipelago have long been a concern. Indonesian leaders recognized the possibility of ethnic and regional separatism from the beginning of the republic. War was waged by the central government against separatism in Aceh, other parts of Sumatra, and Sulawesi in the 1950s and early 1960s, and the nation was held together by military force.

Kebaya, although originally those costumes mainly belong within the culture of Java and Bali, most prominently within Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese culture. Since Java has been the political and population center of Indonesia, folk costume from the island has become elevated into national status.Traditional dress of Indonesia: Featured with unique patterns and designs.Kebaya is the national dress of Indonesia. Kebaya is a combination of different traditional clothing of Indonesia like Batik, Sarong, songket and ikat. The dress was originated from Java and Bali where it was traditionally woven with magnificent patterns.Today the Indonesian women prefer many type of fabrics like silk, cotton, nylon or polyester for Kebaya. Kebaya was named by the Portuguese immigrants who stepped in Indonesia few centuries ago. Kebaya is associated with a type of blouse worn by Indonesian women in 15th or 16th century.

There is spectacular music having variation in region to region, folk-dances full of amusement and colors, fascinating drama and theater activities, glorious martial arts and brilliant puppet festivals. In all of such festivities, one factor is very common and prominent and that is the traditional dress of Indonesia. There are tremendous varieties in the traditional outfits and costumes of Indonesia, as every territory has its own and distinctive clothing culture.

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