The Republic of Indonesia is an archipelago stretching along the equator which is popularly know as "The String of Emeralds on the the equator" and covers a vast number of islands and islets extending between latitudes 6 degree north and 11 degree south, and longitudes 95 degree west and 141 degree east. It stands like a sentry guarding the sea avenues that link the Pacific with the Indian Ocean and also as a bridge linking Asia in the northwest with Australia in the southeast.|
||The Indonesian archipelago is the largest in the world to from a
single state. It consists, according to the current official account, of 13,677 islands and islets
and has a total land surface of 5,193,166 square kilometers. The third largest country in Asia in
terms of both population and area after China and India. Indonesia's national territory consists of
84 percent sea and only 16 percent land. The five biggest islands are Kalimantan (539,460 sq km),
Sumatra ( 473,606 sq km), Irian Jaya (421,952 sq km), Sulawesi (189,035 sq km) and Java
(including Madura 132,035 sq km).
|The country is divided into 27 provinces, each province is
administered by a governor. Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. It is Special District and is
administered by a governor. The city has at present a population around 10 million.
Because the greater part of the country is located within the boundaries of the equatorial tropical rain belt, Indonesia has a characteristically tropical climate. Summer, winter, autumn and spring are unknown here. Only two seasons prevail - they are the dry and wet or rainy season. In most areas the rainy seasons starts around December and last until March, whereby the dry seasons starts around May and last until October, with transition periods characterized by shifting wind and capricious weather between the month of March to May and September to November. The average year-round daily temperature in Indonesia is between 25-27 centigrade, however the temperature difference between lowland and high land is around 10 centigrade.
|Indonesia is also known as the home of a range of fascinating flora and fauna which includes the world's smallest monkey and its largest flower, Rafllesia. Besides numerous species of orchids, tropical birds and fishes, there are also some animals which are uniquely Indonesian such as "The Komodo Dragon" an eerie prehistoric creature which grows up to 3 meters in length and the "Anoa" a forest dwelling dwarf buffalo.
|Currently the population of Indonesia is around 200 million, which makes the country the fifth most populous in the world next to China, India, Russia, and the United States. About 60 percent of the people live on Java Island, with a land area of only seventh percent of the country's total. The rest live on the other 6,000 islands. The country's ethnic diversity is really very stupefying. They are united as a nation, Indonesia. The melanesian, the Proto- Austronesian, the Polynesian and the Micronesian are the main ethnics. |
||As one of the world's most ancient and vital trade routes, Indonesia has since time em memorial been host to migrants from China, Arabs, India and in more recent times also from Europe, who brought with them their own ways and customs to enrich Indonesian cultural legacy. Not less than 250 languages and dialect are spoken. To forge all of those individual elements into one unified nation, Indonesia has pro calmed The Youth Oath, Which affirms the unity of Indonesia in terms of nationhood, language and country. In acknowledgement of its great ethnic diversity, The Republic of Indonesia carries on its coat of arms the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or Unity in Diversity.
Roughly 90% of the country s population adheres to the Islamic faith. Indonesia has numerically the largest Moslem population in the world. Yet, it is not in the formal sense a Moslem state. Indonesia has no state religion and the Constitution guarantees freedom of worship for all. The five major religions recognized by the state are Moslem, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism and Buddhism. There are also a number of mystic-religious sect collectively referred to as Aliran Kepercayaan. The state acknowledges their right of existence as long as they do not upset the public order or offend the sensitiveness of the followers of the major religions.
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