Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Short Indonesia Tutorial

I figure you all know about as much about Indonesia as I did before I left so I'm starting this off with a few basic details.

Indonesia is:

- the world's 4th most populous nation with 238 million people.

- the largest Islamic nation where 86% of its population is Muslim, though Christianity still has a strong hold on some of the islands that were colonized by the Dutch and Portuguese in the height of the spice trade.  Also Bali, the most popular tourist destination in the country, practices Hinduism.

- made up of over 17,000 islands, about 6,000 of which are inhabited.  As one flies over Indonesia's waterways, you look down and see speckled below lovely little spots of land wrapped with white white sand and a ring of deep blue water and dream about tropical paradise.  I visited Java, the central island, where over half of Indonesians live.  It’s the world's most densely populated island.  I also went to Sulawesi, Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands. (Before I went everyone would ask, which islands I was going to and the question would seem overwhelming, but after a trip there the main islands roll off your tongue easily. One of my favorite outcomes of travel is the way the unusual becomes usual and then I can read and understand places and things so much better when I return home.)

- located, in simple terms, below South East Asia and above Australia, along the Equator.

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