November 18th, 2013, 10am

It was 28°C with few clouds. The breeze was light.

Indonesia (Listeni/ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/ IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia Indonesian pronunciation: [rɛpublik ɪndonesia]), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 17,508 islands. It encompasses 34 provinces with over 238 million people, making it the world’s fourth most populous country. Indonesia’s republic form of government comprises an elected legislature and president. The nation’s capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world’s 16th largest by nominal GDP.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest – and politically dominant – ethnic group are the Javanese. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread.

Indonesian provinces and their capitals, listed by region

Indonesian name is in parentheses if different from English. * indicates provinces with Special Status


Aceh* – Banda Aceh
North Sumatra (Sumatera Utara) – Medan
West Sumatra (Sumatera Barat) – Padang
Riau – Pekanbaru
Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau) – Tanjung Pinang
Jambi – Jambi (city)
South Sumatra (Sumatera Selatan) – Palembang
Bangka-Belitung (Kepulauan Bangka-Belitung) – Pangkal Pinang
Bengkulu – Bengkulu (city)
Lampung – Bandar Lampung


Special Capital Region of Jakarta* (Daerah Khusus Ibu Kota Jakarta)  – Jakarta
Banten – Serang
West Java (Jawa Barat) – Bandung
Central Java (Jawa Tengah) – Semarang
Yogyakarta Special Region* (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta) – Yogyakarta (city)
East Java (Jawa Timur) – Surabaya

Lesser Sunda Islands

Bali – Denpasar
West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat) – Mataram
East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur) – Kupang


West Kalimantan (Kalimantan Barat) – Pontianak
Central Kalimantan (Kalimantan Tengah) – Palangkaraya
South Kalimantan (Kalimantan Selatan) – Banjarmasin
East Kalimantan (Kalimantan Timur) – Samarinda
North Kalimantan (Kalimantan Utara) – Tanjung Selor


North Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara) – Manado
Gorontalo – Gorontalo (city)
Central Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tengah) – Palu
West Sulawesi (Sulawesi Barat) – Mamuju
South Sulawesi (Sulawesi Selatan) – Makassar
South East Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tenggara) – Kendari

Maluku Islands

Maluku – Ambon
North Maluku (Maluku Utara) – Sofifi

Western New Guinea

West Papua* (Papua Barat) – Manokwari
Papua* – Jayapura


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Dimaz Fajar


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