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Customs/Traditions

Whilst unity has been a result of history, different cultures are based on many different ethnic groups found throughout the country which have maintained their traditions, languages and dialects. Protected by adat (customary law) which differs from one region to another, modernization is only a superficial veneer covering the daily life in the cities. Ultimately, adat is man's ties to his family and to his community and is applied to his way of life.

The Indonesian culture originated from the farming activities of the indigenous people. It was influenced by the waves of traders from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Europe which brought along their religious teachings.

Western influence arrived with the Portuguese, who came in search of spices in the early 16th century and later with the arrival of British and Dutch merchants. The Hindu cultural heritage is also found in this archipelago, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics which play an important role in the Indonesian culture.

Customs and traditions which have merged with religious teachings, have brought about different ceremonies and festivities, which vary from area to area.

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