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.
Back to Top