Indonesia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Indonesia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago. With a populationof more than 200 million, it is the fifth most populous country inthe world. Its position on the trade routes has produced a rich anddiverse culture influenced by animist, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian,and Muslim traditions.There are some three hundred ethnic groups in Indonesia, theproduct of centuries of migration and settlement. The differencesbetween ethnic groups and social classes are clearly understood,but underlying this diversity, and the more recent cultural impactof the West, are common core values.The vast majority of Indonesians live according to beliefs andperceptions that the visitor needs to be aware of in order not tooffend unintentionally: the principles of social conduct reflect anAsian approach to the world. These values lie deep, and influencebehavior that to outsiders may seem irrational or perplexing whilestatements, gestures, or other conduct perfectly natural to thevisitor may produce adverse reactions from Indonesians. In general,though, Indonesians are gracious and will make allowances forstrangers.Culture Smart! Indonesia provides an introduction to this richdiversity while enabling you to avoid some of the social pitfallswhen visiting, living, or working in this fascinating and beautifulcountry. Indonesians are a hospitable and courteous people. Bymaking an effort to understand and respect their values andcustoms, you will earn their appreciation and friendship.