03 September 2021
Indonesian Culture, the Epitome of Diversity

This captivating country is the largest island nation in the world. With over 17.000 islands, it’s no wonder that Indonesian culture is extremely rich and diverse. The nation is home to hundreds of ethnic groups. Let’s take a dive into the vast and fascinating culture of Indonesia.

Batik, the Beautiful Cultural Heritage

Originating from the island of Java, batik refers to the fabric made with wax-resist dyeing technique. Craftspeople make batik by drawing patterns on a piece of cloth using canting. The patterns are extremely diverse, taking influences from nature, folklore, calligraphy, and even foreign cultures.

But batik is more than just a garment, it is an art form so deeply intertwined with Indonesian culture. From birth until death, Indonesians incorporate batik into their everyday lives. For instance, parents carry their babies in slings made of batik. The young and old wear modern batik designs regularly to school and work. Batik also plays a central part in traditional weddings and funerals. 

Graceful Traditional Dances of Indonesia

Another notable Indonesian culture is the traditional dances. The graceful movements and vibrant aesthetics blend together in a mesmerising performance. There are over 3000 types of traditional dances in Indonesia, each with its own appealing characteristics. Indonesians perform these dances as a part of religious rituals or to celebrate important events. A few dances even received international acclaim such as the Saman dance of Aceh and Kecak performance you can witness in Bali, Indonesia.

Pasola, a Sumba Thanksgiving Ritual

Every February and March, Western Sumbanese people hold a thanksgiving ritual to usher in the rice-planting season. This ritual is Pasola, a word that means spear in the local language. In this ritual, the participants throw blunted wooden spears at each other while on horseback. But what started as a war ritual centuries ago has now evolved into a mock battle and festive performance. All in all, the Pasola festival is a tribal Indonesian culture you won’t find anywhere else.

Rambu Solo, an Age-old Farewell Ceremony

The people of Toraja who reside in Sulawesi have a unique take on funeral processions. They enact a three-day-long ceremony by the name of Rambu Solo. This particular Indonesian culture aims to deliver a deceased person’s soul to the afterlife. Firstly, friends and family parade the deceased to the burial site. And then second days are the time to welcome guests and make buffalo sacrifices—a sacred animal in the region. Finally, at the end of the ceremony, the deceased is brought to their final resting place—a cave or a small house specifically designed as a mortuary. 

The Diverse Culinary Scene of Indonesia 

Each Indonesian cuisine holds a wealth of culture and history behind it. Though most people might be more familiar with the cuisines of Java and Bali, Indonesia’s culinary scene is just as diverse as its people. The regions carry their own specialties and traditional recipes, handed down through generations. But there is one thing that stays the same throughout Indonesia: the rich, complex flavour. This is due to the abundance of herbs and spices found in Indonesia. From the hearty soto to the spicy rendang, this land is a haven of tantalizing flavours.

Indonesian culture is brimming with diversity. Everywhere you turn, you’re bound to stumble into something new and exciting. Come visit Indonesia if you’re looking for a meaningful experience to enrich your life.

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