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Indonesia is made up of an archipelago of 18,108 islands lying at the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and bridging the continents of Asia and Australia. Approximately six thousand of the islands are occupied while the remaining lie idle, roughly dotting along the equator.  The country is situated on the edge of three tectonic plates, the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian plates and hence is prone to earthquakes.  There are around 400 volcanoes in the country with roughly 100 being active. Indonesia also has numerous rivers flowing through it and they provide beneficial transport routes on some of the islands.

The five main islands of Indonesia are home to majority of the country’s population. Sumatra is the largest in terms of land, most thickly populated and also the most fertile, next smaller in size is Java, Kalimantan which takes up two-thirds of the island of Borneo, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya, which shares a portion of the world’s second biggest island.

Art in Indonesia is largely influenced by religion. Many of the Java and Bali dance dramas are based on Hindu mythology. The people of Indonesia are artistic by nature and they use crafts to express themselves. The crafts vary widely in art form and medium; canvas, wood, metals, clay and stone are all employed. The process of waxing and dyeing (batik) originated in Java hundreds of years ago.

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Around fifty-five percent of the population lives in rural villages where they farm corn, rice and some other crops; they also raise ducks, chicken and fish. Plantation crops of Indonesia include coffee, tea, sugar, coconuts and spices. Food of the country is varied with each region having it own special dishes. Rice forms the basis of a majority of the meals with vegetables, fish, chicken, meat and eggs served as side dishes.

 

Fast Facts:

Full Name:   Republic of Indonesia

Government:   Republic with provincial autonomy; democratic

Capital: Jakarta

Area:   1,922,570 sq. km (742,308 sq. miles)

Currency:   Rupiah (Rp)

Language:   Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), English

Religion:   Predominantly Muslim, Christian, Hindu

Climate:   Tropical

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