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This South East Asian country is one of the most visited in the world thanks in large part to the ever increasing popularity of just one of its 18,000-odd islands, Bali, which is one of the top beach holiday destinations in the world.
But when it comes to the rest of Indonesia, the local Indonesian people and their indigenous cultural heritage, there isn’t really much that is talked about or known.
We have done a bit of scouting around to come up with our own list of lesser known yet totally cool facts and trivia about the fascinating culture of Indonesia that you will love to learn about. While being fun and interesting, knowing these facts can help you to understand and appreciate the country as well as the cultural nuances of Indonesia’s native customs and traditions better.
Indonesia is the largest chain of islands. Of the nearly 18,000 Indonesian islands many are extremely remote and isolated islands that are home to primitive and uncontacted jungle tribes. Kalimantan, Papua, West Papua and Indonesian Borneo, are some of the islands on which such ancient hunting jungle tribes reside. These tribes even practised cannibalism although it is believed that the ritual no longer exists among them.
The Indonesian islands are a bio-diversity hotspot. Preserving and respecting their rich and stunning natural resources, plant and animal life is integral to the cultural of Indonesia. Apart from pristine beaches and serene ocean views, many of the islands have dense tropical rainforests, largely uninhabited by humans and are home to exotic creatures not found anywhere else on the planet.
The fierce and endangered Komodo dragon, which lives wild on only five islands of Indonesia, is one such species that is unique to Indonesia. Be sure you observe them from a safe distance as these heavyweight giants can be dangerous.
The Stinking Corpse Lily or Rafflesia Arnoldii is the largest single flower ever discovered. The Corpse Lily is native to the Sumatran rainforests. While the massive red spotted fleshy petals are a sight to behold, the rotten flesh smell that the flower emits is so repulsive that it is nearly impossible to get close to it. This lily can weigh up around 7-8 kilos!
In fact very recently one of this monster flower bloomed in Sumatra that measured almost 4 feet across, making it the largest flower ever recorded.
An interesting aspect of Indonesia’s culture is that while Islam is the official religion of the country, not all the islands follow the same faith. For example in Bali, majority of the Balinese are Hindu. Similarly there are other Indonesian islands with a predominantly Christian and Buddhist population. There are many Buddhists in Jakarta while eastern Indonesia has a large concentration of Christians. This diversity is a testimony to the Indonesian cultural belief and philosophy of ‘Pancasila’ that believes that there is only one God.
Being culturally well informed about your destination is a good trip preparation to do especially if this is going to be your first visit to Indonesia. Check out our travel guide to find out more about these tropical islands, its best beaches and water sports, top attractions and outdoor adventure activities, local Indonesian dishes and other such travel information so that you can plan your trip accordingly. There is so much to see and so many exciting things to do in this super scenic, warm and friendly country.
Before you set out on your vacation to the Indonesian islands, make sure you purchase travel insurance. Having international travel insurance is essential to protect you from a mishap such as your luggage getting lost or misplaced, an accident, theft or sudden illness that could occur while you are holidaying in Indonesia. Even if your flight gets delayed or your trip itself gets cancelled your Indonesia travel insurance will back you up to minimise financial loss. That is why it is always a smart decision to stay financially covered with travel insurance when travelling abroad.
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