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Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ (About this sound listen) IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndˈnziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndonesia]) is a sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in southeast Asia, with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), Indonesia is the world's 14th-largest country in terms of land area and world's 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea and land area. It has an estimated population of over 261 million people and is the world's fourth most populous country, the most populous Austronesian nation, as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. The world's most populous island, Java, contains more than half of the country's population.

Indonesia's form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status. Its capital and most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's third highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesia's major trading partners are Japan, the United States, China and neighbours Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism starting from Amboina and Batavia, and eventually all of the archipelago including Timor and Western New Guinea, at times interrupted by Portuguese, French and British rule, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.

Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest—and politically dominant—ethnic group being the Javanese. The population is unevenly spread throughout the islands within a variety of habitats and levels of development, ranging from the megalopolis of Jakarta to uncontacted tribes in the Papua. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Indonesia's economy is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 7th largest by GDP at PPP. Indonesia is a member of several multilateral organizations, including the UN, WTO, IMF and G20 major economies. It is also a founding member of Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, East Asia Summit, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Selected article

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The 1740 Batavia massacre was a pogrom against ethnic Chinese in the port city of Batavia (present-day Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies. The violence inside the city lasted from 9 October 1740 until 22 October; minor skirmishes outside the walls continued late into November that year. Hundreds of ethnic Chinese, mostly sugar mill workers, rioted on 7 October. This was met by a massacre of roughly 10,000 ethnic led by the Dutch and other ethnic groups. It was followed by a two-year war. Governor General Adriaan Valckenier was recalled to the Netherlands and tried for crimes related to the massacre, replaced by his political opponent Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff. The massacre's legacy in popular culture is found in Dutch literature, in which it has figured heavily. (Read more...)

Selected biography


General Sudirman (1916–50) was the military commander of Indonesian forces during the country's fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. Born in Rembang, Central Java, he studied at the Dutch Native School in Purwokerto, and then at a Muhammadiyah teacher training college in Surakarta. He worked as a teacher at the Muhammadiyah school in Cilacap. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II, Sudirman trained to become a battalion commander in PETA, the "homeland defense" army promoted by the Japanese. On 12 November 1945 he was elected Commander-in-chief of the Army, a position he held until his death. During much of the next five years he was sick with tuberculosis, but led several guerrilla actions against the Dutch. He led the resistance to the Dutch attack on Yogyakarta, then the Republic of Indonesia's headquarters, in December 1948. (Read more...)

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In this month

Maria Ulfah Santoso

In the news

Wikinews Indonesia portal
  • January 1: Ferry burns near Jakarta, killing passengers
  • December 3: Indonesian police plane crashes near Batam, fifteen missing
  • October 3: Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta
More current events...
Indonesia on Wikinews

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Indonesia Topics


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Wikipedias in Indonesian languages

  • Acèh
  • Banyumasan
  • Banjar
  • Bugis
  • Indonesia
  • Jawa
  • Melayu
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  • Sunda

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