The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Culture of Indonesia

This article is about the culture of Indonesia.

Indonesia includes numerous related but distinct cultural and linguistic groups, many of which are ethnically Malay.



Art forms in Indonesia have been influenced by several cultures. The famous Javanese and Balinese dances, for example, contain aspects of Hindu culture and mythology.

Also well-known are the Javanese and Balinese wayang kulit Shadow puppet theatre shows, displaying several mythological events. Several Islands are famous for their batik and ikat cloth.


Main article: Music of Indonesia

Indonesia is culturally diverse and is home to hundreds of forms of music, with those from the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali being the most frequently recorded. The best-known traditional music from central/east Java and Bali is the Gamelan. A very popular modern style of music is the Dangdut, with the accompanying dance style. It is so popular that many political rallies have Dangdut performances to attract a larger audience.


The most well-known author in Indonesia today is Pramoedya Ananta Toer, who won the Magsaysay Award and was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Other important figures include the late Chairil Anwar, a poet and member of the Generation 45 group of authors who were active in the Indonesian independence movement. Tight information controls during Suharto's presidency suppressed new writing.


There is a long tradition in Indonesia, and particularly among ethnically Malay populations, of extemporary, interactive, verbal composition of poetry. These poems are referred to an pantun.

By geography



In the book Max Havelaar, Dutch author Multatuli criticised the Dutch treatment of the Indonesians, which gained him international attention.

See also

External links

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13