*** Indonesian ethnicity

Indonesian Ethnicity

Indonesian ethnicity
Figure 1.--The photo was taken on the Maluku Islands in north central Indonesia. Although the name may not rung a bell, they are the famed Spice Islands. The photograph would hab been taken just before World War II. It shows an indigenous man with a Dutch father and his son. As was often the case, European children living in tropical countries didn't like to wear footwear. Few of the Indonesian population aided the Dutch when the Japanese invaded (1942). This was in sharp contrast to Filipinos, many of which aided the Americans.

Indonesia is an incredibly diverse country. There are some 360 different ethnic groups in Indonesia--the actual number vary. Some acciunts are as high as 1,000. The actual count varies depending on wether they are counted as groups or subgroups. The most important ethnic group is Javanese (40 percent) and Sundanese (15 percent). All iother grouos are under 5 opercent, including Malay, Batak, Madureset, Betawi, Minangkabau, Buginese, Bantenese, Banjarese, Balinese, Acehnese, Dayakt, Sasak, and Chinese 1.2 percent. Other group are under 1 opercent. Indonesians speak more than 700 languages. This is in part due to the fact that the Indonesian archepelago consists of some 13,000 islands of varying sizes. The existence of so many islands is a factor in the oyntry's ethnic diversity. Islands and the rugged landscape on many of them create isolated conditions leading to ethnic diversity. The small island of Alor with 140,000 people has 50 tribes, each tribe speaking a distinct language, And Alor is not an isolated case. Papua is western New Guinea--a large area. There are some 180 recognized ethno-linguistic groups. There are 13 languages with more than 1 million speakers. The major Indonesian ethnic groups are: Minangkabaunese, Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Maduranese and Ambonnese. Arab, Chinese, and Indian immigrants have also settled in the country. This has occurred mostly in the coastal cities. The Dutch have left Indionesia since independence, but many of the children of Dutch-Indonsiam marriages remained. Indionesia's different ethnic groups for the most part live harmoniously. Ethniic violence has had more to do with religion than etnicity. The group most adversely affected have been the etnic chinese who are mostkly Christian. There are slight clothing differences among ethnic differences however, in the sense that, with Christians and Muslims alike, people on the central islands tend to be somewhat more conservative, modestly leaving more of the skin covered than in outlying districts.


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Created: 4:23 PM 10/11/2023
Last updated: 4:23 PM 10/11/2023