Bhinneka Tunggal Ika
Unity in Diversity
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika - Unity in Diversity
The sovereign state is a presidential, constitutional republic with an elected legislature. It has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. The country’s capital, Jakarta, is the second-most populous urban area in the world. 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 India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity.
The Indonesian archipelago has been a valuable region for trade since at least the 7th century when Srivijaya and later Majapahit traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign influences from the early centuries and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Sunni traders and Sufi scholars brought Islam, while Europeans introduced Christianity through colonisation. Although sometimes interrupted by the Portuguese, French and British, the Dutch were the foremost colonial power for much of their 350-year presence in the archipelago. The concept of “Indonesia” as a nation-state emerged in the early 20th century and the country proclaimed its independence in 1945. However, it was not until 1949 that the Dutch recognised Indonesia’s sovereignty following an armed and diplomatic conflict between the two.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest one being the Javanese. A shared identity has developed with the motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. The economy of Indonesia is the world’s 16th largest by nominal GDP and 7th by GDP at PPP. The country is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, G20, and 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.
Indonesian territory is divided into 34 provinces, which are also grouped into 3 time zones. There are 18 Provinces that are included in the Western Indonesia Time Zone – WIB (Waktu Indonesia bagian Barat), 12 Provinces that are included in the Central Indonesia Time Zone – WITA (Waktu Indonesia bagian Tengah), and 4 Provinces that are included in the Eastern Indonesia Time Zone – WIT (Waktu Indonesia bagian Timur).