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Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of over 17,000 islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. Indonesia is the world's largest archipelagic state and the 14th-largest country by area, at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles). With over 279 million people, Indonesia is the world's fourth-most-populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population.

Indonesia is a presidential republic with an elected legislature. It has 38 provinces, of which nine have special autonomous status. The country's capital, Jakarta, is the world's second-most-populous urban area. Indonesia shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia, as well as maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India. 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.

Indonesia consists of thousands of distinct native ethnic and hundreds of linguistic groups, with Javanese being the largest. A shared identity has developed with the motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), defined by a national language, cultural 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 the 7th-largest by PPP. It is the world's third-largest democracy, a regional power, and is considered a middle power in global affairs. The country is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, World Trade Organization, G20, and a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, East Asia Summit, D-8, APEC, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. (Full article...)

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Adult by Joseph Wolf, 1859

The invisible rail, Wallace's rail, or drummer rail (Habroptila wallacii) is a large flightless rail that is endemic to the island of Halmahera in Northern Maluku, Indonesia, where it inhabits impenetrable sago swamps adjacent to forests. Its plumage is predominantly dark slate-grey, and the bare skin around its eyes, the long, thick bill, and the legs are all bright red. Its call is a low drumming sound which is accompanied by wing-beating. The difficulty of seeing this shy bird in its dense habitat means that information on its behaviour is limited.

Recorded dietary items include sago shoots and insects, and it also swallows small stones to help break up its food. It is apparently monogamous, but little else is known of its courtship behaviour. The only known nest was a shallow bowl in the top of a rotting tree stump that was lined with wood chips and dry leaves. The two young chicks were entirely covered in black down typical of precocial newly hatched rails. The estimated population of 3,500–15,000 birds and the restricted range mean that the invisible rail is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Habitat loss has occurred through the harvesting of sago and conversion of the wetlands to rice cultivation, and the rail is eaten by local people. The described nest was in an area frequented by local villagers, so the rail may be more adaptable to habitat changes than had been thought. (Full article...)
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Women performing the traditional Sundanese dance Jaipongan

Photographer: Gunkarta; License: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA

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Siomay bicycle street hawker in Glodok area, Jakarta's Chinatown.
Chinese Indonesian cuisine (Indonesian: Masakan Tionghoa-Indonesia, simplified Chinese: 印尼中华料理; traditional Chinese: 印尼中華料理; pinyin: yìnní zhōnghuá liàolǐ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ìn-nî Tiong-hôa Liāu-lí) is characterized by the mixture of Chinese with local Indonesian style. Chinese Indonesians, mostly descendant of Han ethnic Hokkien and Hakka speakers, brought their legacy of Chinese cuisine, and modified some of the dishes with the addition of Indonesian ingredients, such as kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), palm sugar, peanut sauce, chili, santan (coconut milk) and local spices to form a hybrid Chinese-Indonesian cuisine. Some of the dishes and cakes share the same style as in Malaysia and Singapore, known as Nyonya cuisine by the Peranakan. (Full article...)

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Religions in Indonesia

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Andjar, 1930

Abisin Abbas (Indonesian: [aˈbisɪn aˈbas]; 26 February 1902 – 20 October 1961), better known by his pseudonym Andjar Asmara ([anˈdʒar asˈmara]), was a dramatist and filmmaker active in the cinema of the Dutch East Indies. Born in Alahan Panjang, West Sumatra, he first worked as a reporter in Batavia (modern-day Jakarta). He became a writer for the Padangsche Opera in Padang, where he developed a new, dialogue-centric style, which later spread throughout the region. After returning to Batavia in 1929, he spent over a year as a theatre and film critic. In 1930 he joined the Dardanella touring troupe as a writer. He went to India in an unsuccessful bid to film his stage play Dr Samsi.

After leaving Dardanella in 1936, Andjar established his own troupe. He also worked at a publishers, writing serials based on successful films. In 1940 he was asked to join The Teng Chun's company, Java Industrial Film, helping with marketing and working as a director for two productions. After the Japanese occupation, during which time he stayed in theatre, Andjar made a brief return to cinema. He directed three films in the late 1940s and wrote four screenplays, which were produced as films in the early 1950s. He published a novel, Noesa Penida (1950). Afterward he worked for the remainder of his life writing serials based on local films and publishing film criticism. Historians recognise him as a pioneer of theatre and one of the first native Indonesian film directors, although he had little creative control of his productions. (Full article...)

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