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Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ (About this sound listen) IN-də-NEE-zhə, /-ziə/ -zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndoneˈsia]), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [rɛpublik ɪndoneˈsia]),[lacks stress] is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than thirteen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. Its population of over 261 million people is the world's 4th largest, as well as the largest in the Muslim world. Java, the world's most populous island, contains more than half of the country's population.

Indonesia's republican form of government includes an elected parliament and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. Its capital is Jakarta, which 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 a high 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 China, the United States, Japan, Singapore and India.

Selected article

Timor timur.PNG

Indonesia occupied East Timor from December 1975 to October 1999. Originally a colony of Portugal, a 1974 coup led to decolonization. After a small-scale civil war, Indonesian military forces invaded in December 1975; by 1979 they had eliminated armed resistance to the occupation. Indonesia later included the territory as a province (flag pictured). For twenty-five years the people of East Timor were subjected to extrajudicial executions, torture, and starvation; a massacre in 1991 caused outrage around the world, and in 1996 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos-Horta for their ongoing efforts to peacefully end the occupation. A 1999 vote to determine East Timor's future resulted in an overwhelming majority in favor of independence, and in 2002 East Timor became an independent nation. The occupation claimed between 102,800 and 183,000 East Timorese lives, out of a population of less than 700,000. (Read more...)

Selected biography

Zubir Said (1907–87) was a Singaporean composer originally from the Minangkabau Highlands of Indonesia who composed the national anthem of Singapore, "Majulah Singapura". A primary-school classmate taught him how to make and play a flute, and in middle school, he learned to play the guitar and drums from fellow students and the keroncong group he was involved in. In 1928 at the age of 21, Zubir went to Singapore to make a living as a musician. There he worked as a score arranger and songwriter for Cathay-Keris Film Productions for 12 years, composing numerous songs for the company's Malay films. He is believed to have written about 1,500 songs, with fewer than 10 per cent of them ever recorded. (Read more...)

Did you know

Sam Poo Kong

  • ... that Muslims and followers of Chinese religious traditions pray together at Sam Poo Kong (pictured), the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang?
  • ... that Indonesian songwriter Dewiq was without Pay for three years before telling the public?
  • ... that shrimp, seaweed, and milkfish are found in Indonesia's Bone?

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Abdurrahman Wahid

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