Culture & Religion of Indonesia - The present day culture of Indonesia is an outcome of the interplay of age-old- traditions from the time of early migrants and the Western thought brought by Portuguese traders and Dutch colonists. The basic principles, which guide life include the concepts of mutual assistance or "gotong royong" and consultations or "musyawarah" to arrive at a consensus or "mufakat". Derived from rural life, this system is still very much in use in community life throughout the country. Though the legal system is based on the Old Dutch penal code, social life as well as the rites of passage is founded on customary or "adat" law, which differs from area to area. ''Adat'' law has been instrumental in maintaining gender equality in Indonesia.
Indonesian art forms are greatly influenced by religion. The famous
dance dramas of Java and Bali are derived from Hindu mythology and often
feature fragments from the Hindu epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata.
crafts of Indonesia vary in both medium and art form. As a whole the
people are artistic by nature and express themselves on canvas, wood,
metals, clay and stone. The batik process of waxing and dyeing
originated in Java centuries ago and classic designs have been modified
with modern trends in both pattern and technology. There are several
centres of Batik in Java, the major ones being Yogyakarta, Surakarta,
Pekalongan and Cirebon.
Indonesia is rich in handicrafts. Various forms of handicrafts
practiced are: woodcarvings for ornamentation and furniture, silverwork
and engraving from Yogyakarta and Sumatra; filgree from South Sulawesi
and Bali with different styles of clay, sandstone and wood sculptures.
These are but a few of the handicrafts found in Indonesia.
Religion in Indonesia: The majority (about 88%) of the
population follows Islam. In fact Indonesia is the nation with largest
Muslim population. However, freedom of religion is provided by the
Indonesian Constitution, which is defined in the First Principle of the
State Philosophy' "Pancasila", which upholds a "Belief in
One Supreme God". Others religions followed in Indonesia are
Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.