Talk:Indonesia

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becaks[edit]

A funny fact : the becak does not exist in Jakarta ! (They were banned as a traffic hazard.)

A few years ago, although becaks were banned, they were still used in the kampung areas of Jakarta. Isn't this still the case? --(WT-en) Singkong 01:47, 9 Jul 2005 (EDT)


Actually sometime arround 1999 the becaks were banned from Jakarta, not really as as a traffic hazzard, but because a meeting of international scale was set to take place in Jakarta - and becaks would definetely(?) ruin the pictures of a growing country.


To clarify, becaks were banned from metropolitan Jakarta in the late 80s, but they are still allowed to ply the roads anywhere outside the capital. So as soon as you cross over into the Greater Jakarta area (which includes Bogor, Tangerang, Depok and Bekasi) you will find them in abundance. In fact, as the city has expanded, the most accurate way of telling whether you have left the city proper is to check whether there are becaks on the road.

Status[edit]

How come there is no status for this article? --- (WT-en) Urang bandung 05:27, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

Good catch! You can go through Project:Country guide status to decide which status the best describes the article. Thanks. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 05:53, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Multiple places to visit, cities, regions, visa information. So I made it guide, CMIIW. --- (WT-en) Urang bandung 06:26, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

Indonesia's Chinese[edit]

C'mon, you can't just summarize the story of Indonesia's Chinese as "a discriminatory law". Any visitor to Indonesia who keeps his eyes open is going to start wondering eg. why so many businesses seem to be run by Chinese and yet why there are so few signs in Chinese anywhere. If you think there's something incorrect in the text, then suggest a change, don't delete the whole thing. (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:15, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

Okay, I just wanted to make a talk and you have started. Good. Yes, there was a persecution, as well as other thousands of non-Chinese political Indonesian prisoners under Soeharto regime. Do you write about that? Nope. But why Chinese only? You tell me. The fact is that in the present day, things have changed and no discriminatory law for any ethnics, including Chinese. If you want to tell about ethnic clashes, there are a lot of it: christian-moslems in Maluku, Dayak versus Madura in Borneo, Madura versus Betawi in Jakarta, Aceh separatism, Papua separatism, etc. But this is not wikipedia, isn't it? --- (WT-en) Urang bandung 07:22, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Actually, the History section does say Major General Suharto used this as a pretext to seize power, sidelining Sukarno, proclaiming a New Order (Orde Baru) and initiating a series of bloody anti-Communist purges that led to the death of 500,000-2,000,000 people (estimates vary widely).. But the section about the Chinese is under People, because they're spread throughout the country. All the other ethnic conflicts are localized, and they should be covered under Aceh, Maluku, Borneo, etc, although I just added a note about the whole transmigrasi thing. (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:37, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Well, since I can't edit this article without being reverted back by the "owner" of this article, let me tell you why I'd like the Indonesian-Chinese paragraph to be summarized into what I'd edited last time.
  1. The story about the 1998 riot is not relevant in the wikivoyage article. It is suitable for the more detailed historical article, such as in the wikipedia [1] and [2]. Do you want to write 1992 Los Angeles riot story in the Los Angeles wikivoyage article? No, because it is not the interest of travellers. Yes, you will find it in wikipedia, instead. [3]
  2. The figure 1500 Chinese killed during the riot has not been confirmed.
  3. The current law does not discriminate any ethnical background, including Indonesian Chinese. So why would tell out to date regulations to the coming travellers? I agree that history is important for the background, but as an overall history, because this is not an article about history. Let's put only current facts in the non-historical section in the wikivoyage article.
So what I did is to make sure a traveller who wants to come to Indonesia can get enough information about Indonesia, but not too much with unrelated travel story. I didn't want to hide the story about Indonesia's Chinese and the 1998 riot, because anybody can find it in the appropriate place. --- (WT-en) Urang bandung 12:10, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

I'm not sure how we can come to an agreement on this. I think historical background is very important for travellers, and that the "Understand" sections on Wikivoyage are usually much too short. (For example, the Los Angeles/South Central article most definitely should cover the 1992 riots, but it doesn't even exist yet.) Take a look at your favorite printed guidebook: they usually devoted pages and pages to history, culture, etc.

And I'll give my personal angle on this. When I first came to Jakarta, I was very surprised to see that Glodok (Jakarta's Chinatown) had almost no Chinese signage, that a young female ethnic Chinese colleague of mine was kept on a paranoically short leash by her parents (eg. she was never allowed to travel alone), and that all the Chinese people I met had completely Indonesian names and usually couldn't even speak Chinese, much less write it. This is all still true today, and none of it makes any sense without the history. And you know as well as I do that the 1500 figure will never be "confirmed" as long as TNI is around... the Wikipedia article says "over 1000", so I'm happy to change to that instead. (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:19, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

Excuse me to barge in like this, but it's only a matter of POV, isn't it? Sure, you are correct that some Chinese Indonesians are unable to write/read Chinese anymore, but there are also a lot of them who are fluent in them, as there are a lot of them who look down on the natives and teach their offspring to carry their ideas of supremacy of the Chinese race.
The practice of Chinese changing their name is not only happening in Indonesia (check out the Philippines and Thailand), but why is it you guys only put a stress on this matter in Indonesia's article? It's easy to misunderstood the situation in Indonesia when you read this article, when in fact it's more complicated than your shallow experience on one side of the story.
Here you are telling story of a paranoid Chinese Indonesian who are too afraid to travel in her own country. Well you know what? Some of my female best friends whom I personally know (and who are Chinese Indonesians) live alone, far away from their parents, and they travel wherever their heart want them to. And this is not uncommon, as if you really know about Indonesians, it's common for children to leave their homes to seek further study and live alone in as "anak kos". Racism is indeed a delicate matter, and for a foreigner who knows nothing it's better to be wiser on writing your POV (WT-en) Jiwa Matahari 04:35, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
We are not Wikipedia, our goal is to be fair. If over a Chinese were killed in riots under 10 years in the Philippines or Thailand, then it belongs in those articles as well (and I'm sure Wikipedia and Reuters would love to hear about it too). (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:34, 4 August 2007 (EDT)
I don't understand where you're going with saying "we're not Wikipedia". The fact is this is supposed to be a travel guide, not a special site dedicated for ignorant foreigners to put their own POV in. I guess a little bit info about Chinese Indonesian in the "People" section is acceptable, but the way it is right now, it's too biased.(WT-en) Jiwa Matahari 04:29, 13 August 2007 (EDT)
Providing the information is verifiably correct, I'm a firm believer that you can never have too much information in the understand box - I like to read about where I'm going to try and understand why things are the way they are in the place I'm going. (WT-en) Tim 13:29, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
I'll try to chime in here, since there's been a request for more voices. Refering to the concerns stated above:
  1. According to our country template, we should include historical information as part of the "deeper background information." Similar information appears in most country articles.
  2. It would be great if you could compromise on a number (ie the 1000 from wikipedia), otherwise fall back to something less specific like "hundreds"?
  3. Again, this is the "Understand" section, so some amount of historical context is good-- it's just a question of how much

Let's keep trying for consensus! (WT-en) Maj 14:56, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

First, I did not erase the whole paragraph, trying to hide something. Instead, I summarized it into something that is more reasonable for the coming travellers. I think the story about the Jakarta — not Indonesia as a whole — riot with an unconfirmed figure is too much to just to know that there is a Chinese ethnic in Indonesia. If you insist to put it, then the Understand section will not be finished. I can write the whole thing about Indonesian history, its culture, its people and so on, as I know a lot about them. If you want this article to be more like wikipedia, then I'm not going to help that.
Let me see what is the consensus for this. Right now, I'm feeling discouraging to contribute more in Wikivoyage. — (WT-en) Urang bandung 17:13, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
You say you're not trying to hide something, yet you replace a discussion of racism which includes the racially motivated murder of many people seven years ago with a new version which vaguely mentions that some sort of unspecificed discrimination occurred in the unspecificied past [4]. If you want to dispute something of this enourmous magnitude, you really need to cite some sort of convincing source of information that supports your view. -- (WT-en) Colin 21:58, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
So you meant that Wikivoyage is a place to put article of racism??? — (WT-en) Urang bandung 03:34, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Oh, and how far the magnitude of a discussion should a new user can raise?? How much percentage of a consensus that a new user can contribute?? — (WT-en) Urang bandung 04:05, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Did the person, who originally wrote about the riot, cite any sources that 1500 Chinese killed?? I didn't find his view was being supported by any credible convincing source of information. — (WT-en) Urang bandung 04:05, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Komnas HAM says [5] that there were "over 1100" people killed. I've changed the article to use this figure. (WT-en) Jpatokal 04:16, 7 August 2006 (EDT)

It is amusing to see that you guys seem so eager to elaborate on things happening in Indonesia that you haven't the slightest idea of, while there are shallow (or lack of) information about discrimination and killing in the articles of South Africa, Australia, United States, and other countries who obviously have discriminative law. I can't help to wonder, is it because Indonesia is a third world country, or is it because most Indonesians are Muslims? If this article will not be improved according to codes of fairness and objectivity, I will erase things that I see as unimportant and unnecessary. (WT-en) Jiwa Matahari 22:41, 3 August 2007 (EDT)

Nobody's singling out Indonesia here. Take a look: South Africa covers apartheid, Australia covers discrimination against aborigines, United States has a lengthy section on racism and its history. If there are factual mistakes in the Indonesia article, please fix them, but erasing things without consensus is generally considered vandalism. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:34, 4 August 2007 (EDT)
I've already given those countries' wikivoyage articles a visit before posting my previous posting here, and what I read on each of the articles are brief explanations of the discrimination, not a lengthy and repetitive like the one in Indonesia's article. Kinda ironic, because Australian Aborigines, South African natives, and Native Americans had gone through a bloody history of discrimination in their own land by the whites, and the discriminatory laws were (and still are) legitimate as they were sponsored by the white government. Is that why you you treat their articles differently? Because the cases in those countries are about you race mistreating the natives in their own land? Nobody seems to care to give the article information about the bloody history of western and Japanese colonization and the slavery, killing, raping, and exploitation the Native Indonesians had to endure. Or the proselytizing missionaries who took advantage of the poor and educated to convert them to Christianity which is still happening until today, in the world's most populous Muslim country? Or how rich and powerful Chinese Indonesians treat their poor and native peers like dirt on their own land? I say, if you writings are what you yourself call as "fair" and "balanced" writings, you must be a very ignorant person indeed. I say, if you could not provide such fair and balanced writing, be a gentleman and do not write your own POV in such delicate issue, moreover, in a travel guide.(WT-en) Jiwa Matahari 04:29, 13 August 2007 (EDT)

Fasting[edit]

Umm — sorry pak Urang, but again I'll have to revert most of your deletions. Even non-Muslims have to take note of fasting habits, both out of respect for Muslims, and because many restaurants and such close during the daytime fast. A traveller who doesn't know about this stuff may be caught unprepared (I'd hate to spend Ramadhan out in the countryside) and could even cause offense if he goes around chomping on a hamburger in public. (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:32, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

Agree. This is similar to how the US article emphasizes how holidays affect the traveller with closures rather than spending a whole lot of time on what the holidays mean. -- (WT-en) Colin 14:43, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Well, if you consider 30 days of fasting is a holidays, which is not, then so be it. And I stroke out your talk, as I refuse to be called with pak. — (WT-en) Urang bandung 17:27, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
One of the meanings of "holiday" is "holy day", so it's completely appropriate to call Ramadan a Muslim "holiday" (even if it's 30 days long). - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 19:15, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Yes, Ramadan is a holiday. Please familiarize yourself with the English language usage of the word "holiday" before taking offense at its use. Wikipedia has a fine explanation of the matter. In this instance, the meaning is some kind "of special culture-wide (or national) observance or activity". -- (WT-en) Colin 21:48, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Wow!! I did not have any bad motivation to edit this page. I tried to improve the page, because I know something about Indonesia. Now you accused me of taking an offense?? Because of my bad English word?? Now, I am feeling unwelcomed here. What an amazing community! Now I know why there are few new users contributing to Wikivoyage, because old-time English-native-speaking persons are 100% right on writing something. Editing their contributions is a sin for a new user. — (WT-en) Urang bandung 03:45, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
...and what's wrong with pak? That's what they call me too... (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:49, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
...there's nothing wrong to be called 'pak', but may I said that I refuse to be called that way?? Do I need to explain that?? Perhaps, you should ask the person if they would be addressed with pak or ibu or nona or anything. (WT-en) Urang bandung 03:45, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Why did you eliminate Hindu's holiday: Nyepi?? It's also a public holiday, nationwide, though it is centered in Bali. — (WT-en) Urang bandung 18:03, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Your comment is indented as if it were addressed to me, but I haven't edited the article in question lately. Please clarify whose comment you are addressing. -- (WT-en) Colin 21:48, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Ah, it's only just an indentation mistake. Why do you so sensitive with that?? Everybody knows what I meant is a person who deleted it. I'm just an unfamiliarized-English-words person. (WT-en) Urang bandung 03:45, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Sorry, my mistake — I didn't realize that Nyepi was a public holiday in the entire country. It's back there now. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:49, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

Arrgh[edit]

Pak/Bu Anon, I appreciate your contributions, but your English is horrible and much of the content you have added is completely irrelevant for a travel guide. I'll be going through Indonesia and Jakarta with a very heavy hand soon... (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:17, 31 August 2006 (EDT)

I had received permission from the owner of SumateraTourism.com for uploading the Toba Lake picture. The coat of arms picture was taken from Wikipedia.org website.
We need more that just "permission to upload." We need it licensed by the CC-bySA license. Please make sure the owner of the copyright understands this. This will allow his competitors to re-use the picture, for example. -- (WT-en) Colin 14:20, 31 August 2006 (EDT)
SumateraTourism is the official tourism promotion website of North Sumatera provinces. There is no competitor of the website.
That's not enough. We need their permission to license it under CC by-sa. (WT-en) Jpatokal 19:27, 1 September 2006 (EDT)
I had showed the term and they agree with it. Contact: Minister Jero Wacik, Mr Hutabarat from SumateraTourism and Mrs Suranti from Budpar/My-Indonesia. All Images from official Indonesian Tourism promotion agency websites are allowed to be uploaded into Wikivoyage tourism promotion pages.
Then you need to show some proof: the person's name and contact information, for example. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:59, 3 September 2006 (EDT)
It clearly states at the bottom of the website: "The images in this gallery are copyrighted and belong to their own respective owners, namely photographers. You may download and use the images from this gallery for personal uses. But you may not reproduce, retouch, change, distribute, or reuse them for any other purposes, especially commercial ones."
Your suggestion that these websites are willing to violate their own copylefts seems highly unlikely. Additionally, the websites don't own the images to most if not any of the images as suggested by this line: "The images in this gallery are copyrighted and belong to their own respective owners, namely photographers." The agencies/organizations can not unilaterally relicense works that do not belong to them. You must have permission of the photographers/copyright owner's permission to relicense the images. Even if the images are relicensed we can't use images with a logo or website pasted on it. The logo and website text will have to go from all images before we can use them. If the agencies are truely okay with us using the images that they do own the copyright to and are willing to relicense the images under our license then they make a press release to that effect. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:39, 6 September 2006 (EDT)
Ok, I've emailed the ministry and I await the ministry's response. Please do not upload any images until I have received a response. Please remind me tomorrow to provide the copyright status of the images here should I forget. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:49, 6 September 2006 (EDT)
especially commercial ones. I had the license for uploading picture to Free, non commercial, website without any commercial advertisement, as long as I put the name of the photographer, Mr Bambang Wijanarko and the name of website. Therefore I have their permit. The Indonesian government website usually have the same top domain: "go.id". They created their website for tourism promotion in Indonesia, therefore Wikivoyage can help their MAIN GOAL.
Actually you did not have permission to relicense the images under the license we use, because 1. Wikivoyage will eventually have advertisements. 2. The license we use allows anyone else even Travelocity.com, for example, to use the image for commercial purposes. 3. Our license permits anyone to change the license. While it wass kind of you to try an to get permission either you do no under stand the CC-by-SA 1.0 license or you did not properly explain the license. I've been working with several tourism agencies, recently and the biggest problem that I and the agencies have encountered are that these agencies have a very hard time to license image under the CC-by-SA 1.0 license. If I want to I can take the image and sell it if I want to because the license allows me. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 13:52, 6 September 2006 (EDT)

Re-arrgh. WTF? Brands of yogurt, a list of Jakarta's mayors and annotated lists of every single act of violence ever committed on Indonesian soil? Do you realize that this is supposed to be a travel guide? I'm starting to look forward to deleting all this crap. (WT-en) Jpatokal 12:06, 2 September 2006 (EDT)

I deleted some of it, shortening the history section. (WT-en) Pashley 04:55, 24 September 2006 (EDT)
So, I received one email from the ministry and they say that images can be used provided the author is noted and a link to the website is provided, however, I asked if they understood the CC-by-SA 1.0 license and they did not address that. Nor did they say if the images were available under the license. I've sent them another email and I'll hopefully get a clear answer. If the answer is not clear then I suggest discontinuing the use of the ministry's images. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 20:28, 7 September 2006 (EDT)

Traditional drink ingredients[edit]

Is is really helpful to have the indonesian name of all the individual ingredients with translation in parenthesis? I mean, I can understand it for exotic ingredients, but these are mostly everyday things in English too: ginger, vanilla, brown sugar.. I think all the parentheticals just break it up and make it harder to read. (WT-en) Texugo 00:50, 5 September 2006 (EDT)

Some foreign tourist are allergic to peanut, milk or other ingredients.

Indonesia edits[edit]

Moved from Project:Travellers' pub (WT-en) Hypatia 09:08, 21 September 2006 (EDT)

I just edited an article (Indonesia), summarizing a paragraph that I believe it is not related at all to the travellers (see the article's talk page). Then somebody reverted it back. He did give an explanation and I gave my last argument. I still think his explanation is not enough to revert my edit. Editing a page and then somebody reverted the page makes me unwelcomed to edit in that article, or even in any articles. My edit was not spam/vandalism, but something to improve the article. Sorry for this talk if it is not appropriate. I'm just a newbie here. (WT-en) Urang bandung 06:49, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

(Note: The revert in question is here [6]). I don't know enough to have an opinion, but I just want to point out that Jpatokal explained his edits and discussed in the talk page, so this is not exactly a question of bad behaviour; it is just a disagreement that should be discussed and sorted out, as you are doing. — (WT-en) Ravikiran
I'm still waiting for other opinions. — (WT-en) Urang bandung 13:06, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
I don't have a strong feeling about this particular set of edits, but recommend you take a look at Project:Consensus. You're doing the right thing by raising the issue for discussion. Also check out Project:The traveller comes first for some thoughts about priorities, what you should hold your ground on, and where to compromise. I don't think User:(WT-en) Jpatokal's edits are contrary to the spirit of either of these, but YMMV. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 13:55, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Nice pointer, Bill. This isn't an exceptional case; I'd like to find some compromise text that conveys your ideas, Ub, without going too far afield. The right place to discuss the content of Indonesia is Talk:Indonesia. --(WT-en) Evan 14:24, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

Warning[edit]

Regarding the warning box: When was this warning issued? I have seen nothing in the news to indicate that there is an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Indonesia, or is this some long standing warning. If so, then I wonder whether it requires such a prominent position. No country is safe. For example, Japan and and the West Coast of the US are prone to earthquakes. Australia has a high number of venomous snakes. However, none of these have specific 'warning boxes.' From personal experience, I would say that the street level violence in Indonesia (at least in Jakarta) is a greater threat to tourists than a terrorist attack. Anyway, I'm not questioning adding the warning, but if it is a long standing caution aimed at encouraging people to be vigilant, then I'm just wondering whether it is helpful to give it such a prominent position or just leads to more paranoia. I don't know. Thoughts? (WT-en) WindHorse 00:54, 6 February 2007 (EST)

I notice that Jpatokal has already solved the question. The box has gone. (WT-en) WindHorse 00:56, 6 February 2007 (EST)
The U.S. State Department apparently updated a very old warning (November 2005) just last month. They don't say anything about advising against "all but essential" travel, but they mention U.S. government employees must have permission before traveling to several areas of the country.
I think Indonesia, after several other countries (most notably Iraq) is home to some of the most active terrorist organizations. Such as the Islamic Defender Front, and probably best known Jemaah Islamiyah, but since there haven't been any(?) attacks since the Bali bombing I think a notation should be made in the "Stay Safe" section, but I don't think a warning box is the right way to go. -- (WT-en) Andrew H. (Sapphire) 01:12, 6 February 2007 (EST)
If the Warning Box was added in response to an old State Department up-date, then I think that we can definitely delete it. Dangers are part of life. We don't need warnings for every possible minor threat. Warning boxes, in my opinion, should be reserved only for very dangerous situations, like (civil) wars or places recently hit by a natural disaster or epidemic. As Andrew states, less 'acute' cases can be dealt with under the 'Stay safe' section. (WT-en) WindHorse 01:40, 6 February 2007 (EST)
If you actually look at the Stay safe section, you'll see plenty of coverage. I'm particularly proud of the first sentence: Alas, Indonesia has been and continues to be wracked by every pestilence known to man: earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, terrorism, civil strife, corruption and crime make the headlines on a depressingly regular basis. (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:07, 6 February 2007 (EST)


Warning: Surely Indonesia shoul dhave a permanent warning? No-one I know will ever go there, as we are aware of this: http://www.indonesia.li. I am based in the UK and growing numbers, it just isn't worth the risk, quite apart of ethical issues. No offence, but come on.

For the record. Despite global economic conditions and questionable travel warnings, visitors to Indonesia in the first 6 months of 2009 were up 2.6% to 2.97 million. Well on track for 6 million foreign visitors in 2009 as there were in 2008. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 01:26, 12 September 2009 (EDT)

Bowlderization[edit]

I rolled back a bowlderizing change that took most of the negative (and colorful) language out of this guide. --(WT-en) Evan 08:32, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

Subregions[edit]

I've reverted the removal of the subregion listings. As in the USA article, the country is just too big for the top divisions to be sensible if you don't tell what's in them. (I wouldn't oppose a nifty color-coded region map though.) (WT-en) Jpatokal 14:41, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Then go ahead and use the lists in the subregion articles as reference, as soon as you've figured out a way to do it that doesn't look horrible and set a bad example. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 16:01, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
Project:Geographical hierarchy#Listing sub-regions?(WT-en) cacahuate talk 16:46, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
I'll reformat using the Regionlist template, and so that the "lists" only includes the other islands (eg. "Java" won't list West/Central/blahblah, just Madura, because otherwise it wouldn't be clear where you can find it). (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:10, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Move Embassies listing to new page[edit]

I would like to move the Embassies listing to a dedicated page (i.e. Embassies in Indonesia) because it is a very tedious list and clutters up the main page. Does anyone disagree with this? I think some other sections could also be migrated to dedicated pages, the embassy listing is the largest. (WT-en) Beggs 03:58, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

The embassy listings should be shunted out to Jakarta, and any consulates to the relevant cities. But other than that, we don't usually split up country pages, see eg. Japan for an even bigger one... (WT-en) Jpatokal 04:21, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
The list of embassies is too cluttered (and we don't need the information of the consulate/embassy of every country), so I've only kept the embassies of 'major' countries and other ASEAN members in the list. (WT-en) chinzh 09:08, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Flattened out hierarchy for Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, Papua[edit]

Since it serves no purpose to have one region (eg. Maluku) divided into only two regions (North/South Maluku), I've merged the following three pairs: West and East Nusa Tenggara into Nusa Tenggara, North and South Maluku into Maluku, and Western New Guinea/West Papua/Papua into Papua. These can then be more naturally subdivided into their constituent islands. (WT-en) Jpatokal 08:02, 15 January 2009 (EST)

Other destinations[edit]

Could we combine Borobudur and Prambanan into one "other destination" bullet point? That's effectively what I did on the regions map. It would seem to my inexperienced eye that travelers would not visit one without the other, since they're right next to each other. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:40, 2 February 2009 (EST)

makes a lot of sense, particularly given the huge number of possibilities for the list of 9 destinations. A very large percentage of visitors to Borobudur and Prambanan would do so in a combined visit as you say.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:48, 22 September 2009 (EDT)

City telephone codes[edit]

Amlapura (0363), Ampah (0522), Amuntai (0527), Amurang (0430), Atambua (0389), Bajawa (0384), Balikpapan (0542), Banda Aceh (0651), Bandar Lampung (0721), Bandung (022), Bagan Siapi-Api (0767), Bangkinan (0762), Bangli (0366), Banjarmasin (0511), Banjarnegara (0286), Bantaeng (0413), Banyuwangi (0333), Batam (0778), Baturiti (0368), Bima (0374), Bireun (0644), Bitung (0438), Blangpidie (0659), Blitar (0342), Blora (0296), Bogor (0251), Bojonegoro (0353), Bondowoso (0332), Bontang (0548), Bumiayu (0289), Cianjur (0263), Cilacap (0282), Cirebon (0231), Deli (0261), Denpasar (0361), Dumai (0765), Ende (0381), Garut (0262), Gorontalo (0435), Indramayu (0234), Jakarta (021), Janeponto (0419), Jayapura (0967), Jember (0331), Jogyakarta (0274), Jombang (0321), Kalabahi (0386), Karawang (0267), Kasongan (0536), Kediri (0354), Kendal (0294), Kendari (0401), Ketapang (0534), Klaten (0272), Kotamubagu (0434), Kuala Kurun (0537), Kudus (0291), Kuningan (0232), Kupang (0380), Lamongan (0322), Langsa (0641), Larantuka (0383), Lhokseumawe (0645), Longnawang (0555), Lumajang (0334), Luwuk (0461), Madiun (0351), Magelang (0293), Majalengka (0233), Makale (0423), Malang (0341), Malino (0417), Manado (0431), Mataram (0370), Maumere (0382), Medan (061), Meulaboh (0655), Muntok (0716), Nangapinoh (0568), Negara (0365), Ngabang (0563), Nganjuk (0358), Nunukan (0556), Pacitan (0357), Padang (0751), Padangsidempuan (0634), Painan (0756), Palangkaraya (0536), Palembang (0711), Palu (0451), Pekanbaru (0761), Pematang Siantar (0622), Pamekasan (0324), Pandeglang (0253), Pangkalan Bun (0532), Pangkep (0410), Pasuruan (0343), Pemalang (0284), Ponorogo (0352), Pontianak (0561), Prabumulih (0713), Probolinggo (0335), Prapat (0625), Puncak (0255), Purwakarta (0264), Purwodadi (0292), Purwokerto (0281), Purworejo (0275), Putussibau (0567), Rangkasbitung (0252), Rantau Prapat (0624), Rengat (0769), Rembang (0295), Ruteng (0385), Sabang (0652), Salatiga (0298), Samarinda (0541), Sampang (0323), Sampit (0531), Sangata (0549), Sanggau (0564), Semarang (024), Serang (0254), Sibolga (0631), Singaraja (0362), Singkawang (0562), Sinjai (0482), Sintang (0565), Situbondo (0338), Sekayu (0714), Selat Panjang (0763), Selayar (0414), Soe (0388), Solo (0271), Subah (0285), Subang (0260), Sukabumi (0266), Sumedang (0261), Sumenep (0328), Surabaya (031), Tahuna (0432), Takalar (0418), Tanah Grogot (0543), Tanggul (0336), Tanjung Balai (0263), Tanjung Batu (0779), Tanjung Balai Karimun (0777), Tanjung Pinang (0771), Tanjung Redep (0554), Tanjung Selor (0552), Tapaktuan (0656), Tarakan (0551), Tasikmalaya (0265), Tebingtinggi (0621), Tegal (0283), Tembilahan (0768), Tuban (0356), Tulungagung (0355), Ujungpandang (0411), Una-Una (0408), Waingapu (0387), Watampone (0481), Wonogiri (0273)

I rescued this list, since I figure it might be useful for editors working on city guides. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:08, 6 February 2009 (EST)

The Indonesian Rupiah[edit]

Can we please decide on a consistent way to write the Indonesian currency. I note from here [7] that Wikivoyage does not much like standard international currency codes. So the obvious choice of IDR is out. The Wikivoyage currency style guidelines seem to imply that 'rupiah' written in full and always after the amount would be appropriate, eg '375,000 rupiah'. More commonly used in Indonesian articles at the moment is RP 375,000 or Rp 375,000. Whichever, a formal guideline would be appreciated.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:19, 11 September 2009 (EDT)

"Rupiah" is a bit on the long side, so "Rp XXX" is the best choice. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:12, 12 September 2009 (EDT)
Thanks and will use Rp (no dot) XXX in future and hope that others do as well. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 01:20, 12 September 2009 (EDT)

Indonesia's most popular attraction sort of disappears[edit]

It is jarring and really odd that the single biggest attraction for visitors to Indonesia (by a huge margin) is almost invisible here. Bali is not listed in either Cities or Other Destinations nor is it mentioned in the regional text. As there is a message not to change any of the Other Destinations in this article, I would suggest that Anyer (pleasant as it is) is replaced with Bali in Other Destinations and that Bali is at least mentioned in the Nusa Tengarra text in the Region List table.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:38, 22 September 2009 (EDT)

I agree that Bali should be on the list but instead of Anyer i would say that Baliem Valley could also be removed because the article is non-existent and much less of touristic interest. (WT-en) jan 11:24, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
Yeah. Baliem could also go, particularly as the article is empty. Jani, great new food pics. Do you have a view on this matter also? --(WT-en) Burmesedays 02:38, 23 September 2009 (EDT)
No one seems to be too bothered about this issue, so I will replace Baliem Valley (a sadly empty article) with Bali. This will give Bali at least some prominence on this page. It does after all account for 80% of all international visitors to Indonesia. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 06:43, 24 September 2009 (EDT)

Change to regional structure of the Indonesian article[edit]

The regional structure of this article has been changed to reflect Bali as a top level region and not as part of Nusa Tenggara. There is a discussion about this on the Bali Talk page. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 05:43, 25 September 2009 (EDT)

Jalan[edit]

Is Jl an acceptable abbreviation of Jalan when giving an address? It is used a lot in WT articles but I do not think it should be as it means zip to a visitor who is not acquainted with Indonesia.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:49, 27 September 2009 (EDT)

I think it's OK to abbreviate in addresses, but should be expanded in text. ("Jalan Jaksa is where the backpackers hang out. Recommended: Losmen Bule Bodoh, Jl. Jaksa nr. 13, blah blah.") Major region/city articles should (and, for most part, already do) discuss addressing a bit up top and note this. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:56, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

Cities[edit]

Somehow a 10th city snuck in there. I am removing Surabaya which is a bit of a wasteland as far as travellers are concerned (apart from business travellers). Please discuss here if you think that is wrong. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 06:55, 16 January 2010 (EST)

Other destinations[edit]

I have added Lombok and the nearby Gili Islands as they have been publicly proclaimed by the President, the Vice President, the Minister of Tourism and others as Indonesia's 2nd most important tourism destination. As there is a giant lizard and a beach in the list I thought it appropriate to put the 2nd most important destination in there as well. -- (WT-en) felix, 20:06, 22 September 2010 (EDT)

Geographic spread is also a factor. In any case, we don't take much notice of political posturing here. This list is limited to 9 and there should be discussion before any change is made. I am therefore removing Lombok as a listed OD. By all means put forward the case for replacing one of the other 9.
Personally I think Anyer is a poor selection on anything other than geography. Komodo is far more than a lizard though - it is an extremely important national park, and well, an all-round wondrous place.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:04, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

Looking at that list again, I actually think Bali should not be listed as an other destination as it is also a top level region. Also, reading back on this page, that was my fault! That frees up one spot which I propose should be Baliem Valley in Papua. That insanely OtBP spot was in the original list and got dropped in favour of Bali. It would be good to have an OD way out in the east. I am also far from convinced that Anyer deserves a spot and that Borobudur and Prambanan could be listed as one as proposed way back in 2009.

My proposed list is:

  • Baliem Valley - superb trekking into the lands of the Lani, Dani and Yali tribes
  • Borobudur - one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world located in Central Java province; often combined with a visit to the equally impressive Hindu ruins at nearby Prambanan
  • Bunaken - one of the best scuba diving destinations in Indonesia, if not the world
  • Lake Toba - the largest volcanic lake in the world

Those 8 would be give spread of Sumatra - 2, Java - 2, Sulawesi 2, Nusa Tenggara - 1, Papua - 1. One of the immense national parks in Kalimantan would make a good 9th, but the major parks do not even have WT articles :(. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:51, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

Sorry (WT-en) Burmesedays, we are overlapping edits, I was writing the comments below at the same time as your recent post...


Yes of course there is more to Komodo than lizards, giant or otherwise. I was making that statement in a rather light hearted and flippant manner. It is a while back now that I listed Lombok in the article and left the note above. I observe now that I overlooked signing and date stamping my comment at that time, (now retro fixed).
Certainly Anyer is no where near as significant a destination as Lombok, or Lombok/Sumbawa. Indeed it has a broken and somewhat run-down feel to it. I was there just a few days ago and was surprised to see that it has slid back even further in the last few years since I last visited there. The beaches are still quite attractive but the tourism facilities and general feel of the place is presenting as a good example of how not to do it. The long grinding approach past the Krakatoa steel works and industrial area is also a bit of a negative and the access road to the coast has degenerated into a broken pot-holed disaster covered with heavy transport vehicles that appear to ply the road 24/7. I will not delve into commentary on the local regency and its political roots but anyone familiar with the area will understand there are a few issues there. Apparently the road is of little concern and any previous remedial works appear to have been abandoned long ago. The local residents are wearing masks and performing valiant efforts with garden hoses to try and keep the huge dust clouds abated from their living spaces. It is not quite post apocalyptic, more pre-apocalyptic. Once at the beach things lighten up a bit but I saw no significant numbers of tourists of any kind and I would certainly not hold it up as a significant Indonesian destination other than for students of failed public works programs and those wishing to visit dated and run down beach side resorts. As it is the nearest touristic or day tripper beach destination to Jakarta (aside from Ancol) it is all a bit sad. It gets better further along the coast road to the south west but still, it needs to go from the article asap.
In regard to Lombok it and the accompanying Gili Islands are a significant Indonesian domestic and international destination and my personal view is that Lombok should be in the list. My personal take on this is that Lombok (including Gili Islands and Mount Rinjani is a far more significant destination for travellers than either Tana Toraja, Prambanan, Lake Toba, Bunaken, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, or Komodo, and most certainly more significant than Anyer. My suggestion is that Anyer should be deleted and replaced with Lombok and that Tana Toraja, Prambanan, Lake Toba, Bunaken should be reviewed for suitability. Sulawesi should be represented somehow and most certainly Bromo and Toba are important sights. There is no argument concerning Borobudur/Jogakarta and Bali being significant destinations. Although it has its own set of negatives Jakarta is also a significant destination and many regional SE Asian visitors go there for the shopping. Bandung is a beautiful city and could possibly be considered for the list. So at this point, even if there are no other changes made I most certainly suggest that Anyer is de-listed and replaced with Lombok.-- (WT-en) felix 12:11, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Absent a suitable Kalimantan NP article, I would be happy to see Lombok there as the 9th other destination in the list I proposed.
Felix, cities and other destinations are covered in separate sections, and the cities you mention are already listed in the relevant section of this article.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 12:19, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Aggh - overlapped again...
BTY (WT-en) Burmesedays, I think your proposed inclusions all have great merit and you have done an excellent job of providing destinations of geographic/socio-cultural diversity and touristic interest. I only mentioned Jakarta and Bandung in the context of being significant (city) destinations, rather than for (other destination) list inclusion, sorry I should phrase my comments a bit (lot) better.--(WT-en) felix 12:22, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
I note that (WT-en) Burmesedays has just re-listed Lombok and support this. However I feel that any of the suggestions made in his list above may offer more merit than Anyer and would offer more interesting destination diversity. Also poor Anyer is in a bit of a mess despite the sweeping sandy beaches and still appealing seaward aspect toward the setting sun.The Anyer article is also rather un-developed-- (WT-en) felix 12:58, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
What are you up to (WT-en) Burmesedays, in this edit [8] you have pulled Lombok out again. I am not sure about this idea of an island not being applicable for listing as an Other destination but when I lasted checked Bali is entirely surrounded by water and that island is still in the list. I think it would be unfortunate to exclude Lombok from being listed as an Indonesian destination as it is a significant one to both international and domestic tourism and any of its individual destinations of Mount Rinjani, Gili Islands or the mainland surely are of more interest and significant to the traveller than is somewhere like Anyer beach, which I note is still in the list. I know you are aware of the locality as you are responsible for a very significant amount of the content in the articles for that destination. What is your plan with this list? cheers -- (WT-en) felix 09:17, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
The list is up for discussion here Felix. Lombok was pulled out as it was added without discussion, and its addition made the list up to 10, when the limit is 9.
Personally my view is that the list should be the 8 proposed above on August 22nd, and absent any article for one of the major Kalimantan parks, then Lombok should be the 9th. It is though normal to leave proposals like that open for comment for at least two weeks before making any change.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:21, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Well it was at least added with a note on the Discussion page at the time. I am assuming the lack of contrary opinion for nearly 12 months may indicate there is no apparent objection to the listing. Of course you are correct about the 2 weeks but I was thinking that the 11 prior months of being listed in the article sort of took care of that. You are also of course entirely correct about the max limit of 9. I hinted in my original notes here last September that Anyer should go and I should have been a lot more clear about that at that time. Instead I only added Lombok and left Anyer as I felt a consensus was required to remove it at that time. Then I must admit, I just forgot about it. For what it is worth I support your current proposal as per the list you proposed above on 22 aug 2011, with the further suggested addition/reinstatement of Lombok. If you want to leave it for 2 weeks to see if there are any other views on this then that does not bother me. So if we are looking for a vote here then you certainly have my support for the proposed changes.-- (WT-en) felix 12:56, 26 August 2011 (EDT)

An aside, I stress again that Bali is there in error and has to go. That's my fault if you read back :). We should not have a top level region also listed as an Other destination. So, if no objections by September 5th, the proposed 9 are:

  • Baliem Valley - superb trekking into the lands of the Lani, Dani and Yali tribes in remote Papua
  • Borobudur - one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world located in Central Java province; often combined with a visit to the equally impressive Hindu ruins at nearby Prambanan
  • Bunaken - one of the best scuba diving destinations in Indonesia, if not the world
  • Lake Toba - the largest volcanic lake in the world

--(WT-en) burmesedays 11:26, 29 August 2011 (EDT)

Looks like 2 weeks+ has passed and there is no commentary opposing The list by (WT-en) burmesedays. Accordingly it would be appropriate to go ahead and proceed with his recommendations unless anyone has an alternative proposal. Certainly he has my support as indicated above. -- (WT-en) felix 10:45, 10 September 2011 (EDT)

Boring Encyclopedia[edit]

It's been years, and the article still managed to get me sleepy. There is literally too much useless information in the article, why can't it be fun and relevantly informative for travelers like Wikivoyage's Thailand or even (good gracious) Laos? Please limit the information on the things that's essentials for travelers only, for other stuff they can visit Wikipedia. God, even Wikipedia's Indonesia is more fun than this page.(WT-en) Jiwa Matahari 03:51, 10 August 2011 (EDT)

Please do plunge forward and make it more interesting.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 06:19, 10 August 2011 (EDT)
(WT-en) Jiwa Matahari, if you have a good look at some of the more prominent Thai articles such as Bangkok you will notice that one editor (WT-en) Globe-trotter is responsible for a great deal of the content and the 'lively' writing in those articles. By all means emulate his efforts. -- (WT-en) felix 12:28, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Hopefully, the expanded and livened-up See and Do sections will have gone someway to re-dressing that.--(WT-en) burmesedays 11:42, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
Yes, some good improvements and a lot tidier now. I note that (WT-en) Jiwa Matahari does not appear to have returned despite their earlier protests about the articles quality. Apparently they did not feel inclined to do anything about it despite our encouragement. -- (WT-en) felix 12:45, 29 August 2011 (EDT)

Surfing at Bank Banko[edit]

I just toned down the statement that Indonesia was the "premier" surfing destination as there may be some other global contenders. I would like to hear some opinions on the inclusion of Banko Banko (Desert Point) in SW Lombok in the Surfing section of the article. It is a significant surfing cult destination and has some significant activity on its break. [9], [10]-- (WT-en) felix 12:48, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

Cities and tourist destinations[edit]

I'm new here but I've lived in Indonesia for the past 11 years. I'm curious about why a traveler only gets to see a short list of cities and other destinations available in Indonesia, and where a traveler would have to go to find a more comprehensive list.

A few examples:
JaBoDeTaBek:
Bogor- the tea plantations and taman safari
Jakarta- Ancol- the water park, the architecture park, the amusement park, etc.

Semarang:
Sam Poo Kong Temple (Confucian?), Watu Gong temple (Buddhist), the old Dutch church Gereja Blendug, and a few Hindu and Buddhist temples spread about, Lawang Sewu (which is now at least partially the HQ for PT Kereta Api), Rumah Sembayang Mr. Oei (a former sugar king of Asia) next to PolDa, old Semarang, etc.
Ambarawa: the train museum
Bandungan: scenic roads, a wonderful traditional market for fruit and vegetables, Gedung Songo park which features heated springs and a hot pool, 9 Hindu candi, horseback riding on the trails and breathtaking scenery

Purwokerto/Banyumas:
It doesn't have much of interest, but there is a water park, an abandoned sugar factory that dates back to the Dutch era, a 5-star hotel (Aston Imperium), and nearby areas that are of worth.
Baturraden: Lokawisata (man-made park with various features), Wanawisata/Palawi (natural park), Baturadden Adventure Forest, Balai Besar Peternakan Sapi Perah (BBPTU) where they raise dairy cows and sell the milk, Mount Slamet and the other smaller mountains next to it, over 100 hotels, motels and cottages, including starred hotels Green Valley (actually below Baturraden's area near Rempoa), Queen Garden (which is probably the best in Baturraden and has the coolest temperatures, as well as an amazing panoramic view from the lobby and some rooms), Moro Seneng (which has a nightclub/karaoke, restaurants, fish therapy ponds, a variety of animals spread out throughout its grounds, a swimming pool [very cold!] and Rosenda Hotel & Cottages (which has a beautiful view of the nearby mountains, forest and valley that is mostly unobstructed).
Curug Gede: Yasnaya Polyana (a writer's retreat/cooperative garden/landscaped tourist attraction named after Tolstoy's birthplace in Russia), which is remotely (access through a single-lane road) located partway up the mountain and is very beautiful but relatively unknown.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Where does stuff like this get put?ReveurGAM (talk) 08:44, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

well wikivoyage like wikitravel its previous incarnation - is a work in progress is the simple answer. Dont expect to find easy answers - it all depends on those prepared to put the timne in to work on material... your list here is a good to-do-list if you wanted to make one. sats (talk) 09:19, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
So, can you answer my question as to where to put it since the city and OD lists are restricted in size? If you can tell me that, then I can get started. :) ReveurGAM (talk) 11:03, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
You can put more cities and other destinations in the underlying regions lists. Information about attractions and activities can be placed under "See" and "Do", either here if it spans the whole country, or in the specific destination article. Globe-trotter (talk) 19:08, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Rice[edit]

"Across the entire archipelago the main staple is rice (nasi), served up in many forms including"
I'm really sorry but this is not accurate. While it is true that rice has become the staple food of many parts of the country, it is not the main staple of the entire archipelago. There are areas that have always used sweet potatoes (ubi) or cassava, and, in recent years, with the upward trend of rice prices, I've seen news about areas that have switched to cassava. Some areas don't have rice because they don't have land to grow it and, especially in the case of smaller islands, can't afford to import it. I suggest that "entire" be replaced with "much of the". What do you think?ReveurGAM (talk) 08:54, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

To find generalisations in wikivoyage about things like that simply require editing - unlikely to elicit long conversations - the decline of rice as staple can also be an indicator of rise of poverty and malnutrition considering how cassava is hardly nutritious... so that is a valid change - sats (talk) 09:21, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Previously, I surged forward and made several edits to the page...Then I thought: "What if I've leaped before I've looked?" So, thank you! ReveurGAM (talk) 11:05, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

History[edit]

I see this has been brought up before but, as someone viewing the article for the first time, I was struck by one thing I thought odd: the incredibly long history section.

As a long-term resident, and someone interested in history, I have no trouble with this. However, as a traveler, I think it is way too much information for something that is supposed to be a travel guide. How does much of the history section help a traveler? How does it fit in with the expressed desire that Wikivoyage be a travel guide (yes, travel books often have historical sections, but when is enough enough?) or, as it says on Wikivoyage:Welcome, Wikipedians - "Wikivoyage is targeted towards print and off-line versions. We want travellers on the road to be able to access our articles. They should be able to access our articles without an Internet connection, or even keep a dog-eared printout in their back pocket. The print version matters!" The history section makes it much more than what can be stuffed in most people's back pocket, don't you think.

I agree with a comment made years ago that much of it should be on WP, not here. Just my opinion, of course.ReveurGAM (talk) 09:06, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Most articles have disproportionate sizes of 'understand' or 'history' in relation to the other information provided - in some cases national history might be better served being pointed to wikipedia for a more comprehensive understanding of the issues... sats (talk) 09:24, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
History section should be cut down heavily. Japan#History is a pretty good example. Globe-trotter (talk) 20:42, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Edits[edit]

I've made a significant number of edits to parts of this article, not just for typos but also to make corrections, add content and make it a tiny bit more friendly (I hope). I haven't done the whole article, yet, but the sections "understand", "eat", "regions", "go" (to and within) and a few others are done. I am still not happy with the history section but, without consensus, I am unwilling to take up the task of paring it down to a reasonable size. IF you have any questions about what I've edited, or you don't agree with something, I'd greatly appreciate your feedback and conversation prior to changing it.ReveurGAM (talk) 18:53, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I think I've done everything up to about "Talk" now, but I'd still like to hear more feedback on "History" before I go back and try to whittle away at it.

I had a strange experience: I edited the intro paragraph a bit to add Brunei but, after I saved it, most of the article was gone! I managed to figure out how to undo that but keep Brunei (whew!), but I'm wondering if there is a character count restriction on the editor that would've caused that. How can I avoid that in the future if I need to edit a page's intro? Thanks! ReveurGAM (talk) 16:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi ReveurGAM, first up I would like to warmly welcome you here and commend you for doing so much work on the article. You obviously have a good working knowledge of Indonesia and some experience there. That is apparent from your commentary, and the level of 'general' knowledge that comes through in your edits.
However there are some issues with some of your edits and new content. Whilst having absolutely no desire what-so-ever to dampen your enthusiasm and vigour it may be better to bring them up quickly before you do a larger body of editing on the article.
Some issues are really quite minor and involve the MoS. Best you have look over that for yourself but as a couple of minor pointers; the article uses UK style English, not US. You may not even be aware you are using En (US), especially if it is your own 'native' version of the language, or a spell checker may be taking some of it's own liberties with the text. If you find it hard to pick it then when editing the WV articles that are in the En (UK) realm of the world then consider just temporarily changing your spell checker prefs whilst editing. Also Capitalising such as POS-OJEK is not to MoS, something like pos ojek, (maybe Pos Ojek), or Pos Polisi, or Kantor Pos, Kantor Desa is preferred.
I am also concerned that you are writing in a slightly 'ethnocentric' style, please work back through your work, (and include any that is not yours), and try to neutralise that.
We strive to do this as many users of these guides do not necessarily view the world through your own cultural filter. They may stlll be English speaking, such as Indian, Singaporean, Malaysian, Australian, or from UK or NZ, but those societies are all subtly different, even though may be quite fluent in English. Some users of these guides may be from South Americal cultures, Europe, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. To them an overtly N American style or perspective may 'feel' quite odd and could even feel excluding. So we always endeavour to avoid refering anything back to a 'base' culture, as that 'base' can never be synonymous in a global context.
Content such as this is also concerning;
"However, Indonesia resembles America at the dawn of radio and affordable transportation with one significant difference: the water barriers."
This has some possible issues in the same context as mentioned above, but for subtly different reasons.
Although it is a 'travellers' perspective comment it embodies both a subtly 'ethnocentric' POV, and it really does not seem to be a supportable statement, contemporary Indonesia has an entirely different context, politically, socially, geographically and geo-politically, it is also an entirely different era.
There are also a few concerns in matters of detail and some of 'fact'.
Fact is of course a worrying definition, but some things, such as describing a Visa need to be correct if they are defined. So I will use this as an example.
A Visa-on-Arrival is now described as a "Visa pengunjung" in the article.
This is not a term I am familiar with at all and I am a bit confused where you have got it from. Of course the literal meaning is understood, but you have 'defined' it by that term, and that is not correct (factually). The Indonesian government refers to it as a "Visa Kunjungan Saat Kedatangan" in the Regulation of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Republic of Indonesia Nomor M.HH-03.GR.01.06, Tahun 2010. And indeed that is it's name, either that or the more 'generic' and colloquial; VoA, Visa on Arrival, or Tourist Visa on Arrival. It is a Index B-213 Visa Kunjungan Saat Kedatangan.
I mention this as I think it is important not to introduce a term that is not in general use. We are not 'encyclopedic', this is a travel wiki, but still we need to be really clear and concise on some matters, like visa procedures, road laws and similar.
We are not 'encyclopedic', this is a travel wiki, but still we need to be really clear and concise on some matters, like visa procedures, road laws and similar. Please have a look at the outline headed Lively writing is welcome, also have a look at the general content of the article on Tone. I most certainly don't wish to dampen your 'writing from the travellers perspective', so it is important to refer you there as it is well defined in the project's guidelines and policies. That is an essential ingredient here and an underpinning of the entire project. Be fair also has some pointers..
I originally wrote some of the following in a slightly tongue in cheek manner in response to some of the discussion on Ikan Kekek's Talk page, but I have dragged it over here instead as it might provide an example of how easy it can be to dig a bit of a hole for yourself when explaining something quite trivial, and yet informing for a traveller.
I noticed this edit in the Indonesia article discussing potato crisps (alt:potato chips).
This 'food' or 'snack' item is described thus in a handy Wikipedia article; "...known as a crisp in British English and Hiberno-English; as a chip in American, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, Singaporean, Hong Kong, South African and Jamaican English, and as either a chip or wafer in Indian English . That is a thin slice of potato that is deep fried or baked until "crunchy".
These are not potato 'chips' as in the style of American 'fries' or Dutch 'friets', 'patat'; batons of potato that are immersion-fried in boiling oil, and generally called kentung goreng [11] in Indonesia.
In a recent edit in the Indonesia article you provided this information;
"What North Americans call chips and people from the British Isles call crisps (not to be confused with kentang goreng, or French fries) are keripik to Indonesians. Potato chips exist, but they play second fiddle to cassava chips, and you can also find chips made from other fruits and tubers, such as sweet potatoes and bananas. Keripik is not as commonly eaten as kerupuk...".
I am familiar hearing these potato crisps (alt) potato chips described as krispi] in Indonesia. However "Potato chips" are also readily described as a keripik kentang. Wikipedia have an article on Keripik kentang, so I guess I should also link to our sister Wiki.
Somewhat confusingly Krispi may also include a thin 'crisp' biscuit, (atl) En: cracker. But that version is often not quite a cracker, more a thin biscuity wafer. Just to be really confusing, that can also be generalised quite broadly, as it is here. This of course must not be confused with Krispi Kreme which has made an appearance in the region, along with the ubiquitous Dunkin' Donuts, they are of course rather unpleasant and odd smelling donuts and both have made themselves known in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Rather the biskuit 'krispi' are like these Chrispy Crackers by AIM Indonesia, who also make regular crackers, and also some (reasonably) regular crackers and "puffs" with sugar sprinkled on them, which is really quite weird. I recall the Aneka Square Puff shown on that same website are lacking the addition of the sugar sprinkles.
I am not even going to touch that edit because my head hurts from writing the preceding discourse, however that detail in the article does need tidying up, it is not quite 'right' and therefore needs editing, obviously without anywhere the amount of detail provided above.
A quite skim read provides some other content that is concerning, such as;
"Many roads in older cities are left-overs from the Dutch era and, thus, are small, winding and in poor shape"
Yet Indonesia's cities had many broad tree line boulevards, and many of them remain. The excellent Collectie Tropenmuseum collection of historic Indonesian images from the Dutch colonial era will bear ready testimony to that. BTY, It is more readily accessible from WikiCommons than from the Museum collection. There are many elsewhere but for the moment I have forgotten where they are. I have some images myself that depict Surabaya, Jakarta and other Indonesian cities of the colonial period, and even well into the 1960s that show wide tree lined boulevards. I did not find the examples I was looking for as I didn't have the time available to dig them out of the internet but here a re a few images I found fairly readily : [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25].
So perhaps have a bit of a re-look at some of the recent edits before moving onto other sections.
Statements such as this;
"A very large percentage of the Indonesian population remain reliant upon wood (kayu)and turpentine (minyak tanah) also need attention, kerosene is used, not "turpentine".
Please make sure you are providing correct information, or perhaps just leave the detail out.
"Unfortunately, there have been several incidents where gas cans of the 3 and 12 kg size exploding!"
Please do not use 'exclamations', and they are gas cylinders, (botol tabung gas elpiji) not "cans".[26].
This is another problematic edit;
"To drive a car yourself, an International Driver's Permit is required in addition to your home-country-issued driver's license, although Bali is known for its exceptions"
This is not appropriate content in this article. Bali has no "exceptions" of any kind, there is one road traffic code across Indonesia, unless holding an Indonesian SIM of the appropriate class to the vehicle then a home nation issued license of the appropriate class must carried, plus an IDP of that class. There is NO "exception", either formal or informal. To advise a traveller there is, or to even hint toward that is entirely inappropriate and could see them fined heavily, especially if there were a serious road incident. If there were injuries or a fatality the issue could become very disappointing, also if they carried travel insurance it would be void as an outcome. I have edited the license detail pertaining to car and motorbike use as that was dangerously misleading. I have not made other edits as you may like to look at the article again yourself and make some appropriate adjustments
It is also notable that you have tidied up or altered some grammatical issues and spelling errors, great work, but please do put it back into En (UK). There is a handy WV policy provided on that to assist in clarifying the various En uses in different regions, it can be found here if you wish to have a look over it.
Most certainly do not be put off, that is definitely not my intent or purpose in commenting here, but maybe have a serious look over and review of what you have already done before you move onward to other sections. Great to see you working here on the article. -- Felix (talk) 21:21, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Indonesia falls under US English per "If the destination has no history of using English and no clear preference for the variety to use, we prefer US English spelling." Globe-trotter (talk) 01:34, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Does it have no clear preference? I don't know the answer to that. For example, is "Centre" or "Center" more widely used in names of buildings (when "Pusat" or some other Indonesian word is not used exclusively)? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:17, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The government tends to use British English, shopping malls and other commercial venues and signs are generally in American English. It's all mixed up. Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony, it does not have a history of British usage. Globe-trotter (talk) 02:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Also, I personally think it's ridiculous to make new users write in a language variety they're not comfortable with. This is just annoying new contributors who want to share their knowledge. His variety is not wrong, and actually, current policy prescribes US English for Indonesia. I proposed Wikivoyage:If it ain't broke, don't fix it as a proposal to give more freedom to the writer in prose.
On a sidenote, I also think exclamation marks are fine, which policy forbids them? Lively writing in a travel guide is encouraged, this is not an encyclopedia. And while some inconsistencies may have been added by the new user, I think he or she is doing a great job in adding useful new content. Many roads in Indonesia are in deplorable shape as described. In Bali, while officially an international license might be needed, from experience I can tell you that almost no traveler brings one, and no rental car agency even looks at it. It's pretty obvious you don't need one there in practice.Globe-trotter (talk) 03:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
ReveurGAM certainly appears to be a good example of the sort of contributor this project seeks to engage. They have forthrightly tackled an article, and with some clear enthusiasm. Their edits indicate a personal experience with the destination and they have contributed a substantial body of effort.
It is a potentially slippery slope making an appeal to a new and enthusiast contributor to modify their contributions, or to refer to what may appear to be arcane or overbearing project policies and guidelines.
However it is important they do not move too far forward without some assistance and guiding support. Otherwise they may wander from the accepted established formats or content guidelines and then suffer the surprise and possible indignation of seeing a lot of their concentrated labours either heavily edited, or worse still some of it may be reverted by another editor. This can lead to both confusion, and disappointment.
It would be very discouraging to see that happen here, and would be most unfortunate.
Earlier some issues were identified for ReveurGAM to consider. It is difficult to do this without inadvertently appearing to censure, or worse still possibly diminish the hard work someone has put into their contributions by being confronting or appearing to be arbitrary in the commentary or feedback provided.
Very few people appreciate being provided with a response that may appear to be scolding, or a hint to go and read the guidelines.
However that is part and parcel of the project. To a point that is how the articles are sustained an 'managed' in a manner that presents a consistent theme and style of presentation and content.
We must also be very careful with subjective opinions on matters that may involve legalistic or health matters, such as road laws, visa descriptions, naming of visa types and their conditions and requirements, health matters and similar. It is very important to bring this to a contributors attention. It is better to leave detail out of the article if unsure of it, or fact check before putting it into the article. The matter of compressed Liquid Petrolium Gas (LPG cylinders, (botol tabung gas elpiji) being misdescribed as "gas cans", and providing detail that they have been "exploding!" is misleadin
BTY, some the LPG cylinders were exploding, it was a valve head and cylinder quality issue, they were recalled a fair while ago. Also the incumbent valve head design is subject to contamination by dirt and foreign objects entering the valve head, that can cause 'leaking' of gas. This gas cylinder design is not exclusive to Indonesia.
However it must be understoo, these are not "gas cans", as described in an edit, that may be understood by some people to be drums of petrol (bensin).
These articles do have an air of perceived authority and guidance. It is very important that users of the guides are not poorly advised in matters that may have very serious implications. Licensing requirements for motor vehicles is a good example of this. Not only can travellers potentially find them selves compromised with the local laws and regulations, but in the event of serious injury they are likely to be stripped of their anticipated protection afforded by a travel insurance policy. The outcomes of that are often grave and many families have been seriously indebted as an outcome. Air evacs are often horrendously expensive, there are also ancillary travel costs, and frequently huge medical bills from hospital services. Matters concerning Visas also demand clarity, and accuracy in detail.
I must strongly disagree with the statement above "pretty obvious you don't need one (a suitable drivers licence) there in practice". That is most certainly not the case at all. Though many visitors may flaunt the prevailing laws on road use they soon realise their mistake when things start going wrong.
If they they find they are not provided with a suitable licence the situation can become dire. This is potentially far worse in potential outcomes to that of using a vehicle without a licence at home.
If injured, and subsequently very likely denied support by a travel insurance policy things can become horrendously overbearing financially, in emergency situations payment for medical services or a medical evacuation is required immediately.
ReveurGAM has approached editing here well, and has been quite perceptive of moving forward cautiously as a new editor.
Also ReveurGAM prudently took the initiative of entering into a discussion with an established fellow contributor (Ikan Kekek) early in proceedings, they also sought counsel prior to moving onto other sections.
The longer a series of significant edits to an established article are left to run the more complex it is to find remedy. Issues such as 'spelling' usage are irksome. I edit and patrol on a lot of Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian region articles, and others in the Asian area. Often the language is badly mangled. This is unsurprising, and it is better the content goes in that have it discouraged over matters of grammar or spelling. It is It is an often time consuming task interpreting the intention and meaning of an edit and representing it in a more appropriate many in regard to grammar, punctuation and spelling.I often suffer my own challenges in those matters.
ReveurGAM does exhibit any language impediments such as those, indeed that editor provided capable remedies to some outstanding grammar and spelling issues in the article. They are no doubt capable of editing in En (UK) by changing their spellchecker prefs. But if they do not, then it does not really matter a great deal, their content is more important. I merely appealed to them to please stick with the established article spelling protocol for the Indonesian article group. I often inadvertently slip in some US spelling my self, it is not a crime, and it is very easy to do, however if the matter is not brought up, then they will probably not realise, and indeed amy even waste some time 'correcting' spelling to En (US) quite unnecessarily.
In any case ReveurGAM would be better off spending their energies on content, and exploring the WV guidelines such as MoS rather than using their time Americanizing an article's English usage. Of the Indonesia articles that do already have a unified UK/US usage theme then En (UK) is found, others may have a random mix and many of them need some serious attention to structure, formatting and content, not just spelling. The main Indonesia article does have an established En (UK) usage, as do another well developed and clarified articles in that group. To now start undoing an enduring article theme and Americanizing the English usage in an established article does not seem intuitive. Cheers -- Felix (talk) 13:05, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
It may not be intuitive, but American English is what should be used, and under current policy all usage of British English should be turned into American English. Wikivoyage:Spelling essentially says that U.S. English should be used for all articles, except for those with a history of British usage (Commonwealth countries + Ireland). Globe-trotter (talk) 14:37, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the input, folks. Ahem...cough cough (feeling overwhelmed). Before I take the time to dive into all the homework Felix has prescribed for me, I think I need to get "the skinny" on something and make a statement (or two) of my own.

Gender You can stop calling me "they". I'm male. :) Sometimes I wish I had the sensitivity of a female, but I don't. I have the sensitivities of a male brought up in a society overly obsessed with being a "man" (macho), and blah blah blah.
British English I taught English for 10 years here. I am somewhat conversant with British English, since I often had to use books from the UK, but I am certainly not fluent in it. It is not my native dialect and I would be a liar if I said I could write articles using it (thanks, though, for assuming I could, Felix). Most spelling corrections I made were not because I was trying to Americanize the article (you'll notice, I didn't remove the extraneous "u" from words, for example), but because I wasn't aware that it was a valid spelling of the word (British words that substitute s for z often get me). I don't generally look at the spelling checker, which is set to En-US I suppose, becowz Im preety gud at speling, so changing the dialect isn't going to make a "bloody" difference. (grin) I'll still be bolluxed. ;)
English Variant Rule I have to agree with G-T. If Wikivoyage policy does indeed force editors to use a particular variant of English, then I must protest most emphatically. I can guarantee you that you are losing editors because of such an inane rule. I say this not as an American but as an English speaker - most English speakers are NOT conversant to any real degree with other variants and cannot be called upon to use those other variants. It should be perfectly fine (and it is) to use any major variant of English (although I might make exceptions for Indian English, Creole and Ebonics) because it is still English. You should be more worried about colloquialisms, idioms, cultural references that people from other cultures won't "get", etc. Heck, if you tell me I MUST use another variant of English than my own, and that I MUST edit out my Americanizations and insert British, then I'm afraid I'll have to bow out right now. I am incapable of complying with such a rule due to lack of ability. This despite watching Faulty Towers, Blake's 7, The Avengers, Benny Hill, Doctor Who, Monty Python and several other British/BBC productions, too! Worse yet, I can't even begin to imagine how non-native speakers must feel when confronted with this ridiculous requirement! I strongly urge the "committee" (or whatever the policy makers are called) to rescind this rule!!!! If you really don't like American English being used in this article, in a country where N. American, British and Australian English can all be found, just try to remember that it is content that is king - not which variant. :) Dump that rule out the window, my friend!
Overwhelmed Felix, I'm really sorry to have to say this but your message to me was a bit over the top. TMI, you know, and a bit too nitpicky. If you don't want to scare off people, you might want to try, well, toning it down a bit and shortening it, too (being concise is something I struggle with). Also, I wasn't sure when you were quoting things from that "other article" you mentioned and when you'd gone back to discussing this article. (BTW, I didn't write about crisps because I've rarely even heard the word and had completely forgotten it existed - I put in chips, or I'm a schizoid! :) I believe that I mentioned in the part about French fries that N. Americans say "fries" but the Brits say "chips". I picked that up as a youth who went to "Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips" and other places that purported to serve British fare. I heard it again when I came here and worked with Brits for a few years, and that is when I really started learning about British English. Heck, there are things about it I prefer, though not everything.
Visas, SIMs and such I take your point on this matter. I had gotten the incorrect name for the VOA from Immigration in Cilacap, and the Bali information (which isn't actually just there, but in specific cities) was from a KomBesPol I know. How long have you lived in Bali? I'm not going to go into the rest of it until I hear back. Truth be told, I have been looking for a place where I can contribute, and I'm hoping this wiki is it, because I REALLY want to apply for a Wikimania scholarship as I'm dirt poor and an altruistic contributor. You could remove all references to me as a contributor and I wouldn't lose sleep over it - I'm not looking for accolades, I just want to help.
Ethnocentric Please see my comment to Ikan Keke in the next section about how I feel about this word. Cheers, as the Brits say!
PSSST Felix, your user page is empty. You're a mysterious figure! ReveurGAM (talk) 17:17, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

New section on folk religion[edit]

In a good-faith attempt to reintroduce some of the content in this reverted edit - [27] - I tried my best to maintain some of the content, but with a much more matter-of-fact and non-judgmental tone in a new subsection of the "Religion" portion of this article. However, I'm still troubled by the conflation of fraud like sleight of hand with what are simply traditional folk religious practices. My feeling is, if this section comes off as making Indonesians sound like benighted, superstitious fools, it should be excised for good and all. And there's also the issue that while I will not countenance lumping all folk religion together as "superstition" - a word that mostly means beliefs that the speaker is deprecating - including this in a section of "religion" could antagonize orthodox Muslims and perhaps others who could take umbrage at the inclusion of fraudulent practices in it (which don't include beliefs about spirits in kerises, gongs, etc., because it's not fraudulent if everyone concerned believes it; sleight of hand is fraud). So I bring this up to get some feedback on how the section reads and how appropriate it is to include it in this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:49, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

First, I think it is important to note that I am an agnostic. I believe in god, but not religion, which I won't go into here as it isn't particularly relevant to our discussion. I really appreciate the good-faith effort you have made by restoring some of what I wrote and providing counter-point, Ikan Keke, because I truly feel that something that affects so much of society here is something that travellers should be aware of, especially since it may impact them.
Second, I would like to point out that while I am critical of this aspect of the citizens of Indonesia, I love this country and want very much to help out where I can. I am also critical of Americans. In the past, I've been told I'm like Daus Dekker. I find that amusing and demure. I may come across as an insensitive ass but that is simply because my personality is closer to a sledgehammer than an archaeologist's hammer. I'm blunt to the point of problems, I say what I think, and that is my problem. Diplomacy doesn't come easily to me. I'm sorry and I hope that other editors can see fit to help tone down my contributions. If that isn't possible, then I guess I won't be able to contribute, which would be sad.
However, I question whether or not it is best to narrow down the scope to religion, as it creates/exacerbates the very issues you have stated you are worried about. I suggest that the issue of superstition should remain in Culture so that no one will feel as if Indonesian religions (especially the 6 protected by the law against defamation of religion) are being criticized. I also suggest that a section about folk religions and aliran kepercayaan be included in the religion section, but without any taint of opinion about right and wrong, good and bad, and that it point out some aspects of folk religions have been incorporated into the state-approved religions.
I brought up the superstition issue in Culture because it is, in my experience only (not that I haven't visited everywhere, so I cannot speak universally), apparent that virtually all Indonesians are, to one degree or another, superstitious, and that this has an impact on different aspects of life here - not just religion. Many believe in the wewe gombel, the kuntil anak, the tuyul, the gunderuwo and various other supernatural beings; kejawen (just today I met an elderly man who says he believes in it), magical keris and rings, the power of shaman here, and the list just goes on and on. To this day, news reporters (even TV), report cases of nervous breakdowns and mass hysteria during the national exams as "kesurupan" (demonic possession). This is not to say that this phenomenon is unique to Indonesia. In fact, as far as I can tell there are great number of people in every country who could be called superstitious to one degree or another. Heck, I've even been called superstitious because I still believe in the creator and I use tarot cards to sharpen my awareness of my intuition. There are people who won't visit certain places, or have jimat they wear or hang over their front door, or ...blah blah blah. That seems appropriate for culture, but not religion, don't you think? Just as culture impacts religion, religion impacts culture. The belief in the abilities of witch doctors and shamans (I have provided definitions below) alike is far more widespread than I would have believed. During my 10 years as a teacher, I repeatedly ran into superstitious beliefs (please see below the proper definition of superstition, and please compare to your own rather more colorfully ethnocentric definition). Certainly, I never meant to say they are benighted ("In a state of pitiful or contemptible intellectual or moral ignorance, typically owing to a lack of opportunity," although I probably came across that way. The truth is, I have observed that amongst laborers, many of them haven't taken good care of themselves and their intellectual abilities have become impaired to the point that clear instructions cannot be properly followed without constant supervision. I had just such an experience today, in fact, but I won't drag this out with the story. I've also observed in many settings and different cities that so many citizens here are trying so hard to survive that they can't take the time to look at what would help them next year, next month, next week, or even tomorrow. I have had more than one occasion where someone turned down a steady salary just to get money once.
If there is any lack of clarity in what I have written, it is not untruth but rather limitations in my ability to write clearly and completely, for which I would beg the assistance of others. Sometimes what is in my head doesn't make it out of my fingertips before it evaporates, resulting in otherwise complete statements being misleading or inaccurate. It was not my intent, for example, to imply that all dukun, bidan and alternative healers use sleight of hand and other trickery to ply their trade, but it is certainly a problem here. The average person here, being taught to believe in that which is not real, tend to be a bit too gullible when faced with such legendary, mystical people, and can be more easily duped than a skeptic, or even someone who has watched "Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed". If Harry Houdini were here, he could very easily demonstrate the verity of what I'm writing.
Finally, I take exception to the use of the word "ethnocentric", which I equate with "bigoted" and "racist." Just because it sounds more professional doesn't make its reception any easier when the person using it is wrong. I am not ethnocentric; I don't belong to any particular ethnicity, I was raised to treat everyone as equals and I don't really care what color your skin is, what ethnic group you are from, what religion you are, etc. I find the disparaging remarks Indonesians make against other groups (e.g.: Indians, Africans, Caucasians) to be offensive and ignorant in the extreme. My wife's is dark brown and I say she's my "hitam manis". :) Ironically, when I have made critical remarks about Indonesians on another forum, it is the foreigners who jump up and protest, and the Indonesians who agree with my assessments. Shall I be labeled a bigot because I am willing to point out the good AND the bad of Indonesians? No. That's just honesty. You can see some of the positive adjectives I attribute to them (I forgot to write patient) in the Culture section. Some of the potentially negative ones include: superstitious, duplicitous (due to the harmony principle), not punctual, lacking in discipline (which they often lament to me), and lacking foresight. Most of these adjectives are directly related to cultural and religious things and, thus, shouldn't be viewed as negative but rather as the way things are here, in contrast to the way they are elsewhere. I believe that one shouldn't judge people from a completely different environment based on your own environment and its rules but, rather, on their own.
A note: Fraud is fraud, whether or not everyone is duped by it. It's still a crime and just because it hasn't been identified as such doesn't make it legitimate.


Shaman: A person having access to, and influence in, the world of spirits, esp. among some peoples of northern Asia and North America.
Witch doctor: (among tribal peoples) A magician credited with powers of healing, divination, and protection against the magic of others.
Superstition: 1) Excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings. 2) A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice.ReveurGAM (talk) 16:26, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Your additions are appreciated, just take note of the tone we use here. Wikivoyage is a travel guide, and thus we celebrate travel and cultural/religious diversity. Taking the standpoint of an outsider is wanted, and stereotypes are accepted till a certain level, but this shouldn't be taken to the extreme. Sentences like "The average Indonesian is not terribly dependent on logic" takes it too far, and makes the reader lose a sense of interest in what is all together a very interesting people and culture (and frankly, this description could be applied to any nation in the world). However, I have enjoyed reading most of your contributions, you have a wealth of knowledge that is valuable to Wikivoyage and make readers more interested and knowledgeable about the cultural practices they'll encounter there. Globe-trotter (talk) 16:57, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your support! If you look at IK's talk page, you'll see I already agreed about the quote about logic.ReveurGAM (talk) 18:11, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
First, I want to affirm that I, too, very much appreciate the work that you've put into editing articles about Indonesia and the knowledge you've brought to bear. The site would suffer if you decided to stop editing, so I hope you continue to edit. I would just like for you to watch your tone a bit, if you can. If not, I or someone else may make some edits, but please do go ahead and write colorfully.
Second, I want you to know that I know you always act in good faith and with great sincerity.
On a specific: I don't think it makes sense to use the term "witchdoctor" in dealing with people who believe in spirits but not witches, and the word also has an inherent bad connotation, in my opinion, whereas "shaman" has no such inherent connotation but is descriptive. I'd be willing to consider other terms, but I think "shaman" is probably sufficient.
(Added:) Based on my own misgivings about lumping all of these things into the category of "folk religion" and your remarks about that issue, I changed the subheading of the section to "folk beliefs." I am going to make one more edit now.
All the best, Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:11, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for being willing to help me with tone and for your understanding.
I understand your concern for witch doctor, although I think it's no more of a bias than for any other word we might use. I don't, for example, view them in a different light, and it is dependent on what stigmas as associated with magick in the readers' religion and culture that determines whether they view these words in a negative light. Some people DO attach a negative connotation to "shaman", but not me, simply because of their narrow-minded fundamentalist beliefs, for example. Also, I suspect that many people think that they are exactly equivalent, although we can see that they are not. I myself believed them to be exactly equivalent until I checked. However, I didn't look at all the definitions listed, so other dictionaries may be of another opinion. From thesaurus.com for shaman:
  • 1) healer, medicine man, priest, sorcerer, witch doctor (Roget's)
  • 2) alternative practitioner, faith healer, healer, isangoma, medicine man, mundunugu, obeah doctor, priest, shaman, sorcerer, voodoo, wangateur, wizard (Roget's)
witch doctor:
  • alternative practitioner, faith healer, healer, isangoma, medicine man, mundunugu, obeah doctor, priest, shaman, sorcerer, voodoo, wangateur, wizard (Roget's)
As can be seen, some of the synonyms seem less appropriate (bolded) than others (my definitions yesterday were from dictionary.com, the same company). Italicized words seem very foreign to me and I don't know them. In the case of shaman, I think some people will think negatively of any of the recognizable and valid choices, due to the dim view of magick (so spelled to differentiate from illusionism) in general. Perhaps medicine man would be better, aside from the issue of gender, since I doubt there is much stigma or negativity attached to it, and it was a phrase I was taught in school, along with witch doctor (shaman was only introduced rather later). Do you see any particular words for shaman and witch doctor that you feel would be more generally (not personally) acceptable to the majority of readers?
I submit, for possible inclusion in either the folk beliefs or culture section, this example of syncretization (sic?). I was talking to my wife about this today, and she believes this is not actually a part of Islam, but rather an addition from another religion - which, she cannot say. If I find out other examples, I will share them here. Please remember that my wife is Islamic, thus I cannot provide stories from other religions as readily.
However, I am aware that Buddhism has been heavily influenced both by its predecessor by Buddha's choice (supposedly), as well as by other religions and cultures, as we can see by the rather more colorful Chinese and Tibetan strains, for example. If you travel to Watu Gong Buddhist temple in Semarang, you can see a Theravada and a Chinese Buddhist temple side-by-side, and the difference is so glaring one has to ask if they are the same religion. The Theravada temple is architecturally interesting and sprawling, with a large golden Buddha statue situated in a large forward-facing prayer room flanked internally by columns, but the building is plainly colored dark & light brown and is very functional. In sharp contrast, the Chinese temple is a giant pagoda that towers over the Bodhi tree, is as brightly painted as any Hindu temple would be, and every level above ground of the pagoda is flanked on all (8?) sides by statues of Buddha. Thus, most of the temple is not functional. From this, we can see evidence of cultural and religious influence on the design of the Chinese temple. I had the good fortune to be invited by a Buddhist friend to the initiation of some monks so I have several photos on Google that I could share.
We once had a maid from Kendal, near Semarang, who told us stories about animistic activities performed there by otherwise Muslim people. I'll see if we can't dredge up the stories from our memories and share them here. Some sounded rather wild!
Other than the odd practice of burying the "twin" of a baby (and I use odd in a more neutral way than someone else's description of Dunkin' Donuts' and Krispi Kremes' products), there is the not-at-all-odd tradition whereby a selamatan a.k.a. yasinan is performed at intervals of 3, 7, 40 and 1,000 days after the funeral/wake. The funeral itself is usually performed within 24 hours of death and involves ritual cleansing of the body using water with different types of flowers in it, tying the feet and another length of cloth is used to keep the mouth shut, plugging the nose with cotton, and wrapping up the entire body in a white cloth (from which arises identification of the vengeful supernatural "pocong"), which is tied in place. At the grave, which may have a flat or two-tiered floor, carefully shaped blocks and balls of clay are placed under the corpse so it is properly laid out, the external ties are removed and left in the grave, and boards are leaned over the body, presumably to avoid contact between the corpse and the dirt above. Someone, often a family member, sings the "adzhan" to send the soul off. The grave is filled and people throw handfuls of dirt and flowers on it, and wooden grave markers at the foot and head are pushed into the dirt. Now, most of this isn't related to folk beliefs or to superstitions, but I suppose some of it may just be that. The point of the story is the "yasinan," at which everyone comes together, prays (chants) for quite a long time lead by a cleric, most of which is very repetitious, then eats and generally shortly after that goes home. My wife believes these "yasinan" are not part of Islam but added on. She also asks why the permanent gravestone (if any) has to be planted after 1,000 days. From a practical standpoint, the answer is easy: the dirt will have compacted and the grave subsided, so there won't be much risk of the gravestone sinking or tilting. But, again, she asked: "Why 1,000 days?" Indeed, it seems something of an arbitrary decision, but perhaps there is some significance to that number.
I don't know if the above will be of any use to the article but, if they are, feel free. ReveurGAM (talk) 06:11, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the number 1,000 must have a particular significance. I'm not aware of yasinan and couldn't say whether it might be an Islamic (conceivably Sufi?) practice or not, but 1,000 certainly is a round number, which, say, 957 wouldn't be.
I like the story you told about burial practices. If Felix agrees, we should add it, because it's colorful and a really good read. This is in East Java, I take it?
Some Indonesian peoples (I know of at least the Batak and Toraja) practice second burials, and I was actually a guest at one on Pulau Samosir in the Toba Batak country in 1976 (I think the deceased ancestor had passed away about 60 years earlier). However, I believe those are more than just folk religion there, because while most Toba Batak are no longer (purely) animists, the Gereja Kristian Protestan Batak is a syncretism of Christianity and traditional Batak religion. There clearly was no attempt to suppress the second burial I attended or make it secret, and I am guessing second burials are completely mainstream among the Toba Batak to this day. It was a wonderful experience, by the way.
Would it be reasonable in your opinion to add "wizard" after "shaman" in the description of dukun? I'm thinking that would makes sense because although shamans can do multiple things, what makes them shamans is that they go into trance and can induce a trance in a patient and then bring the patient out of the trance (extremely important!!!), whereas wizardry deals with magic. I was actually considering "magician" earlier, but so many people nowadays think of people who do "magic" tricks that are understood by all concerned to be a show (like with cards).
Thanks for that really interesting post. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:54, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
I was reminded of some other superstitions and folk beliefs here while talking to a young Javanese man today. He told me that many villagers may not be Kejawen but they still believe in it. "Masih kental" (still thick) was the phrase he used to describe their relationship to it. He also mentioned that he believed that it was important not to neglect Nature or it would neglect them. A plus for Kejawen, in my book! ;)
  • My wife reminded me that many people here still believe it is important to have on your person something sharp to ward off ghosts and other evil spirits from the time of pregnancy until giving birth to the baby.
  • Our wedding date was decided using the Primbon Jawa ("Javanese Almanac", which includes the Javanese zodiac and is based on lunar cycles). Her brother's was, too. The guy I spoke to reminded me that lots of dates are decided this way - when to have an important meetings, harvest, take the cattle to pasture, move house and a whole host of other things. The only thing that seems exempt, of course, is death. ;)
  • Incompatible zodiac signs can be the death knell for lovers.
  • Added to this is the apparently Chinese obsession with "nomor cantik" (attractive numbers), that has become something of a trend here. Mobile phone numbers that are easily remembered can cost upwards of Rp.1,000,000 (my brother-in-law paid that much), whereas a "messy" number can go for as little as Rp.2,000 (when a carrier is not giving them away to get customers). Wedding dates that are "rapi" (neat), such as 1-1-11, 7-7-07, 1-2-03, etc. become major targets for weddings and such, and the Kantor Urusan Agama (The Office of Religious Affairs - for Muslims) and related agencies become exceedingly busy on such dates. In fact, there is an unfortunate trend, mostly among the wealthy, to either delay or induce labor to ensure that a child is born on such an auspicious date - even if it is a threat to the fetus' health to do so, and there are doctors who are unscrupulous enough to go along with it.
  • If the left eye is ticking, something bad will happen. If the right, something good.
  • If your right eyebrow is ticking, you're going to meet your future spouse.
  • Perhaps SatuSuro can help with this one, but that Javanese date (Satu Suro) is the Javanese equivalent of Halloween. I have never gone to a celebration of this, but I know that there is an all-night vigil the night before and at the celebration itself, there are various activities associated with Kejawen.
  • There is a belief that certain sources of water have special powers.
    • Otak Kokoh on Lombok, for example, has a waterfall that has the ability to show whether you have a disease (bubbles in the water) or not (clear water) while you shower in its EXTREMELY cold water. I showered in it for a photo op and it was so cold that I almost fell over after I got out of the water.
    • On Lombok, at the Hindu water palace left over from the Majapahit empire, there is a small shrine. Inside this shrine is a spring bubbling out of the ground (mata air) and it is believed that if you drink from it, you will become "awet muda" (stay young). Also, a pond on the grounds contains a large fish that is elusive. I saw it while there and I was told that sighting it brings good luck. I drank from it and I still keep on aging. hahah
    • There is another water source in a Hindu temple on Bali that, reputedly, restores your health if you drink from it. I drank from it and I didn't notice any improvements in my health. Perhaps its batteries were low? ;)
  • If you have a gecko fall on you, or you dream that a tooth has fallen out, someone in your family will die. HOWEVER, if you dream of someone's death, that person will have a long life.
I wish I could provide more than just Javanese stuff and the little bit about Bali and Lombok. However, perhaps some of this would be of use in an article about Java or the Javanese, if such a thing exists here. I am pretty sure that I put in info about the Bali Age and the island of the dead somewhere...? ReveurGAM (talk) 17:53, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

I was invited by ReveurGAM here. He said to tell you all about the strange things that happen outside of Java. :D Since I was from Minangkabau from West Sumatera, so I will reveal some facts about the strange tradition there.

  1. Some of the elders in Minangkabau have the power to control and maintain a tiger. This is really happened, not a myth nor a legend. In my father's family, who live in the tropical forests in the Bukit Barisan, there are some people who are known to maintain tiger. Tigers usually be conquered by studying silek, a traditional martial art that is taught in some special places hidden from the settlement. The tiger, which was called "Inyiak", can only be controlled after you beat him in a battle. A village usually has a tiger to maintain the security of the village. If there is someone who saw the tiger was running fast at night, you can bet that a few months later, there will be die in a tragic way, or there will be an illegitimate child who was born in the village. Tigers serve as village guards. If there is a knock on your door at night and no one was there when you open the door, a few days later there must have been a disaster or calamity that befell the village. If there is someone who has been able to control and regulate the "Inyiak", he can order tiger to obey and protect his family. In fact, some people (that are really powerful) to pass on ownership of tigers for their children. The tigers usually roam at nearby durian or rubber orchards. This story usually found at Agam, Bukittinggi, Tanah Datar or Payakumbuh, where traditional Minangkabau kingdom exist.
  2. Tabuik is the local manifestation of the Remembrance of Muharram among the Minangkabau people in the coastal regions of West Sumatra, Indonesia, particularly in the city of Pariaman. The festival includes reenactments of the Battle of Karbala, and the playing of tassa and dhol drums. Tabuik is also the term used to refer to the high funeral biers carried around during remembrance procession. Although originally a Shi'a festival, nowadays most inhabitants of Pariaman and other area's where similar Tabuik-festivals are held by all Muslims and even non-Muslims. Tabuik is made from bamboo, rattan and paper. During the week of Tabuik many activities are held including kite races, traditional plays such as Tari Piring and traditional plays. The remembrance draws a large crowd including dignitaries such as the provincial governor, to see Tabuik in the morning before it is slowly taken to the beach. At noon, before it is thrown into the sea, there is a lot of activity with Tabuik. After they are thrown into the sea many people go swimming looking for 'memories' of the Tabuik to keep.

There are several myths surrounding this Tabuik. There were considered a heretical tradition, emulating the traditions of Hinduism (Tabuik is an Islamic festive) and even some hardline clerics consider it a futile act.

That's all I know. If feasible, put this information into the article. :D SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 09:05, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks a lot, and welcome! I'm not sure what to do about the information on people who, as we would say in Malay, pera harimau. But the information about Tabuik should be listed as a festival in the Minangkabau article, in my opinion. I don't get the connection with Hinduism, but it sure sounds like a fun celebration to witness. I don't think we want to put everything in the country guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:50, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
The article turns out to be West Sumatra, and I inserted the information about Tabuik with slight edits. Please have a look at it and edit it in any way that would make it more complete or clearer, since I might have misunderstood something, and I'm not familiar with the festival, myself. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:03, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
P.S. I did a search in Commons under Pariaman, and guess what I found?
Tabuik Pariaman
. I know nothing about Pariaman, but if anyone wants to start a page for that town, this photo should probably be included. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:11, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I had the great good fortune to meet a man from Pariaman today. I'll post the info I collected in West Sumatra's talk page. ReveurGAM (talk) 14:06, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Culture[edit]

Here's a little bit about things I noticed while in NTT back in 2008. I spent a few days each in Waingapu, Sumba, Kupang, Timor and Maumere, Flores. Perhaps some of it might be of use in the culture section here or in NTT or the city breakdowns. What do you think?
The natives of NTT, on average, have darker skin and may have the crinkly hair of the Papuans. Some appear to be a mix of West & East Indonesia, while others appear mostly Eastern.

  • In Waingapu, the people tend to be on the taciturn side. The island doesn't support very many types of fruit and it looks like "your sister's mud pie got baked" from the air. This island still has mini-kingdoms that are tolerated by the Indonesian government and villagers still worship animistic spirits and deities, but this are fading away in places - when a king dies, it is now likely that no new king will be appointed and that will be one more step towards integrating with Indonesia's dominant system. Islanders produce hand-loom made cloth with traditional designs on it that can be had for very reasonable prices (for a foreigner). I believe there is a fair amount of horseback riding. "Angkot" (mini bus) are used there for inter-city travel but the roads are poor and journeys are long. Offshore islanders must reach Sumba by boat, which is a rough and long ride. Beaches nearby are a must-see simply because they are completely covered with shells and coral, and the nearby water is rife with low-lying coral reefs and uprisings that help to protect the shoreline from the rough sea water. It is hard to find a place to eat here - most villagers aren't that oriented towards business - and I only learned of one place outside of the hotel, and that was run by a Javanese man who also catered to the seminar I was involved in. The temperature was warm enough, but not unbearably so, with a fair amount of humidity. One item of note is that they regularly ate "pisang raja", one of the few fruit that grow readily there, and a type of chili pepper sauce that is amazingly similar to salsa (and yummy!). Also, locals there chew a combination of lime (powder), beetlenut flower and another ingredient to take care of their teeth. There are three consequences of this practice that I experienced when I tried it: 1) It is unpleasantly bitter, 2) it numbs your mouth, and 3) it turns your mouth red. A must try for the daring soul! :) Oh, the cost of necessities like bottled water was higher than most places I've visited because these things are imported.
  • In Kupang, the people are more extroverted and giving, and Christianity seems strong there. One unique feature is that the main drag is run by highly decorated buses which use horns that have been modified to produce a long, reverberating sound that is quite annoying at night when one wants to sleep. Stay out of hotels on the main roads if you want to get sleep. Night time is a busy time with lots of "kaki lima" (wheeled food stands) and there are numerous places to get a bite to eat at any time. Fresh seafood is quite commonly eaten. Travel from/to outlying islands is, as with Sumba, long and arduous by boat. Kupang was about the same temperature and humidity wise.
  • In Maumere, the people are the most extroverted and the friendliest of the three main islands, and Christianity is the strongest there, although they seem perfectly willing to consider alternative beliefs. I met one man who was a disciple of a disciple of Osho who's beliefs are rather more spiritually open than usual - definitely not one of the official 6. They were very interested in my ability to read tarot cards, and one night after class, several came to my room for readings. I liked these people the best and made some friendships that last to this day. As we were situated on a beach (or in spite of it), the weather was unbearably hot, such that I had to hide in the AC'd hotel room when I wasn't teaching them. I don't recall anything outstanding about the food, but there was certainly more variety on this forested island. Travel, as with the other two islands, consists of mini-buses on unpleasant roads and worse boat rides.

ReveurGAM (talk) 17:54, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm thinking at least some of your experiences might be most fun to put in the guides for those particular islands. Some of the things you told about Waingapu probably would be good in the "Understand" section there. Perhaps eventually, we'll have a short section with a few examples of folk beliefs in this article and then some folk beliefs of specific peoples could be treated in somewhat more detail in regional guides. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:10, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to use whatever you think might be of use from this culture dialog and from the folk beliefs stuff I posted above, too - that's why I wrote it. I tried to put in bits about transport, food, weather and whatnot so that it is usable in multiple parts of those articles. It would be cool if we could get one example of something from each island at least. I'll ask a Minang I know if he could tell us something.ReveurGAM (talk) 07:57, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Taking a step back[edit]

Now that I know I don't have to conform to the ridiculous EN-UK/EN-US/EN-OZ rule, and that other editors are willing to help tone down my *ahem* ethnocentric viewpoint so I don't muck things up, I shall wade through the articles that have been suggested to me to help improve my contributions. This will likely take several days, in which I will probably not write much, except if I come up with more cultural or religious anecdoctes to share. I need to spend more time with my kids, too, and figure out how I'm going to win a Wikimania scholarship. :) Time is short! I shall certainly be back and, once I feel that the article is at least improved sufficiently, I shall proceed with some other articles about Indonesia, such as Semarang, where I spent 6 years living in an in-city village amongst the predominantly (and insular) Javanese. With any luck, I'll be able to make useful contributions for voyagers. :) ReveurGAM (talk) 08:11, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

I look forward to that. I envy your much greater experience in Indonesia. I hope to get back there for the first time since 1976 this summer, but I'm not positive whether that will happen. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:30, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
That is a great idea regarding Semarang. That article has been languishing for some time. Semarang is a significant destination, it has an international airport and that article really needs some attention, some comprehensive updating and some destination depth infused into it. I just had a look at it, and recalled I didn't have time to get to it a few days ago when Batavia Air ceased ops. So it was still offering a now non-existent airline connecting to Singapore. The body of the article has been virtually untouched for over a year and that was some airline details updated by a Russian contributor who visits Indonesia sometimes. ReveurGAM, the sooner you start editing on Semerang the better, you clearly have a quickly developing understanding of the project now and that article would be an excellent one to hone your quickly developing WV skills on. -- Felix (talk) 13:08, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I took a peek and EEK! Wow, Semarang needs some help! I'll be getting to it shortly.
I have read through most of what you folks linked to, and some you didn't, but when I got to the table of contents for the MoS, I balked. It seems like a lot, although it probably isn't given the length of most of the articles I've read thus far.
Might I suggest that (at least for people like me), articles like the MoS that are composed of several small articles (as is Indonesia) on various topics also have a concatenated version - I feel less overwhelmed looking at one longer article instead of a directory where I can't see how much work I'm getting myself into. Is it possible to display all the articles of the MoS so they appear to be one article when they aren't actually? Or, at least, multiple articles broken up by the sections of the MoS?
Oh, btw, congratulations on being made an Admin. Isn't it fun having to deal with daft goons like me? ;) ReveurGAM (talk) 05:32, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Wizard[edit]

No-one has so far voiced an objection to calling dukun "shamans or wizards," so I went ahead and made the change. If anyone thinks of a better wording, please go ahead and change it! Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:05, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Oh, I'm terribly sorry, I forgot to respond to you on your query regarding vocabulary. I think that it's fine - as fine as any word that involves the "real" use of magick can be when viewed through the eyes of those biased against such things. I wouldn't worry about it being offensive - we cannot cater to the sensitivities of the entire world without devolving into something meaningless. :) ReveurGAM (talk) 05:35, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. One can only do what one can. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:14, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I made some edits, mostly in culture and religion, to try and fairly flesh it out a little bit more, and separated some into separate paragraphs for easier reading. Please let me know what you think, folks. ReveurGAM (talk) 06:33, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I really like the edits. There's a sentence that's not new, though, which I don't understand:
"However, Indonesia resembles America at the dawn of radio and affordable transportation in regards to language and culture with one significant difference: the water barriers."
What does that mean? It is not clear at all, and I don't think it's true, on the face of it, but if I understood what was being compared, I might agree. My feeling is that this is probably not a useful comparison, but I'd still like to know what it means. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:44, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I added in the bit about culture and language in the hopes it would clear it up, but I guess that isn't enough. In regards to language and culture, I think the analogy works, and the water barriers definitely impede progress. Hmmm, well, I had read an article a few years ago about how the dawn of radio and affordable vehicles in the US helped to bring about more of a standard American culture and English, whereas previously it had been much more like here in Indonesia: heterogenous language and culture. Perhaps it would be better to remove the reference to America and just say: "Because prices of media devices, such as TVs, mobile phones and computers, and vehicles has dropped, and the availability of credit has improved, the process of standardization of language and culture in Indonesia has made headway, but waterways continue to act to slow the process down. Many areas now use Indonesian, and some previously jungle-dwelling tribes have left the jungle and abandoned their old ways, such as the Dayak of Kalimantan. And yet, cultures remain strong in many aress, and you will notice variations in the Indonesian language if you care to learn it as you travel."
As an example of the incomplete transition, someone from Western Indonesia will generally say "pedas" (peh-DAHS: spicy), but people in Eastern Indonesia will tend to say it as ''pay-DAHS". Does that help? What do you think?
Some examples of Indonesian languages encountered on TV or in real life include):
{I} Indo: hamba, saya, aku (in order of most to least polite); Jakartan: gue
{you} Indo: Engkau, anda, kamu, kau (in order); Jakartan: loh/lu/loe
{Mr.} Indo: Tuan, Bapak, Pak; Javanese: Mas [younger man] (also Bapak and Pak)
{Miss} Indo: Nona; Javanese: Mbak
{Mrs.} Indo: Nyonya, Ibu; Javanese: Mbok (also ibu) (but much less commonly)
(no) Indo: tidak, nggak; Betawian: Kagak
And the list goes on and on.
As a possible inclusion, my mom has been staying with us since March 2012. Just the other day, we were talking about the way Indonesians treat the environment (poorly, usually), and I suggested that it reminded me of the way Americans behaved pre-1970s (which is when Carter enacted reforms to help clean up America). She responded that, in general not just about the environment, the mindset of the people [she's had contact with/observed] resembles that of Americans [that she had contact with at that time] in the 1950s. She's almost 75. This may give a frame of reference for older Americans, but not travellers in general, so I'm not sure how it would be usable, if at all. :( ReveurGAM (talk) 08:52, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. I think your revised paragraph, in quotes, is excellent and clear. Of course there's a vast difference between the US and Indonesia in regard to standardizing language. The great majority of Americans speak English as a first language, and the great majority of those who don't are quite bilingual in their native language - which is with some exceptions the language of a country the immigrated to the US from - and English.
Indonesians have thousands of regional native languages, and I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that it's still quite accurate to say that only a minority of the population speaks Indonesian as their first language. This has a major effect on the way the language is spoken in different parts of the country, and if you're bringing in different languages like Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, Balinese, etc., etc., many of them seem to me to be quite distantly related to Indonesian. There is no analogy in the US. Even Gullah, never spoken by an overwhelmingly huge number of people, is more closely related to and mutually intelligible with English than Javanese is to/with Indonesian, I believe. And there's no reason to expect there to ever be one standardized, nationwide form of speech in Indonesia, any more than we can expect the Tamils in Tamil Nadu to suddenly start speaking Hindi or the Cantonese in Guangdong to switch to Mandarin.
I think the attitudes toward the environment are nothing particularly Indonesian, but have something to do with the stage of economic development of different countries. But I'd add that, among post-industrial countries, the US is very backward in its environmental policies, what with all the denial of global warming, etc. And I definitely think such comparisons, though interesting, should be left out of the articles on this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:35, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I cannot say for certain that Indonesian is the first tongue of only a minority but I can say from experience that in some areas, such as a significant amount of Java, it is. Javanese is disappearing. The closer one is to an urban area, the more likely one is to find Javanese who cannot speak their language well, if at all, or can only speak one level - usually ngoko. Go out to a village not situated inside a city and the local language is still important. Even the Panca Sila, "gotong royong" (help each other/work together), "kerja bakti" (community work), "arisan" (monthly meetings) and "siskamling" (community self-patrolling) are being eroded or even gotten rid of because city people associate it with the "backward" ways of villagers. Many of the older people still use Javanese routinely when speaking to each other (one of my pet peeves is they insist on using it during "arisan" and other events where I'm involved - just a bit of rudeness toward me). But, as part of my work teaching, I often talked about the process of mastering a language and, as part of that, learned of their native tongue(s). Most said Indonesian, a few said Javanese or another ethnic language, and even fewer indicated pictoral thinking. In Semarang, Jakarta and Bekasi, there is a tendency amongst the wealthy to eschew both local languages and Indonesian in favor of English. They look down on those "other" languages, but the average person is, more often than not, well-rooted in Indonesian. It is conceivable, depending on the decisions of schools and the government, that this process could accelerate in already affected areas, and start in those areas where regional languages still dominate. If, for example, public schools stopped prioritizing the local language as a "muatan lokal" (local option or, rather, a space left open in the curriculum that the schools are allowed to fill as they wish), we'd see more loss of languages. Javanese is, actually, one of several languages that was used to create Indonesian, btw and, due to their inordinate influence throughout the archipelago (because there are far more Javanese assigned to government positions and sent to other regions than any other ethnicity). Also due to their influence, there is a sort of creeping effect on other languages and cultures. Will Indonesian ever become standardized across the nation? I am unaware of any language which is spoken across a significant area of land which is standardized in the truest sense. Certainly, one cannot say that English is fully standardized, not even within one country, so to hope that Indonesian will be is a futile hope. It would be nice to hear from some actual Indonesians on this, such as the Javanese expert, Meursault2004, or people who study this sort of thing. This is fascinating to talk about but I'm not sure how such information is relevant to a travel guide. Feel free to contact me on my talk page or in email if you'd like to continue this discussion! Poor SatuSuro must be getting dizzy from our volleys! :)
To shorten this, I'll just say that I concur with what you said about environmental awareness and policy.ReveurGAM (talk) 13:09, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I must apologise I have not had a moment today to look through the new edits as I am in the middle of a couple of projects. It is not lack of interest, just lack of time.
Certainly with some luck I will be able to look through the recent edits tomorrow, with some interest. Don't be so sure about some of that language regionalising it seems a lot more fluid than that from my POV. In the east I hear people using mbak, when not using their own regional language, I hear ibu all over the place. I here 'prrh-das' with a in the east, but maybe you are thinking a different part of the east to me, NT is a large area with many dialects and language groups. Also I often work and socalise with both upper echelon and lower ranked Javanese in Jakarta and Bandung, and they often use Javanese words and phrases. Indeed they will regionalise into Bandung Sundanese and Jakarta dialects. It's not so much that I understand them and know this, more so I hear the words, don't understand them and so I get curious and ask.-- Felix (talk) 16:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

New thoughts about the "History" section[edit]

I'm thinking that the coverage of earlier periods of history is too encapsulated and the coverage of events post-Reformasi is too long. For example, I could see excising this part:

"Rules of employment there remain different from the rest of the country, with employees supposedly being given special privileges not enjoyed elsewhere, such as being paid even when one doesn't work, however Indonesia is rife with the abuse of employee rights.

After Soeharto's fall, he was replaced by a series of interim leaders: B.J. Habibi, Soeharto's vice president, Abdul Rahman "Gus Dur" Wahid and finally Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of Soekarno and Gus Dur's vice president.

In 2004, Indonesia held the first election in which the people directly elected the president and vice president. If there is no clear majority vote achieved in an election, a second election is held for only the top vote-receivers."

None of this seems that important for visitors to know. But Indonesia is a place with a history of ancient civilization, and before that, there was the prehistoric Java Man, who I think should be mentioned.

I realize, though, that many regulars here want the history sections to be shortened in nearly all articles. I tend to demur on this, as I always like history and consider it important to know some basic facts about the history and culture of wherever you visit. But (a) it can be possible to cover more content yet edit the wording down to the minimum and (b) that's why I'm posting to get others' views before trying some edits. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:52, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I added all of that because I was going along with the style of the history section. I was looking at the history section today and, honestly, although I like history, I am inclined to seriously pare down the whole section, but I felt at a loss as to how to go about it. There's way too much info in there that, while interesting to history buffs and sociologists, isn't going to be of use to most travellers. Those with a great deal of interest in detailed history can certainly look at WP or other places. I prefer the encapsulated section at the start to the overly detailed sections after that. Succinct writing is, IMHO, the best course of action for this. Also, the history section is a real yawner. I feel like I'm on WP when I read it. The proklamasi section, for example, is full of stuff that just isn't needed. Globe-trotter suggested using the Japanese history as a model. Have you looked at that? Just my thoughts on it.ReveurGAM (talk) 13:28, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps move forward with some restraint on the history issue. Certainly I also would like to see some more historic depth in it that pre-dated RI and post WW2 information. An explanation concerning Hinduism and it's historic and contemporary influences both on the emerging republic and also upon contemporary Indonesia, how it is still a backbone influence despite the high percentage of the population with Muslim faith, the infulence of the Dutch, and Arab peoples, the influence of the British, (Raffles once controlled Batavia and their was a British Governorship), the emergence of the Republic in the tumultuous midst of WW2 and following the surrender of the Japanese military forces in Indonesia, who were then delegated to administer the 'nation' after hostilities had ceased, the emergence of a western backed dictatorship and then the subsequent reemergence of democracy post 1998. Many contemporary visitors just assume Indonesia is not a democracy, yet it is one of the worlds largest by population numbers. Many tourists who visit Bali do not realise they are standing in Indonesia. Many travellers also think the only area of Hindu influence is in Bali, entirely missing the deep imbedding into Indonesian social concepts and the Republic's philosophical and social frameworking.
Travellers still do need context, and many seek it, they just don't know where to find it. Some of the WP article are a bit of a worry. They bear a lot of error and misinformation carried through by the disinformation campaigns of the Suharto regime and the US/UK/AU alliance who participated in the nasty little secrets of the mid-60s, and the period prior where covert wars were wagged against the new republic in an attempt to destabilise Sukarno. It was denied for years, buried, obfuscated and obscured but eventually a lot of the hidden truths became openly formalised by document declassification programs in the US. Many records were released in recent years, but it went almost unreported, as did the massacres of the mid 60s. -- Felix (talk) 16:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I was going to try to pare down the history section but, in light of your comments and the direction you seem to want to take, I'm not going to. I don't know enough of Indonesian history (especially before Sukarno) to be able to help expand it in the direction you're discussing. Also, forgive me for sharing my opinion or if I'm wrong but it seems as if you want to not just correct erroneous info and add about Hinduism's influence, which is great, but to also expand the history section significantly. Is that right? If that is the case, then I'm afraid I don't agree with an expansion that isn't accompanied by a reduction to make the existing information more concise. It's already long, tediously over-detailed and more than most travellers need with less of what they need to know (IMHO only). It needs a freshening up so that it's more of a lively read, too. One reason many people don't like history in school is because the text books are BORING and so are the teachers - I certainly felt that way, but I learned to love history and appreciate its value. Also, the history section now is certainly what I'd expect an early draft on WP might look like. If you have relevant references (such as those declassified dox of US misbehavior), why not modify WP?
I agree that the influence of Hinduism is vastly under-reported, and that something about it - as it impacts travellers - should definitely be inserted, however I would caution against considering this a place to have an extensive history of Indonesia. This isn't WP and anyone can certainly go there to fix up, expand on and otherwise improve the historical info on Indonesia. As I understand it, WV's purpose is not to provide extensive historical information but, rather, to provide enough historical info to give a feel for why the country is the way it is.
This is all just how I feel about it, combined with what little I understand about WV. If you feel incredibly strongly about this, then please carry on and I will assist in proofing it. I apologize if I've stepped on your toes or otherwise proved to be a nuisance. ReveurGAM (talk) 02:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
To our unsigned friend: If you would like to try making the history section since Sukarno briefer and more interesting but you're reluctant to edit the article itself, please post a proposed edit here on the talk page for us to have a look at. But if your position is that there should be no history sections in Wikivoyage articles at all, with people simply directed to Wikipedia links, that is also a valid opinion, but one that needs to be discussed somewhere other than Talk:Indonesia. I'm having trouble thinking of where, so I'll suggest trying Wikivoyage:Travellers' Pub. Thanks for your ideas, which have logic to them and are worth discussing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:55, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
That's an intriguing idea that I hadn't considered, especially since it relieves us of the burden of finding the information, making sure it's correct, and then writing it succinctly. However (ain't there always one of those?), I pose these questions for everyone's consideration:
  • Would we really want to force travellers to go to WP and read an overly long and boring academic treatise on Indonesia (or wherever) that may not be correct, and probably not terribly valuable to those travellers who want to know the history in a way that is of value and interest to them?
  • Would it give greater value to WV to have links to WP articles especially since not every visitor to WV is aware that WP and WV are both part of WM, or that they may not be aware of Wikipedia at all?
  • Or would it simply be better to have a link at the end of (somewhere? History? The article?) to the WP article, as well as a WV version of history?
  • Would it make WV a better travel guide if history was left to Wikipedians (with those of us inclined to do so chipping in when we could)?
I suppose the pub WOULD be the place to bring it up, though.ReveurGAM (talk) 05:31, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Your rejoinder is very sound in my opinion, ReveurGAM. But I still hope our friend presents the argument in the Pub for the consideration of a wider cross-section of users. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:27, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

There already is a consensus that history sections should be relatively succinct, lively written and be focused on travelers. The History section needs to be pared down and made less boring to read, so if RaveurGAM is willing to make the necessary changes, that should be encouraged. Globe-trotter (talk) 10:43, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

GT, I'm busy working on creating a new page (my first ever - yay!) for an Indonesian law on Wikisource, so the history section will have to wait a few days. However, I'll take a stab at it after that, unless the others would prefer I not. Someone seems to be making changes to Indonesia without them showing up in the log - I noticed that yesterday - so I'd hate to waste my time. ReveurGAM (talk) 14:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Um, IK my friend, are you aware that the person of whom you speak is me? If you check the log, you'll see I fixed the stamp (I'd forgotten to log in) yesterday. Also, I'm not sure what idea of mine/yours it is you hope I'll put in the Pub. 8*) Also, I'm caught in between two different admins' (GT & F) opinions {again}, so I want to see how things develop. :) ReveurGAM (talk) 14:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Nope, I wasn't aware. The idea that I thought was worth bringing up was whether we should eliminate the "History" section from all Wikivoyage articles and refer people to Wikipedia. I don't think there will be a consensus for that, but even if Globe-trotter is right that there's a functional, rather than inertial consensus for there to actually be "History" sections in Wikivoyage articles, bringing up the kind of relatively radical alternative you thought of is a good way to get people thinking outside the box. So if you'd rather not bring it up, perhaps I will. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:29, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, you extrapolated the idea from something I wrote, so I'll let you air it in the Pub, okay? ReveurGAM (talk) 16:05, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'll think about it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:18, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Maybe - I dont agree with keeping 'history' sections like the Indonesian one in wikivoyage articles sats (talk) 22:15, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Revised History Section[edit]

Here I go, having taken the plunge, with GT's encouragement and much hesitation, and made my first attempt at reducing and improving (I HOPE) the history section. Rather than get hit by a revert when someone inevitably dislikes something, I'm posting it here for your consideration. Please remember that the point here is to make it smaller and more concise, so I have removed a lot of repetitive material as well as supporting details in the interest of these two goals. If you have suggestions that will make it better FOR THE MAJORITY OF TRAVELERS, please do let me know. I'm sorry that I'm not able to provide new sections about Indonesia that would better demonstrate the ancient influences of other cultures and religions, so that might be something to contribute. *drum roll* Apologies to history lovers! I tried putting this in a box to set it apart but couldn't seem to get it to work right.

History[edit]

The temples of Prambanan (c. 10th century)

Early History[edit]

The early, modern history of Indonesia begins in the period from 2500 BCE to 1500 BCE with a wave of light brown-skinned Austronesian immigrants, thought to have originated in Taiwan. This Neolithic group of people, skilled in open-ocean maritime travel and agriculture are believed to have quickly supplanted the existing, less-developed population.

From this point onward, dozens of kingdoms and civilizations flourished and faded in different parts of the archipelago. Some notable kingdoms include Srivijaya (7th-14th century) on Sumatra and Majapahit (1293-c.1500), based in eastern Java but the first to unite the main islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Borneo (now Kalimantan) as well as parts of Peninsular Malaysia. When Islam became ascendent on Java, the already-weak Hindu Majapahit empire retreated to Bali and Lombok and faded away.

Colonization[edit]

The first Europeans to arrive (after Marco Polo who passed through in the late 1200s) were the Portuguese, who were given permission to erect a godown near present-day Jakarta in 1522. By the end of the century, however, the Dutch had pretty much taken over and the razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on Java, leading to 350 years of colonization. In 1824, the Dutch and the British signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty which divided the Malay world into Dutch and British spheres of influence, with the Dutch ceding Malacca to the British, and the British ceding all their colonies on Sumatra to the Dutch. The line of division roughly corresponds to what is now the border between Malaysia and Indonesia, with a small segment becoming the border between Singapore and Indonesia.

As with most colonies, Indonesia was exploited for labor and natural resources. Various nationalist groups developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, and there were several disturbances, quickly put down by the Dutch. Leaders were arrested and exiled, and some of the Dutch were particularly nasty when dealing with locals; however, the Netherlands did provide some infrastructure, education, and a national language, among other things.

During World War II, the Japanese conquered most of the islands. The Japanese behaved even more brutally than had the Dutch, treating the locals in a most inhumane way, and were guilty of numerous wartime crimes. In August 1945, in the post-war vacuum following the Japanese surrender to allied forces, the Japanese army and navy still controlled the majority of the Indonesian archipelago. The Japanese agreed to return Indonesia to the Netherlands but continued to administer the region as the Dutch were unable to immediately return due to massive destabilisation from the effects of the war in Europe. To this day, older Indonesians still remember what the Dutch and Japanese had done, but younger generations have forgotten and some are even a bit obsessed with those two nations.

Independence[edit]

On August 17th, 1945, Sukarno read the Proklamasi Kemerdekaan (Declaration of Independence) and the Panitia Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Freedom) moved to form an interim government. A constitution, drafted by the PPKI, was announced on 18th August and Sukarno was declared President with Hatta as Vice-President. The PPKI became the Central Indonesian National Committee, which acted as the temporary governing body. The new government was installed on August 31, 1945.

The Dutch mounted a diplomatic and military campaign to reclaim their former colony from the nationalists. There was resistance from Indonesia and other countries, including the USA as well as the newly formed United Nations. The Dutch ultimately accepted defeat and, on December 27, 1949, they formally transferred sovereignty to "Republik Indonesia Serikat" (the Republic of the United States of Indonesia). In August 1950, a new constitution was proclaimed and the new Republic of Indonesia was formed from the original but now expanded Republic to include Sumatera Timur (East Sumatra) and Negara Indonesia Timur (Eastern Indonesia). Jakarta was made the capital of the Republic of Indonesia.

Governmental Formation[edit]

September 1950 saw the first government of a fully independent Indonesia. Sukarno returned again to the role of President and over time came to assert greater power in that role. For a time, Indonesia used a provisional constitution modeled upon that of the US, which also drew heavily on the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, on September 26, 1950, Indonesia was admitted to the United Nations. In 1955, Indonesia held its first free election.

The new government was tasked with finalising a permanent and final version of the constitution but after much wrangling consensus was not reached, leading to organised public demonstrations in 1958. In 1959, President Sukarno issued a decree dissolving the then-current constitution and restoring the 1945 Constitution. Indonesia then entered the era of Guided Democracy with the Head of State assuming stronger presidential powers and also absorbing the previous role of Prime Minister.

Annexation[edit]

From their initial declaration of independence, Indonesia claimed West Papua as part of their nation, but the Dutch held onto it into the 1960s and, in the early sixties, there was further armed conflict over that region. After a UN-brokered peace deal and a referendum, West Papua became part of Indonesia and was renamed Irian Jaya, which apocryphically stands for Ikut ("part of the") Republik [of] Indonesia, Anti-Nederlands, and "Jaya" means "glorious". It's now called simply Papua, but the independence movement smolders on to this day.

Sukarno's tribute to independence and unity — National Monument, Jakarta

Cold War[edit]

During the post-war and Cold war period, Sukarno made friendly advances to the USA, the Soviet Union and later, China. He also tried to play one against another as he attempted to develop the nation as a non-aligned state. Much to the dismay of post-war Western governments, Sukarno became engaged in extensive dialogue with the Soviets and accepted civil and military aid, equipment, and technical assistance from the USSR. Sukarno publicly claimed that his engagement with the Soviets was to assist in promoting the new Republic of Indonesia as a non-aligned post-war state and to assist in rebuilding the nation following the Pacific arena of WWII.

The US, confronted by an archipelago apparently in the grasp of emerging Indonesian nationalism, sought to gain and maintain control over the important resources and shipping routes of the region. It supported anti-Sukarno activities and operations to destabilise the nationalist movement. In 1957-58, the CIA infiltrated arms and personnel in support of regional rebellions against Sukarno, but many other actions were taken. The actions were supported from the US embassy in Singapore, by elements of the US 7th fleet and with the co-operation and support of the UK government and western intelligence agencies.

The New Order[edit]

The Coup[edit]

There appear to have been two factions - those generals that were in support of Sukarno and the foreign-backed generals who sought his downfall. From 1960 to 1966, Subandrio, Sukarno's foreign minister, second deputy prime minister and chief of intelligence, had infiltrated agents into a secret meeting of right-wing generals plotting the overthrow of Sukarno. In September 1965, six army generals were kidnapped and murdered in an apparent coup attempt. The circumstances surrounding what happened and why are not entirely known, and official accounts seem suspect. Parts of the military were active, including armed forces in strategic Merdeka Square. General Suharto then reportedly quelled this action within the armed forces in a single day. The communists were blamed for the uprising, but it appears probable that Suharto used the situation to usurp power from Sukarno, and those who had conspired against Sukarno condemned what had happened to their opponents.

Suharto originally served in the Japanese occupation-forces-supported police force, later he entered the Peta (Defenders of the Fatherland) and went on to train in the Japanese-led Indonesian armed forces of the occupation period. In the post-war period, it is believed he fell under US influence and patronage and, with their backing, he and his supporters rose in stature and influence.

The Purges[edit]

Suharto initially claimed to support President Sukarno but then seized power himself, sidelining Sukarno, and proclaimed an Orde Baru (New Order). A series of bloody anti-Communist purges was then initiated leading to the death of 500,000-2,000,000 people (estimates vary widely). The Western governments turned a blind eye to the massacres and they remained substantially unreported in the West for a considerable time. Many historians have since shed light on the involvement of the US intelligence services and to a lesser degree their mutual contacts in British, German and Japanese intelligence in the circumstances leading up to the seizure of power by Suharto and the subsequent murderous purges.

Following Suharto's rise to power, US interests in the region were secured and their influence over the RI and the nation's resources, which has continued into the new century.

Suharto's Regime[edit]

Under Suharto from 1966 to 1997, Indonesia enjoyed stability and economic growth and had the appearance of being free of corruption, but most of the wealth was concentrated in the hands of a small corrupt elite and dissent was brutally crushed. Opposition to Suharto was reputedly dealt with by kidnappings in the middle of the night, kangaroo courts and imprisonment, and some dissidents simply vanished. Despite these black events, many Indonesians still choose to focus on the relative prosperity of his reign.

Reformation[edit]

During the Asian economic crisis of 1997, the value of the Indonesian rupiah plummeted, halving the purchasing power of ordinary Indonesians. In the ensuing violent upheaval in 1998, there were riots and ethnic purges that mostly targeted ethnic Chinese, primarily in and around Jakarta. Looting, rape and murder of many Chinese occurred and it is still unclear how many victims there were. Many cases remain unsolved. Suharto became a major target for those who sought to reform Indonesia and, after the period known as Reformasi, Suharto was brought down and a more democratic regime installed.

Years later, a case was eventually brought against him on various charges. However, the trial was never completed as his doctors kept claiming he was too ill to stand trial and he eventually died in 2010 and received a hero's burial. It is likely that powerful friends of his within the government and military, along with fabricated stories by his doctors, are what kept him out of court and out of jail.

Secessionist Movements[edit]

The former Portuguese colony of East Timor was annexed by Indonesia in 1975, but there was armed resistance to this. After decades of Indonesian rule, on 30 August 1999, a provincial referendum for independence was overwhelmingly approved by the people of East Timor. Indonesia grudgingly but astonishingly accepted the result (although army-linked militias looted the capital, Dili, in protest), and East Timor gained its independence in 2002. "Astonishingly" is perhaps an understatement because of Indonesia's bloody history of quelling uprisings throughout the nation.

One more violent secessionist movement took place in the devoutly Islamic state of Aceh at the northern tip of Sumatra. Some sources claim that Aceh was a prosperous nation that was enticed by Sukarno into joining the resistance of Dutch occupation in exchange for special considerations afterwards, including having special autonomy, but not all of the promises were kept and thus the protests began. After decades of insurgency and abortive talks, the deadlock was broken by the 2004 tsunami, which killed over 200,000 people in Aceh. The Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) signed a peace deal the next year, with Aceh giving up its fight for independence in exchange for being granted special autonomy including the right to enact Syariah (Islamic) law and, to date, the peace has held.

Some attempts to gain Papua's independence have occurred over the years, but the attempts have become less organized after the suspicious death of a prominent secessionist leader in Papua. Despite this, there is still sporadic violence, including the shootings of locals and foreigners, and sometimes protesting groups block all access to areas like Freeport.

Elections by Citizens[edit]

After Soeharto's fall, he was replaced by a series of interim leaders: B.J. Habibi, Soeharto's vice president, Parliament-chosen Abdul Rahman "Gus Dur" Wahid (who only lasted one year) and, finally, Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of Soekarno and Gus Dur's vice president.

In 2004, Indonesia held the first election in which the people directly elected the president and vice president, former General Susilo Bambang Yudhono and Jusuf Kalla, defeating incumbent Megawati through an alliance between then-weak Partai Demokrat and Partai Golongan Karya (Workers' Party), as well as other small parties. The second election was held in 2009, and "SBY" with Boediono as his new running mate, handily defeated all contenders, including Jusuf and Megawati. Megawati was criticized during and after both elections for her rude behavior towards SBY.

Reinvention[edit]

Currently, Indonesia is one of the world's largest democracies and the most populous Muslim-majority democracy. It is going through a period of difficult reforms and re-invention following the Reformasi and the institution of a democratically elected government. To assist in the transformation from the years of centralized control under the Suharto regime, the role of regional and provincial governments has been strengthened and enhanced. The election process in Indonesia has a high participation rate and the nature and fabric of governance and administration is slowly changing across Indonesia. Change in the nation since the fall of Suharto has also been characterized by greater freedom of speech and a massive reduction in the political censorship that was a feature of Suharto's New Order era. There is more open political debate in the news media as well as in general discourse, political and social debate.

Legal Concerns[edit]

However, there are laws in place that prevent foreigners from being involved politically, and another law prevents derogatory comments about the state-approved religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism and Islam). The anti-defamation, and Information and Electronic Transaction, laws are sometimes abused by the rich and powerful to the detriment of regular citizens, such as in the recent case of Prita vs. Omni Hospital, in which malpractice was performed and covered up. Sadly, laws about corruption are weak and sentences are generally light when handled by the regular courts. The Komite Pemberantasan Korupsi (Anti-Corruption Commission) is stricter about this and has its own police force and courts, but the KPK has been experiencing problems. KPK cases are mostly for Jakarta and Java and cases involving other islands are rarely enforced well enough to stop the illegal behavior that caused them, such as the illegal deforestation and development in Kalimantan.

Don't lose hope, fearless traveler! Things have slowly been improving, despite some intransigent corruptors in various departments of the government that you may have to deal with, and the requests for money, furniture, "blue" films and such have decreased and the quality of service in some Immigration offices has become better. The key is to remember that one bribe opens the floodgates, so never bribe!

What do you think? ReveurGAM (talk) 17:32, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd have to look at the current version vs. this one to be sure of what's different. This looks generally fine. I think I'll add something brief about the Portuguese period of rule over the "Spice Islands" and their genocidal behavior there, and I definitely do not agree that Suharto had the appearance of not being corrupt during what you're calling his "Golden Age." When I visited in 1976, so many people spontaneously complained to us about "banyak korupsi" that it seemed to be a universal opinion, and we personally were in a bemo in Bali that got stopped by an army roadblock that existed only for the purpose of extorting a monthly bribe from drivers. But I wouldn't worry about running this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:10, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Having spent far too long in my life considering the grab bag methods of guide books and how they present the history of indonesia in a digestible format for travellers - I do not agree with having lengthy history sections for wikivoyage articles. Simple as that. Wikipedia en is littered with contentious rubbish about Indonesian history, I dont see why we need to provide yet another version. Adding personal anecdotes about experiencing Indonesian history I see as limited value for travellers... Msybe Reveur and Ikan feel a need for it, but I must insist on adding my doubts as to whether highly derivative generalised statements about a more complex subject in something like a travellers website/source is really worth the effort. sats (talk) 22:21, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Are you proposing to eliminate history sections of all Wikivoyage articles? If so, we need to discuss that proposal at a much higher level than this talk page. Why don't you start the discussion and post a link here? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:57, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Not at this stage - I do not have the personally available time to deal with the potential issues that will arise and keep and open and maintain intelligent discussion. I just think in this particular case needs careful review. I personally trust reveur and Ikan to prune the current section - but in principle in the long term - I am opposed to the section. If I have more time in the next few weeks I have no problem in raising the issue as a wikivoyage wide policy issue. sats (talk) 02:32, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
@IK: Okay, thanks, so you think it's okay to replace the current history with this, then? The sentence you appear to be objecting to ("...had the appearance of being free of corruption...") makes it quite clear that corruption and worse were rampant, so I'm afraid I do not understand why you think the opposite. Please reread the paragraph and explain so I can see what I can do to resolve the problem. Also, I deliberately put "Golden Age" in quotes to be cynical.
If you can add a bit about the Portuguese influence that would be nice, since the current history all but ignores it and I know that some cultures here continue to feel its influence (just as the Philippines does (or was that Spain?)).
@sats: This is per previous talk about the history section being too long and too much like a WP article's history section (see relevant talk sections above). In addition, Globe-Trotter had urged this move.
Did you read our comments in the previous section about removing history from Wikivoyage? Did you find personal anecdotes in the revision? If so, can you point them out as I heavily excised personal anecdotes (aside from the now very truncated mention of Prita vs Omni because it is a landmark case in several respects)? It is my understanding that what I've done is what is desired on WV, right or wrong, good or bad, to keep history manageable yet give travelers a hint of past influences on a country. I'm sorry you're displeased. I'm a bit confused because you first say you disagree with lengthy history but then you disagree with derivative, generalized history...? Do you have an alternative proposal (aside from deletion)? ReveurGAM (talk) 04:40, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I think it's OK to put this up in the article. My objection is that I don't think Suharto had the appearance of being free of corruption. If he did, then to whom? Certainly not to the dozens of Indonesians we came into contact with who complained over and over about the corruption and arbitrariness of his regime. I'd also say that cynicism doesn't always come across too clearly on the internet. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:10, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't know the motive of the original author of that sentence, but it's not the first time I've seen a claim like that. Certainly, your experience is valid! Perhaps there was very little international coverage of the problems under Suharto's regime since he was on "the good guys' side" (pfft)? Given the old info in the History section that repeatedly mentioned the covert ops of the US and UK and how things only recently came to light as documents were declassified, it may have been that - from the foreigner's (non-visitors) perspective - things were good here. Americans, on the average, are pretty unaware of the bad things our allies do to their citizens - US coverage of world news is pathetic and censored at times when it isn't just biased. However, that is only speculation as to the rationale of the original writer. :)
How about if I change it to Regime instead of "Golden Age"? ReveurGAM (talk) 06:23, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Sure. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:57, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
This conversation above is why I think it is counterproductive to play around with over-generalised opinions about the state of Indonesia and it culture and its history - it is too easy to get bogged down in dotting the I's and crossingthe T's about something that has very little to do with what the traveller might encounter in the country and what they are seeking... I am not saying delete the history section - but hey - there is a limit surely to how to parse the sentences and how they reflect on the stages of history... Indonesians themselves spend energy on stating their cultural pedigree, 'where they come from' - whether the hindu buddhist past or the all conquering islam, I dont think the average Indonesian is going to be forthcoming or academic about the machinations of the 'New Order' era and Suharto - they might remember korupsi - I thought that had continued well after the demise of Suharto. I have already said that I think the interplay between IK and Raveur - that you will resolve the section, I just think expending vast amounts of space over who did or what or whether a way of describing what happened in the 70's and 80's, is far too close to non-goal, rather than goal of wikivoyage. sats (talk) 09:17, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
In the absence of further commentary, I've decided to do the dirty deed. ReveurGAM (talk) 09:14, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

New Section: Menus[edit]

Since eating is a required experience anywhere one travels, and Indonesian menus are not easily understood, I've added a section to deal with that. I hope you like it!

Previously, I'd added warnings about things to avoid, such as block ice and stinky/strongly flavored foods, in different places. I'm wondering if it might be better to put some or all of it together at the end of the Eat and Drink sections in a new sub-section called "Avoid". What do you think? ReveurGAM (talk) 18:25, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I really like what you wrote there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:12, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
What do you think about my "Avoid" idea?ReveurGAM (talk) 03:15, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
All of it looked good to me. People can have different views about this, and I'll be curious to see what others, like Felix and sats, think. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Do & places to visit[edit]

I was looking at the Do section, and it is really abominably skimpy. I know of a lot of other activities one can do here, but I don't know WHERE, so I thought I'd start by putting up a list of activities to see if anyone else knows where are good places to do them. Perhaps you could just add places you know of directly to the list below.

Mountain climbing - Kinjani, Bromo, Slamet, Merapi
Picnicking - Lokawisata
Camping - Wanawisata, BAF (Baturraden Adventure Forest)
Whitewater rafting
Surfing - Bali, Lombok, Gili Air
Sailing
Para-sailing - Bali, Lombok
Swimming/Snorkeling (I mean destinations where the water is still clean enough) - Northern 1,000 Islands, Karimun Jawa (except next to the "harbor"), Gili islands, NTT (it might also be good to mention where the risk of shark or jellyfish is high)
Scuba diving - Gili islands, Bunaken, Bali, Lombok, NTT, Karimun Jawa
Hiking/Trekking - outside Bandung (don't know the park's name, it has sulphur blowholes and such), Bandungan, Baturraden, Wonosobo, Lombok
Bungee Jumping - Bali
Shopping - Jakarta: Mangga Dua, Roxi, Kelapa Gading, Sogo, Senayan; Bekasi: Grand Mall Bekasi; Semarang: Simpang Lima shopping district; Jogjakarta: Malioboro; Bali: Ubud, Kuta area; (I didn't see any interesting shopping in NTT)
Blind massages
Steam baths
Caving/spelunking
Bird watching
Wildlife watching
Butterfly watching

I thought we could also expand on the places to visit (aside from cities and OD) by adding
Butterfly parks - Bali has one
Hot water baths/springs/pools - Bandungan, Lokawisata
Bird parks - Lombok
Protected parks - Palawi/Wanawisata Forest in Baturraden
Adventure "Outbound" parks - BAF
Regular parks - (there are so few) Lokawisata in Baturraden, Bandungan
Zoos - Jogjakarta
Amusement parks - Ancol's water and rides parks
Architectural parks - Semarang, Ancol, Dunia Fantasi
Museums - Semarang, Jakarta, Ambarawa, Bali, Purwokerto
Historical sites - Lawang Sewu
Places where the temp's not so hot - Bandungan, Baturraden, Wonosobo, Dieng, Puncak (Bogor), Kintamani (Bali)
Unique places - Yasnaya Polyana (Curug Gede, Baturraden)

If there's a category for either that I've missed, please add it.

Please add to the lists. ReveurGAM (talk) 11:21, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

There is on wp en a movement to try to promote Bandung as a heritage/architectural histoical location - to the point of setting up a project, dont know if it happened or not, and in the new order era there were aspects of some towns that still had a colonial air to their street scapes and parts of towns, that the tourist promotion committees and boards were particularly stuck about, when it came to having criterion for whether the buildings or streetscapes might have an element of the colonial era still extant, as an attracion - as the language used then was for 'tourism obyeks'. I am not sure what the current local government administrations are doing, but the succession of visit indonesia years in the 90's became cliched and the locals used to send it up, putting on their communal water tanks the name of their village 'visit x year'. Association with significant historical people and places in other countries have seen 'heritage trails', with specific locations associated with significant events. I can think of a number of very significant locales in Java that were important to older generations that current administrators might not want to otherwise identify.

There is in fact a very good argument to not identify some 'special' localities simply because of their fragility and the problem of 'over exposure' - even borobudur has in the last 30 years been regularly claimed to be literally physically suffering from over-exposure. So the balance to identify things/places that are sufficiently robust to handle the visitors, that are reachable without difficulty and are not dangerous, with places that havent always shown up in the detailed parts of old battered copies of Bill Daltons/Moons Indonesian handbook from 30 years ago, is a fine balance indeed. If I was recommending to a person to go and see places identified with a heritage trail (ie selected locations) related to any of the following: Suharto, Sudirman, Sultan Agung, Suripati, Aidit, Van Mook, and maybe another 10 significant figures in Indonesian history, I would be providing identification of villages, and buildings, in some cases that I would ethically not be prepared to divulge on wikivoyage, on the basis that even 10 people in 10 months would be enough to get authorities concerned enough to police in some way. Like the castle in Krakow in Poland where a new ager went every day for months to a 'power point' in the castle, the authorities fenced it in. I raise this, as this is a thorny one for wikivoyage, there are in the end some places best left out. sats (talk) 14:22, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

New cautionary section about edibles[edit]

I've added a section that I am sure is going to be viewed dimly by certain people, but I want to assure you that this is entirely true and that I have actually understated the seriousness and extent of the problem - some of the details of what is done are rather disturbing (e.g.: one restaurant was shut down for serving rotten food - food which was collected IN GARBAGE DUMPS, and then recooked and sold as if it were new). Rather than be Cpt. Obvious, I didn't state that it's best to avoid cheap places to eat in order to avoid the problems I mentioned. If someone can please add an appropriate warning sign picture to that, as I don't know how, I'd appreciate it.

I'll probably add a similar warning to the shopping section regarding cosmetics, massage oil, baby products, etc. that are deliberately contaminated with illegal substances, and have resulted in injury or even death and, since some tourists go overseas to avoid the prices and hoops of getting certain types of treatments, I'll also put in that they should be very careful about things like silicone treatments. Just yesterday, there was a report on the news about problems with illegal treatments such as this (it's been ongoing for several years, apparently, as one woman who was interviewed used to be a famous star - her face looked like, well, terrible!).

Separate from that, I also hope to mention the ready availability of knock-offs (usually designer clothes, accessories, perfumes an cosmetics) and pirated products (like movies, music and programs), and I hope to eventually flesh out the section with info on how to detect knock-offs (like fake leather, perfume, etc.).ReveurGAM (talk) 16:59, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Tipping[edit]

I'd like to open this sentence up for discussion:

"Tipping in restaurants is uncommon, but tipping for many other service jobs isn't, such as drivers, bellhops, porters and guides."

Is tipping in these situations common (or "not uncommon") for Indonesian customers, or only for visitors from countries like the United States who either feel rich or are used to tipping for such services at home? I think that's an important question. If it is in fact not uncommon nowadays for Indonesians to give money above and beyond the agreed-upon price for a taxi, or to tip hotel employees for normal services, then and only then should the sentence stand.

Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:06, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, locals also tip, which I thought was made self-evident by my statement. However, I'm sorry but I disagree with you about your closing statement. WV is for travellers, not locals, thus it is not relevant whether or not locals tip. ReveurGAM (talk) 11:25, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

I didn't found any locals giving tips here in Sumatera, just rich foreigners does it :D. Maybe that could be an exception. SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 14:27, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
My point is, if it's something locals aren't doing, it's not traditional and not something foreigners should feel guilty about not doing. You don't have to agree with me, but I would at any rate consider it quite useful information, so the compromise would be - if this were the case - to write that tipping is not normally done by Indonesians but is commonly done by foreigners in Indonesia. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:22, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I understand your point, IK, and I understand your concern - I, too, don't like being told I MUST tip (which happens in the US). However, whether locals have to or not isn't relevant to what tourists do or don't, should or shouldn't do, which is why I worded it the way I did - as something they could do to help locals. You haven't been here in a long time and when you were here things were much different than they are now - this I have garnered from reading and talking to people. I mean you no disrespect but I think it is perfectly acceptable to suggest to travelers who are well off to tip. I'm a cheap tipper, myself, because I'm always on a budget, but I believe in trying to give at least a little bit when I can.
And, yes, Indonesians DO tip. Perhaps not everywhere, as evidenced by Ramzy's comment, but I have seen, many a time, tipping of porters, drivers and other servers (aside from restaurant staff) by Indonesians. Is it obligatory? It depends on the situation - porters tend to be paid by the people they serve such as at the train station but not at, say, a supermarket where some display signs that say, in essence, "Don't tip the porter."
A great number of drivers rely heavily on the giving of tips because the amount of money they actually earn by driving and fulfilling the terms of the taxi company is often slight, especially in places like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Semarang where there are too many companies competing (especially when Blue Bird pushes its way into the market like it did in Semarang). Talking to taxi drivers is kind of depressing, really. They remind me of the coal miners of old in the US in that they work long hours, don't get to sleep much in their own beds or spend much time with their families, and really don't ever seem to get out of that hole, with the noted exception of true co-ops where the drivers own their own taxis, like Kosti Jaya in Bekasi and Semarang. Those drivers tend to be much better off and may even own more than one car! Those who drive a taxi by agreeing to pay a certain amount per day generally work really long hours, take naps in their taxis when there's a lull, eat on the run and don't get much time at home, let alone vacations and such. One can get a feel for how tough most people have it by how much time taxi drivers spend in their taxis.
As sad as their stories are, I feel worse for the becak drivers, who look so scrawny and yet have to push great loads around on their trishaws - excepting those who've mounted a motor on it. I rarely ride them, however, because they tend to get greedy when they see me and, also, my head tends to bump on the ribs of the roof. It's slow and uncomfortable, and I'm rarely within range of my destination anyways. I once had a trishaw driver in Singapore try to rip me off for a grand fee after refusing to tell me ("Don't worry.") the fee prior to me getting in. He went away SORELY disappointed when I paid him what I would've paid using public transport. He probably cast a hex on me but he deserved it for tricking me.
The same could be applied to people who work in a traditional setting where haggling is the norm. One could haggle them down to a bony profit or one could have mercy and give them a bit extra just to make sure they can make ends meet. I don't speak of the jewelry dealers, or the art sellers during peak season, but those others...This was the point of the comment you reverted so hastily.
Getting back to it, tipping DOES occur, at least in my presence, and is performed by locals. I kinda suspect they don't do it for my benefit, however, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is the norm here. :)
And, yes, I have had drivers try to force me to give them a tip by claiming they had no spare change. That only worked once or twice before I got fed up. :O
What is one dollar (or the equivalent) to most travelers, after all, setting aside backpackers? It doesn't buy much back in our country of origin anymore, does it? :) ReveurGAM (talk) 15:26, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the great stories, as usual. It sounds like the compromise would be to say that Indonesians do tip people who do services for them sometimes, in some parts of the country. I indeed haven't been to Indonesia since 1976 but was last in Malaysia in 2003, and while a lot had changed, from what I could see, it was still the case that tipping was not standard or really expected. Of course, Indonesia and Malaysia are different countries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:55, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
How about if we add this: "Tipping is not a universal practice in Indonesia. You will find some areas and businesses discourage it while others encourage it or there may be a neutral viewpoint about it. In popular tourist areas, in particular on Java and Bali, tipping is often hoped for. Tipping is almost never a requirement in Indonesia but if you feel you'd like to help the person who helped you because they did a great job, or just because you think they need a bit extra to support their family, then the only thing left to do is to consider if it is allowed or discouraged. You can try asking people there but you may not get a very clear answer.
Also, in some cultures it is traditional to refuse something a few times (3 is a common number) before accepting it, but there are cultural nuances that can let you know whether it's politeness or a rejection of a tip.
Finally, keep in mind that some people deliberately tell stories about how hard their life is in order to get a tip. If the person has offered these tales with little or no prompting, and has been quite detailed, you may wish to be cautious."
Seems good to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:03, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Culture vs Respect[edit]

A large chunk of what's currently under "Culture" should be moved to/merged with "Respect"... and much of it should be nuked entirely ("make statements that could be construed as trying to influence politics"? huh?). Jpatokal (talk) 22:28, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

I would be very curious to see what you suggest.
FYI: the comment you think should be nuked is in regards to the law in Indonesia that prevents foreigners from being involved in politics, be it debates or demonstrations. Foreigners have been arrested for ignoring this law... hence it is valid.ReveurGAM (talk) 00:45, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

WikiProject Indonesia[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I just saw this interview and thought Wikivoyagers might be interested in reaching out to those contributors to help improve coverage of Indonesia on Wikivoyage. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 18:57, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Is anyone in touch with User:(WT-en) Burmesedays? He or she was a good contributor on WT, especially for Indonesian destinations, but as far as I know has never joined us here. I'd issue an invitation, but WT has long since disabled the "email user" feature mainly to prevent such communication and I do not have an email address to use. Pashley (talk) 20:26, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Burmesedays has vanished—hasn't responded to emails. --Peter Talk 21:32, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm here again at the moment adding content... Pratyeka (talk) 13:26, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Train travel in Indonesia[edit]

I have added a small paragraph about an alternative booking method of train tickets (through tiket.com - third party private partner working with PT KAI). I see this as important to add as many people reported their foreign credit cards being rejected in the official portal, and secondly because the official booking portal on kereta-api.co.id is only in Indonesian. This provides a way of booking train tickets from overseas. By the way the link to PT KAI's reservation has also been updated.

Feel free to reedit if the addition is not properly formatted. I'm not sure whether the tiket link needs to be added in the pages of major cities in the By train section, so I have not done that. Ditz (talk) 19:26, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

I think those are two important reasons why an exception can be made to our usual wv:xl policy in the interests of the traveller. Thank you. --213.160.119.242 19:31, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
http://tiket.kereta-api.co.id/media/content/banner_tiket_loket_ditutup.jpg As per the linked announcement from the official PT Kereta Api Indonesia website (in Indonesian), from 15 August 2014 advanced sales of ticket will no longer be served in station's ticket counters. Ticket counters at the station will only serve ticket sales for reduced tickets (police, soldiers etc mostly unapplicable to tourists), and for 'go show' tickets i.e. purchase for same day trains. Advance ticket sales would be done through other channels: online, and also through various partners (minimarts Alfamart, Alfamidi, Indomaret, Lawson, and the post office). I will update this important information on the main page soon, after digging more details. There will also be schedule changes on 1 June but I guess the whole list should not be put here and it is better to refer to the specific train timetables.Ditz (talk) 16:51, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Thanks for explaining! --212.219.249.5 12:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

History/Culture[edit]

I have started to work to make the "History" section more closely connected to travel, as was done in Germany#History. The Dutch ruled Indonesia for a long time. We should include some links in the "History" section to places where there are notable relics of Dutch rule. One I can think of is that there was a grand Dutch hotel in Pematangsiantar that my parents splurged on. Is it still there? But of course, any highly visible Dutch forts or monuments in Jakarta and other cities large or small could be mentioned - a number of them, but only a selection of some of the most interesting ones, as I hope to make this a briefer history. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:21, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Also, what can we depict that would relate to Orde Baru? I don't want pictures of people getting killed, but buildings or monuments. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:30, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I found a few things, but let's please continue to work on the History and Culture sections. They're important but also may have details that travellers not intending to live as expats in Indonesia might not need to know. I love history and culture and hate to excise things, but Wikipedia does exist. How relevant are Indonesian films and literature to even most travellers who are quite interested in understanding local culture? I mean, we could mention painters like Affandi, too, but how far into the weeds do we want to get? I think that most visitors would want to know about performances like wayang kulit, wayang orang, kecak, and various other music, dance, and drama performances they could attend in different parts of the country, and then also should be informed about batik Jawa and maybe some other notable types of cloth and the kinds of art objects that are shown and made for sale in different parts of the country.
I think this is the kind of paragraph we can pare significantly:
"Because prices of media devices, such as TVs, mobile phones and computers, and vehicles has dropped, and the availability of credit has improved, the process of standardisation of language and culture in Indonesia has made headway, but waterways continue to act to slow the process down. Many areas now use Indonesian, and some previously jungle-dwelling tribes have left the jungle and abandoned their old ways, such as the Dayak of Kalimantan. And yet, cultures remain strong in many areas, and you will notice variations in the Indonesian language if you care to learn it as you travel. The influence of media has served to somewhat bring together the country culturally but ineffectively and the introduction of Jakarta dialects has had limited impact on other areas. Different areas continue to exhibit their own characteristics, from the straightforwardness of the Bataknese in Sumatra, to the politeness of the Javanese and Sundanese on Java and the Balinese, to the reserved gravity of the ethnic groups on Sumba and, in sharp contrast, the joyful friendliness of the locals on Flores. Indonesia is truly a culturally rich experience for anyone who has the time, money and patience to explore it. Despite the ubiquitous presence of the Javanese nearly everywhere, like the Han of China, you can still find something new and different. Add in the cultural, historical and religious sites and experiences, the vast array of traditional handicrafts, and the variety of activities available, and you'll find that Indonesia really is amazing! Indonesians tend to be polite, friendly, curious, flexible, adaptable, creative, resourceful and tolerant, but what you may consider to be polite may not be their way. These characteristics vary from area to area and ethnicity to ethnicity."
Here's a quick try:
"The process of standardisation of language and culture in Indonesia has made headway as communications between villages and islands have become easier, and many areas that use to use only local languages now use Indonesian, too. Yet regional cultures remain strong in many areas, and probably will for the foreseeable future."
I'm uncomfortable with the stereotypes, even if they are widely accepted in Indonesia. I'd rather if we are going to give examples of regional diversity, we did so with reference to specific customs, rituals, beliefs, or styles of arts and crafts, food, cloth, etc. Your thoughts? Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, so far, no-one has replied to this thread, but I'd like to ask whether we should excise or at least shorten the paragraphs on Indonesian films and literature in the "Understand/Culture" section, since people who don't understand Indonesian would need subtitles for films and translations for literature, whereas music, drama, and dance don't require translation to the same degree. I won't rush to edit these paragraphs without input from other people. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:47, 17 July 2014 (UTC)