Here I would like to introduce to you to some of Indonesian culture and tradition.The culture of Indonesia has been shaped by long interaction between original customs and foreign influence. Despite the influences of foreign culture, some remote Indonesia regions still preserve uniquely indigenous culture, that include ethnic group  Asmat, Dayak, Mentawai, Toraja, Dani and many others. These ethnic group still practicing their ethnic and rituals, customs and wearing traditional clothes.

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© 2016 Liza W. Widjaja


Minangkabau People also known as Minang, Padang( orang Minang, suku Minang) is an ethnic group native to the Minangkabau highlands of West Sumatra, Indonesia.

A process called Merantau , in which young Minangkabau men travel to frontier territories and even overseas to educate themselves, has resulted in the expansion of the Minang influence to many parts of the archipelago.

Today about 4,5 million Minang live in the homeland of West Sumatra while about 4,million more are scattered throughout many Indonesian and Malay Peninsula cities and town.

The name Minangkabau is thought to be conjunction of two words, Minang (victorious) and Kabau (buffalo). A legend says that the name is derived from a territorial dispute between the Minangkabau and a neighboring prince.

Minangs have produced some of Indonesian’s most influential poets, writers, statesmen, scholars and religious scholars.

Traditional Minangkabau music includes Saluang jo dendang which consist of singing to the accompaniment of saluang bamboo flutes and Talempong Gong chime music.

Dances include tari Piring(plate dance), tari Payung(umbrella dance) & tari Indang(Indang dance).

Minangkabau villages specialize in cottage industries producing handicrafts such as woven sugarcane and reed purses, woven songket textiles, embroidery, pottery, gold and silver jewelry using filigree and granulation technique.

The Cuisine :

spiciness is a characteristic of Minangkabau food and the most commonly used herbs and spices are chili, turmeric , galangal.Minangkabau food is popular among Indonesians and restaurants are present throughout Indonesia. Nasi Padang restaurants named after the capital of West  Sumatra are known for placing a variety of Minangkabau dishes on a customer’s table along with rice and billing only for what is taken.

The language:

The Minangkabau use their native language for everyday conversation, while the Indonesian language is used for most formal occasions, in education, and in writing even to relatives and friends.

The roofline of traditional houses in West Sumatra, called rumah Gadang (Minangkabau “big house”), curve upward  from the middle and end in points, in imitation of the water buffalo’s upward curving horns. A rumah Gadang serves as a hall for family meetings and ceremonial activities.


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© 2016 Liza W. Widjaja


Bali is an Indonesian island known for his forested volcanic mountains, beaches, coral reefs and rice paddies.

Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara), lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east.

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean.

Bali is an Indonesia’s favorite tourist destination also known for its natural attractions, perfect climate and relaxed atmosphere.

Bali renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance , sculpture, painting leather, wooden crafting, metal working and music.

Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana, but with heavy Balinese influence.Famous Balinese dances include Legong, Topeng, Gong Keybar, Pendet, Baris and Kecak (the Monkey dance).

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi is celebrated in the Spring by a day of silence. On the day before New Year large and colorful sculptures of Ogoh Ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away the evil spirits.

Language: Indonesian(official), Balinese

Capital city: Denpasar

Largest cities Denpasar, Singaraja, Taburan, Negara, Kuta, Ubud and Klungkunng

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family’s ancestral village to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied.


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© 2016 Liza W. Widjaja

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© 2016 Liza W. Widjaja

FLORES, NTT(Nusa Tenggara Timur) East Nusa Tenggara.

Flores is Portuguese for “flowers”it is seated in the eastern part of the lesser Sunda islands & include West Timor.

After the declaration of Indonesia independence in 1945, the eastern part of Indonesia declared the State East of Indonesia.The state was further included in the United state of Indonesia as part of the agreement with the Dutch contained in the transfer it sovereignty to Indonesia in 1949.

In 1950, Indonesia dissolved itself into a unitary state and began to divide its component area into provinces. In 1958, by Indonesian law (Undang Undang) 1958, three provinces were established in the Lesser Sunda Island, namely Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. The area of East Nusa Tenggara province included the western part Timor island, Flores, Sumba and other several small islands in the region. The province was sub-divided into twelve regencies and the City of Kupang, which had regency-level status.

NTT in Indonesian means “eastern of the Southeastern islands”,compare to NTB (West Nusa Tenggara) which means Western of the southeastern islands”

Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century. Their influence is still noticeable in Sikka’s language, culture and religion.East Nusa Tenggara is the only province in Indonesia where Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to Austronesian family.

Several main features of the tourist sector in the province include Traditional Housing and Pasola in Sumba island.and an area for hiking and bird watching.

Mount Murtis to the east of Kupang is the highest point in the province.

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo Dragon can be found in the wild and is part of Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kelimutu National Park is the second National Park designated on Flores to protect endangered species.

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NTT Nusa Tenggara Timur (East Nusa Tenggara)-Costume
© 2016 Liza W. Widjaja





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