Indonesian culture has been shaped by long interaction between original indigenous customs and multiple foreign influences. Indonesia is central along ancient trading routes between the Far East and the Middle East, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Islam, all strong in the major trading cities. The result is a complex cultural mixture very different from the original indigenous cultures.
Examples of cultural fusion include the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, and the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan; others could be cited.
Indonesian art-forms express this cultural mix. Wayang, traditional theater-performed puppet shows, were a medium in the spread of Hinduism and Islam amongst Javan villagers. Both Javanese and Balinese dances have stories about ancient Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, while Islamic art forms and architecture are present in Sumatra, especially in the Minangkabau and Aceh regions. Traditional art, music and sport are combined in a martial art form called Pencak Silat.
Western culture has influenced Indonesia most in modern entertainment such as television shows, movies and songs, as well as political system and issues. India has notably influenced Indonesian songs and movies. A popular type of song is the Indian-rhythmical dangdut, which is often mixed with Arab and Malay folk music.
Despite the influences of foreign culture, some remote Indonesian regions still preserve uniquely indigenous culture. Indigenous ethnic groups of Mentawai, Asmat, Dani, Dayak, Toraja and many others are still practising their ethnic rituals, customs and wearing traditional clothes.
Traditional performing arts
Music played to accompany dancers.
Gamelan player, Yogyakarta
Main article: Music of Indonesia
Indonesia is home to hundreds of forms of music, with those from the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali being frequently recorded. The traditional music of central and East Java and Bali is the gamelan.
In 1966, a law was passed (Panpres 11/1965) banning Western-style pop or rock music. On June 29, 1965, Koes Plus, a leading Indonesian pop group in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, was imprisoned in Glodok, West Jakarta, for playing Western-style music. After the resignation of President Sukarno, the law was rescinded, and in the 1970s the Glodok prison was dismantled and replaced with a large shopping mall. The new mall in Glodok is now the centre of recording, production and distribution of modern Indonesian pop and rock music.
Kroncong is a musical genre that uses guitars and ukuleles as the main musical instruments. This genre had its roots in Portugal and was introduced by Portuguese traders in the fifteenth century. There is a traditional Keroncong Tugu music group in North Jakarta and other traditional Keroncong music groups in Maluku, with strong Portuguese influences. This music genre was popular in the first half of the twentieth century; a contemporary form of Kroncong is called Pop Kroncong. In addition, there are regional variations such as Langgam Jawa, which is most popular in Central Java and Yogyakarta.
The soft Sasando music from the province of East Nusa Tenggara in West Timor is completely different. Sasando uses an instrument made from a split leaf of the Lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer), which bears some resemblance to a harp.
It is not difficult to see a continuum in the traditional dances depicting episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata from India, ranging through Thailand, all the way to Bali. There is a marked difference, though, between the highly stylized dances of the courts of Yogyakarta and Surakarta and their popular variations. While the court dances are promoted and even performed internationally, the popular forms of dance art and drama must largely be discovered locally.
Traditional visual arts
Indonesia is not generally known for paintings, aside from the intricate and expressive Balinese paintings, which often express natural scenes and themes from the traditional dances.
Other exceptions include indigenous Kenyah paint designs based on, as commonly found among Austronesian cultures, endemic natural motifs such as ferns, trees, dogs, hornbills and human figures. These are still to be found decorating the walls of Kenyah Dayak longhouses in East Kalimantan’s Apo Kayan region.
Calligraphy, mostly based on the Qur’an, is often used as decoration as Islam forbids naturalistic depictions. Some foreign painters have also settled in Indonesia. Modern Indonesian painters use a wide variety of styles and themes.
Relief sculpture from Borobodur temple.
Carved wooden Torajan art.
Indonesia has a long-he Bronze and Iron Ages, but the art-form particularly flourished in the eighth to tenth centuries, both as stand-alone works of art, and also incorporated into temples.
Most notable are the hundreds of meters of relief sculpture at the temple of Borobodur in central Java. Approximately two miles of exquisite relief sculpture tell the story of the life of Buddha and illustrate his teachings. The temple was originally home to 504 statues of the seated Buddha. This site, as with others in central Java, show a clear Indian influence.
Nasi goreng (fried rice), one of the most popular Indonesian dishes.
Main article: Cuisine of Indonesia
The cuisine of Indonesia has been influenced by Chinese culture and Indian culture, as well as by Western culture. However in return, Indonesian cuisine has also contributed to the cuisines of neighboring countries, notably Malaysia and Singapore, where Padang or Minangkabau cuisine from West Sumatra is very popular. Also Satay (Sate in Indonesian), which originated from Java, Madura, and Sumatra, has gained popularity as a street vendor food from Singapore to Thailand. In the fifteenth century, both the Portuguese and Arab traders arrived in Indonesia with the intention of trading for pepper and other spices. During the colonial era, immigrants from many different countries have arrived in Indonesia and brought different cultures as well as cuisines.
Most native Indonesians eat rice as the main dish, with a wide range of vegetables and meat as side dishes. However, in some parts of the country, such as Irian Jaya and Ambon, the majority of the people eat sago (a type of tapioca) and sweet potato.
The most important aspect of modern Indonesia cuisine is that food must be halal, conforming to Islamic food laws. Haraam, the opposite of halal, includes pork and alcoholic drinks. However, in some regions where there is significant non-Muslim population, non-halal food are also commonly served.
Indonesian dishes are usually spicy, using a wide range of chili peppers and spices. The most popular dishes include nasi goreng (fried rice), Satay, Nasi Padang (a dish of Minangkabau) and soy-based dishes, such as tofu and tempe. A unique characteristic of some Indonesian food is the application of spicy peanut sauce in their dishes, as a dressing for Gado-gado or Karedok (Indonesian style salad), or for seasoning grilled chicken satay. Another unique aspect of Indonesian cuisine is using terasi or belacan, a pungent shrimp paste in dishes of sambal oelek (hot pungent chili sauce). The sprinkling of fried shallots also gives a unique crisp texture to some Indonesian dishes.
Chinese and Indian cultures have influenced the serving of food and the types of spices used. It is very common to find Chinese food in Indonesia such as Dim Sum as well as noodles, and Indian cuisine such as Tandoori chicken. In addition, Western culture has significantly contributed to the extensive range of dishes. However, the dishes have been transformed to suit Indonesian people’s tastes. For example, steaks are usually served with rice. Popular fast foods such as Kentucky Fried Chicken are served with rice instead of bread, and sambal (spicy sauce) instead of ketchup. Some Indonesian foods have been adopted by the Dutch, like Indonesian rice table or ‘rijsttafel’.
Elephants are large land mammals in two genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta. Three species of elephant are living today: the African Bush Elephant, the African Forest Elephant and the Asian Elephant (also known as the Indian Elephant). All other species and genera of Elephantidae are extinct, some since the last ice age: dwarf forms of mammoths may have survived as late as 2,000 BC. Elephants and other Elephantidae were once classified with other thick-skinned animals in a now invalid order, Pachydermata.
Elephants are the largest land animals now living. The elephant’s gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 120 kilograms (260 lb). They typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years. The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956. This male weighed about 12,000 kilograms (26,000 lb), with a shoulder height of 4.2 metres (14 ft), a metre (yard) taller than the average male African elephant. The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete during the Pleistocene epoch.
The elephant has appeared in cultures across the world. They are a symbol of wisdom in Asian cultures and are famed for their memory and intelligence, where they are thought to be on par with cetaceans and hominids. Aristotle once said the elephant was “the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind”. The word “elephant” has its origins in the Greek ἐλέφας, meaning “ivory” or “elephant”.
Healthy adult elephants have no natural predators, although lions may take calves or weak individuals. They are, however, increasingly threatened by human intrusion and poaching. Once numbering in the millions, the African elephant population has dwindled to between 470,000 and 690,000 individuals according to a March 2007 estimate. While the elephant is a protected species worldwide, with restrictions in place on capture, domestic use, and trade in products such as ivory, CITES reopening of “one time” ivory stock sales, has resulted in increased poaching. Certain African nations report a decrease of their elephant populations by as much as two-thirds, and populations in certain protected areas are in danger of being eliminated Since recent poaching has increased by as much as 45%, the current population is unknown (2008).
Dari Wikipedia bahasa Indonesia, ensiklopedia bebas
Hutan bakau atau disebut juga hutan mangrove adalah hutan yang tumbuh di atas rawa-rawa berair payau yang terletak pada garis pantai dan dipengaruhi oleh pasang-surut air laut. Hutan ini tumbuh khususnya di tempat-tempat di mana terjadi pelumpuran dan akumulasi bahan organik. Baik di teluk-teluk yang terlindung dari gempuran ombak, maupun di sekitar muara sungai di mana air melambat dan mengendapkan lumpur yang dibawanya dari hulu.
Ekosistem hutan bakau bersifat khas, baik karena adanya pelumpuran yang mengakibatkan kurangnya aerasi tanah; salinitas tanahnya yang tinggi; serta mengalami daur penggenangan oleh pasang-surut air laut. Hanya sedikit jenis tumbuhan yang bertahan hidup di tempat semacam ini, dan jenis-jenis ini kebanyakan bersifat khas hutan bakau karena telah melewati proses adaptasi dan evolusi.
Lingkungan fisik dan zonasi
Pandangan di atas dan di bawah air, dekat perakaran pohon bakau, Rhizophora sp.
Jenis-jenis tumbuhan hutan bakau ini bereaksi berbeda terhadap variasi-variasi lingkungan fisik di atas, sehingga memunculkan zona-zona vegetasi tertentu. Beberapa faktor lingkungan fisik tersebut adalah:
] Jenis tanah
Sebagai wilayah pengendapan, substrat di pesisir bisa sangat berbeda. Yang paling umum adalah hutan bakau tumbuh di atas lumpur tanah liat bercampur dengan bahan organik. Akan tetapi di beberapa tempat, bahan organik ini sedemikian banyak proporsinya; bahkan ada pula hutan bakau yang tumbuh di atas tanah bergambut.
Bagian luar atau bagian depan hutan bakau yang berhadapan dengan laut terbuka sering harus mengalami terpaan ombak yang keras dan aliran air yang kuat. Tidak seperti bagian dalamnya yang lebih tenang.
Yang agak serupa adalah bagian-bagian hutan yang berhadapan langsung dengan aliran air sungai, yakni yang terletak di tepi sungai. Perbedaannya, salinitas di bagian ini tidak begitu tinggi, terutama di bagian-bagian yang agak jauh dari muara. Hutan bakau juga merupakan salah satu perisai alam yang menahan laju ombak besar.
Penggenangan oleh air pasang
Bagian luar juga mengalami genangan air pasang yang paling lama dibandingkan bagian yang lainnya; bahkan terkadang terus menerus terendam. Pada pihak lain, bagian-bagian di pedalaman hutan mungkin hanya terendam air laut manakala terjadi pasang tertinggi sekali dua kali dalam sebulan.
Menghadapi variasi-variasi kondisi lingkungan seperti ini, secara alami terbentuk zonasi vegetasi mangrove; yang biasanya berlapis-lapis mulai dari bagian terluar yang terpapar gelombang laut, hingga ke pedalaman yang relatif kering.
Jenis-jenis bakau (Rhizophora spp.) biasanya tumbuh di bagian terluar yang kerap digempur ombak. Bakau Rhizophora apiculata dan R. mucronata tumbuh di atas tanah lumpur. Sedangkan bakau R. stylosa dan perepat (Sonneratia alba) tumbuh di atas pasir berlumpur. Pada bagian laut yang lebih tenang hidup api-api hitam (Avicennia alba) di zona terluar atau zona pionir ini.
Di bagian lebih ke dalam, yang masih tergenang pasang tinggi, biasa ditemui campuran bakau R. mucronata dengan jenis-jenis kendeka (Bruguiera spp.), kaboa (Aegiceras corniculata) dan lain-lain. Sedangkan di dekat tepi sungai, yang lebih tawar airnya, biasa ditemui nipah (Nypa fruticans), pidada (Sonneratia caseolaris) dan bintaro (Cerbera spp.).