Java – General Information
1,912,988 square kilometers
12.1 per sq km
Indonesia consists of the six main islands Sumatra, Sulawesi, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (part of Borneo) and West Papua (Irian Jaya, western half of New Guinea) and 30 smaller archipelagos. In total, Indonesia consists of more than 13,000 islands, of which 6,000 are uninhabited, spanning 5,150 km, in the volcanic zone with over 300 mostly extinct volcanoes. Scenically, the islands are quite different; some have mountains or plateaus, others are flat coastal plains and alluvial land.
Presidential republic since 1945. Constitution of 1945, last change in 1969. Two-chamber parliament: Chamber of Deputies with 500 members and Consultative People’s Assembly with 700 members. Head of state and head of government: Megawati Soekarnoputri, since 2001. Vice President: Hamzah Haz, since 2001. Independent since 1949 (former Dutch colony).
Official language is Bahasa Indonesian. Each ethnic group has its own language. About 250 languages and dialects are spoken. English, Dutch and Arabic are compulsory subjects. The older generation speaks Dutch rather than a second language, the younger one speaks more English.
88% Muslims, 10% Christians, 2% Hindus (especially in Bali), 1% Buddhists and followers of nature religions in remote regions.
Bangka, Belitung, Java, West and Central Kalimantan, Madura and Sumatra: West: CET + 6 (UTC + 7), Central: CET +7 (UTC + 8), East: CET + 8 (UTC +9).
220 V, 50 Hz, sometimes also 110 V, 50 Hz in rural areas.
International direct dialing in the larger cities. Even in smaller cities there are telephone offices, from which one can telephone easily abroad. Many hotels have public phones that accept calling cards or credit cards. Nationwide, there are telecommunications centers, warung telekomunikasi (WARTEL), where international calls can be made and received. Emergency numbers are: 110 (police), 118 (ambulance for traffic accidents), 119 (emergency doctor) or 113 (fire department).
Java – Climate
Java has a tropical monsoon climate with pronounced regional differences.
The East Monsoon brings on Java the driest weather in the months of May to October.
The West Monsoon carries the rainy season to Java in the months of December to March.
In the west of Java is often expected with year-round rainfall.
It is cooler in the mountains.
Java – People
In Indonesia you will find over 200 different languages and dialects. Since independence, many Indonesians have developed a strong national pride.
The traditional dances and the traditional techniques of painting, woodcarving and sculpture are still maintained. Dancing is an important art form in Indonesia and is encouraged and practiced from earliest childhood.
The comprehensive repertoire is based on ancient legends and traditions. Performances take place in village halls and village squares, as well as in some of the leading hotels. Some of Bali’s most famous dances are the Legong, a slow, graceful dance of divine nymphs; the Baris, a fast-paced, vocal
Monkey – Java
Depicting male martial behavior, and the Jauk, captivating solo dance of a masked and costumed demon. In the dramatic kecak dance with 100 or more participants, only young men dressed in loincloth act as a wild monkey crowd, subjects of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman.
Indonesian gamelan orchestras consist primarily of various xylophone-like percussion instruments, flutes and instruments that resemble the harp. These sounds can be heard in many Indonesian shops and restaurants and are part of every dance and shadow theater performance.
Shadow plays are performed nationwide using traditional wooden and leather Wayang Kulit puppets. The subject of the plays are often the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata, famous ancient Hindu legends. However, modern pieces are also shown.
For visitors who do not understand Indonesian, sitting backstage is the most interesting thing to do, as it is best to watch the puppeteer at work.
For ticket and hotel bookings on the island of Java and within Indonesia, often only the first name is used.
In society, one is often quite formal, for example, one should not start eating or drinking at a meal before the host asks. Never point your finger at people or objects or touch children’s heads.
Food or money is always taken or given on Java with the right hand.
Indonesians are polite and friendly and show countless favors and friendships to foreigners whom they trust. Handshake to greet is in use.
When invited to a private home, a gift is welcome. Casual clothing is common, but some elegant establishments expect evening wear with meals.
Islamic customs and practices concerning women’s clothing should be considered. Temples should only be entered with sarong and shoulders / arm-covering tops.
Tipping is common but not compulsory. In some hotels and restaurants are charged for service 10% extra.
Java – wining and dining
Indonesian spices make the indigenous cuisine, whose basis is rice (nasi), incomparable.
There are countless specialties, u. a. Rijstafel (Indonesian-Dutch mix of a variety of meats, vegetables, salads, fish and curry), sate (spicy spiced, grilled beef, fish, pork, chicken or lamb on a spit with peanut sauce), Ayam Ungkap (Java; fried in oil , marinated chicken), Ikan Acar Kuning (Jakarta), SotoAyam (soup with dumplings, vegetables and chicken), Gado-Gado (Java salad of raw and cooked vegetables with coconut milk and peanut sauce ), Pempek (fried fish balls in warm sweet and sour sauce), Babi Guling (fried suckling pig) and Opor Ayam (cooked chicken in mildly spiced coconut milk). Fish and seafood as well as tropical fruits complete the menu.
Indonesians like their food very well spiced, especially the small red and green peppers, which are often found in salads or vegetables.
In restaurants, which are used to foreign tourists, one is however mostly on their taste furnished. Experienced visitors also taste the specialties of the many street stalls (Warungs).
Some warungs are fixed and have tables with benches where guests can sit and offer. For example, Nasi Goreng (fried rice with vegetables) or Mie Goreng (fried noodles) and drinks, other warungs consist only of a larger glass and wooden box on wheels and are for example specialized in Tahu (tofu, soybean cheese) or Tempe Goreng (dish from fried, fermented soybeans), sate, fruit or sweets. Almost every taste of international cuisine is represented in Jakarta.
Local and imported beer in Java is available in almost every restaurant, and there are spirits in the larger restaurants. Alcoholic specialty Balis is the rice wine Brem, in South Sulawesi there is the high percentage Tuak. Tea and coffee are usually drunk black and sweet. Everywhere in Indonesia many different, very tasty fruit juices are offered, eg. Pineapple, papaya, avocado and durian juice.