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Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and New Guinea.
Regional languages: Over 700 languages
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Population: 267,7 million (2018)

Officially the Republic of Indonesia¬†is a country in Southeast Asia¬†and¬†Oceania, between the¬†Indian¬†and¬†Pacific¬†oceans. It consists of more than¬†seventeen thousand islands, including¬†Sumatra,¬†Java,¬†Borneo¬†(Kalimantan),¬†Sulawesi, and¬†New Guinea¬†(Papua). Indonesia is the world’s largest¬†island country¬†and the¬†14th-largest country by land area, at 1,904,569 square kilometers (735,358 square miles). With over 267 million people, it is the world’s¬†4th-most-populous country¬†as well as the most-populous¬†Muslim-majority country. Java, the world’s¬†most-populous island, is home to more than half of the country’s population.

The¬†sovereign state¬†is a¬†presidential,¬†constitutional republic¬†with an elected¬†legislature. It has¬†34 provinces, of which five have¬†special status. The country’s capital,¬†Jakarta, is the¬†second-most populous urban area in the world. The country shares¬†land borders¬†with¬†Papua New Guinea,¬†East Timor, and the¬†eastern part¬†of¬†Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore,¬†Vietnam, the¬†Philippines,¬†Australia,¬†Palau, and¬†India‘s¬†Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the¬†world’s highest levels of biodiversity.

A Borobudur ship carved on Borobudur temple, c. 800 CE. Outrigger boats from the archipelago may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE.

The Indonesian archipelago has been a valuable region for trade since at least the 7th century when¬†Srivijaya¬†and later¬†Majapahit¬†traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign influences from the early centuries and¬†Hindu¬†and¬†Buddhist¬†kingdoms flourished.¬†Sunni¬†traders and¬†Sufi¬†scholars brought¬†Islam, while Europeans introduced¬†Christianity¬†through¬†colonization. Although sometimes interrupted by the¬†Portuguese,¬†French and British, the¬†Dutch¬†were the foremost¬†colonial power¬†for much of their 350-year presence in the archipelago. The concept of “Indonesia” as a nation-state¬†emerged¬†in the early 20th century¬†and the country¬†proclaimed its independence in 1945. However, it was not until 1949 that the Dutch recognized¬†Indonesia’s sovereignty¬†following an¬†armed and diplomatic conflict¬†between the two.

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