A famous mass media in England, Telegraph, recently published an article about some quite interesting facts in Indonesia . The article was written by Molly Oldfield and John Mitchinson, and posted on October 15, 2010. According to this article, there are 6 interesting facts about Indonesia that we should admire. Most of which are facts that we already knew, but it’s still worth to read. Wonder what they are? Here you go!
Indonesia is comprised of 17,508 islands of which only a third are inhabited; some are shared with other countries. With a population of 238?million, it is the fourth most populous country on Earth and the largest Muslim country (86 per cent of Indonesians are Muslim). More than half the population lives on Java, making it the world’s most densely populated island. The other big population centres are Sumatra, Borneo (shared with Malaysia and Brunei) and West Papua (shared with Papua New Guinea). Indonesia is home to more than 300 ethnic groups but most speak Indonesian, a variant of Malay developed in the Twenties by nationalists and adopted as the official language after independence.
“Indonesia” was first used by the British in the mid-19th century. It comes from the Greek nesos (island) and Indus, the Latin name for the land beyond the Indus river, which was derived from the Sanskrit name for that river: Sindhu. Dutch colonists didn’t like “Indonesia”, preferring Dutch East Indies or Malayan Archipelago. As a result, it was adopted by the anti-colonial movement in the early 20th century.
Oil and frogs
Despite being one of the G20 group of leading economies, half of Indonesia’s population live on less than $2 a day. Its oil reserves mean it is the only south-east Asian member of OPEC.
It is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, 40 per cent of which is set aside for use as biofuel. It also exports 3,000 tons of frogs’ legs to France each year. For each pair of boxer shorts costing £8 in a shop in Britain, the Indonesians who make them get 4p. It has been reported that sweatshop workers can put in shifts as long as 36 hours.
Babies’ feet and teeth
The small Indonesian Hindu population mostly lives on the western island of Bali. Balinese Hinduism is steeped in ancient superstitions. They never let a baby’s feet touch the ground for the first six months, to prevent the devil entering the child. This means that babies are continually passed around like hot potatoes by relatives.
Almost everyone in Bali has their teeth filed down. They believe that the essence of the six vices (jealousy, anger, confusion, drunkenness, desire, greed) enters the body through the top six teeth, so by filing away their “demonic” ends, the vices are thwarted and entry to heaven is guaranteed.
The Wallace Line
As well as being ethnically diverse, Indonesia has the second highest level of biodiversity in the world after Brazil, with more endemic species than anywhere else except Australia. The British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) described a dividing line between the distribution of Indonesia’s Asian and Australasian species, now known as the Wallace Line. The line runs north-south between Lombok and Bali and was caused by a deep oceanic trench that prevented the formation of any land bridge, even during the Ice Age.
West of the line there are orangutans, monkeys, tigers, rhinos, tapirs, bears and the world’s only lungless frog. Meanwhile in the east there are no mammals except rodents, bats and marsupials. It was Wallace’s work in Indonesia that helped him develop a theory of evolution due to natural selection, the evidence of which finally prompted Charles Darwin into publishing On the Origin of Species in 1859. Wallace’s masterpiece on his Indonesian travels, The Malay Archipelago (1869), is dedicated to Darwin.
One of the strangest products of Indonesian agriculture involves the farming of the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). These small, cat-sized mammals are fed coffee berries and their faeces are collected and washed to make kopi luwak (civet coffee). The action of their stomach enzymes lends the resulting drink an unmatched richness of flavour that has none of coffee’s usual bitterness. As a result it is the world’s most expensive beverage, fetching up to £500 per pound.
In 2008 an espresso made from kopi luwak went on sale at Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square, London, for £50 per cup. Apparently a similar coffee can be made by feeding coffee berries to muntjac deer, a south-east Asian species now naturalised in southern England. Home-grown English kopi muncak has yet to be reported.
News Source: Telegraph
Photo Source: jokjaicon
Thank you Mr. Ahmad Saiful Muhajir for the news tips!
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