Capital City: Jakarta
Interesting Fact: Indonesia lies within the “Ring of Fire” and has more than 400 volcanoes. At least one erupts each year!
Geography & Climate
Indonesia is a country of 13,500 islands scattered along the equator between Asia and Australia. If you visited a different island each day, it would take you 37 years to visit them all! Many of the islands are so small that no one lives there, and they don’t even have names. The five main islands are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya.
They have a tropical climate—hot and humid all year round. During the monsoon season between December and March, the rain is so heavy that water explodes from the sky like a waterfall.
Jakarta, Indonesia’s huge capital city on the island of Java, has skyscrapers and shopping malls and lots of traffic.
There are several other large cities in the country. In fact, they are some of the largest in Asia. Because they are so crowded, many people live in slums in tin or cardboard shacks. Wealthier people live in small apartments and houses. More than half of the people live in villages out in the country in homes that are about 10 to 12 feet off the ground. This keeps them from flooding, but it means they have to climb a ladder to get inside.
The islands of Indonesia have many volcanoes. The flow of lava, mud and ash turned into wonderfully rich soil that is good for growing crops. Just like in many other parts of Asia, Indonesia’s main crop is rice. Other crops include corn, cassava, soybeans, palm oil, tea, clover, coffee, and tobacco in the fertile land.
Indonesia has about 700 languages spoken throughout the islands, but Bahasa Indonesia is the national language. English is also taught in schools. Children go to school for nine years. They learn mathematics, languages, and economics. Today most kids in Indonesia can read and write. Many go to college, some of them in other countries if they can afford to, because there are not enough colleges in Indonesia for everyone who would like to go.
Games & Sports
Popular games with children are soccer, boxing, tennis, and badminton. Kids also like sepak tekraw which is like volleyball, man-and-elephant (which is like rock, paper, scissors), and congkak, a board game played with pebbles or shells. Water sports such as skiing, windsurfing, boating, and swimming are fun family getaways.
In Indonesia vendors sell snacks like potatoes, sweet nuts, biscuits or fruit. Rice is the basis of each meal. They eat it in soup or with spicy side dishes, salad and pickles. Nasi goreng (fried rice) is the most common dish, but they also like sate, a meat dish, and gado-gado, a vegetable dish with spicy peanut sauces. Seafood is also popular. There are all kinds of tropical fruits in Indonesia with different shapes, colors, and flavors. Some of the most famous are the custard apples, durian, guavas, jackfruit, mangoes, papayas, starfruit and rambutans.
Many people wear clothes that are similar to Western countries, but each region of Indonesia also has its own traditional dress. Out in the rural areas, people wear their traditional dress for special occasions. People dress nicely when they go to work. Men wear pants and a shirt with a tie, and women wear dresses. When they are not at work, many people wear jeans.
Most Indonesians are Muslims, but there are also Christians there. The government allows people to practice Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, although Christians are persecuted. On the islands where there are mostly Christians, the military has attacked and killed thousands since 1996. The government closely watches Christians, but still the church keeps growing.
Let’s Pray for Indonesians!
An active volcano on the island of Sumatra erupted recently. Let’s pray for the families of the victims, and for all of the people who lost their homes because of the destruction from the lava and ash. In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah we pray comfort and peace over the children and families of the volcano victims. We pray all would have the fresh water, food, and supplies to recover from this disaster. We pray many would come to know You. Amen! (The Bible, Psalm 73:26b)
Continue Reading March Edition of WindowKids:
See what $10.40 / month can do!
Stay in touch with news & updates.
Buy books, study guides & calendars.
The latest issue of the Reporter