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This guide is also available on Kindle here.


This guide is available in iTunes here.


Indonesia has more than six thousand inhabited islands and stretches across three time zones.

The family is Indonesia’s central institution. It defines one’s position in life and provides security, status and identity. Linked to this is the concept of communal property. Many family members may live in the same house, their ages spanning the generations. Wealth and possessions are shared, and there is little regard for what the Westerner considers to be personal or private property. The strong sense of family and community means that individual interests are subordinated to the collective, producing a higher degree of conformity than in Western societies.

If required to eat food with your fingers remember that only the right hand may be used and the food is taken with your fingertips. It requires some skill, but your hosts will appreciate your efforts.

The Bali bombing of October 2002, the tsunami of December 2004 and 2005 concern about avian influenza were blows to tourism, an important source of revenue. Despite a turbulent past Indonesia has weathered each crisis and has a stable system of government, its economy is developing and its international and regional position is respected. It is a vast country; many regions have been untouched by unrest, while in others the troubles have passed. Its economic potential continues to attract investment, its scenic and cultural attractions are remarkable, and the people are as welcoming as ever.

Culture Smart! Indonesia is a concise guide to understanding the Indonesian people, with illuminating insights into their national identity. Familiarise yourself with their customs, traditions and culture and experience Indonesia authentically.

"Culture Smart has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." Sunday Times Travel

"... the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." Global Travel

"...full of fascinating-as well as common-sense-tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." Observer

" useful as they are entertaining." Easyjet Magazine

"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." New York Times