Indonesian Fun facts, food, music, language and more

Indonesian Traditional Children’s Activities

Kelereng: Boys love this game. In a westernized society, this game is known as “marbles.” A player must draw a circle on the ground, and every player has to put one of their marbles inside of the circle. Then, all of the players must drop another marble on a point outside of the circle. The player that has the marble the farthest away from the circle gets to go first. The marble that was used outside of the circle is the marble the player will use to try and strike the other marbles inside of the circle. The striker marble must go outside of the circle every time it is used to strike another marble, because if it stays inside of the circle then it cannot leave the circle and that player must let the next farthest marble outside of the circle go. This game continues as long as the players like.

Lompat Tali: This game is extremely common among elementary school girls, and is almost like jumping rope except the rope is made of hundreds of elastic bands that are looped together to form a ring. While two girls hold the rope at each end, the other girls will try to jump over the rope at every turn. It is made from rubber bands, and thus makes the turns a lot less painful.

Kuda Lumping: Colorful, sequenced, and embroidered toy horses made from bamboo is used to boost the imaginations of the children of Indonesia. It is also used for decoration during holidays.

Indonesian Cusine: Common Cuisine, Simple Recipes, 3 Easy Desserts

Bakso: otherwise known as an Indonesian meatball, this is very common throughout Indonesia. It is typically made from ground beef and tapioca flour, but can also consist of shrimp, chicken, and fish. It is served over broth, noodles, salted vegetables, tofu, egg, green cabbage, green sprouts, and more.

Nasi Goreng: otherwise known as Indonesian fried rice, almost any meal will have this as a side. Rice that is spiced with tamarind, chili, eggs, and prawns, it is the national dish of Indonesia, in which if nothing else is served with a main dish, Indonesian fried rice will be.

Rujak: In Indonesia, is also known as fresh fruit under peanut sauce. Water apples, pineapples, whole raw mangoes, cucumbers, kedondong, and raw red ubi jalar (sweet potato) are usually the fruits of choice. Green apple, belimbing, and jeruk Bali (pomelo) are added sometimes as well.

Simple Recipes

Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)

Ingredients: Chopped scallion, garnishing, 2 tablespoons oil, Tomato wedges, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 4 oz chicken meat, cut into small pieces, 1 1/2 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), 6 medium-sized shrimp, shelled and deveined, 3 tablespoon World Foods Nasi Goreng paste, 2 oz cabbage, shredded, 6 oz bean sprouts, rinsed with cold water and roots removed

Directions: -Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the minced garlic and stir-fry until aromatic, then add the chicken and shrimp. Stir continuously until they are half cooked.

-Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, and noodles into the wok or skillet and stir fry for about 10 seconds before adding the World Foods Nasi Goreng Paste, kecap manis, and salt.

-Using the spatula to toss the noodles and all the ingredients back and forth until well combined, about 1 minute or until the noodles are cooked through.

-Dish out, garnish with chopped scallion and a couple of tomato wedges. Serve immediately.

Cambodian Lemongrass Shrimp

Ingredients: 5-6 Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon water, 12 oz shell-on tiger prawn, headless and deveined, 1 tablespoon water, 1 bottle World Foods Indochina Cambodian Pineapple Lemon Grass Stir-Fry Sauce (1 cup), 2 tablespoons coconut milk, 3-4 bird’s eye chilies, pounded, 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce

Directions: -Heat up the oil in a stir-fry pan over high heat. Add the prawn and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Pour the stir-fry sauce into the pan and stir well with the prawn. Add the bird’s eye chilies, chili sauce, fish sauce, coconut milk and water.

-Bring it to boil. Add the basil leaves, dish out and serve immediately with steamed    rice.

Sate Padang (Broiled Skewered Braised Beef With Spiced Coconut Milk Sauce)

Ingredients: 1 cup fresh coconut milk made from 1 cup coarsely chopped coconut and 1 cup hot water, 2 pounds bottom round of beef, trimmed of all fat, and cut into 1-inch cubes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup finely chopped onions, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh hot chilies, 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1/3 cup water, ¼ cup vegetable oil

Directions: -Place the beef in a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan and pour in enough water to cover it by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for 1 hour, or until the beef is tender but still intact. Transfer the beef to a plate to cool.

– prepare the sauce. Combine the onions, chilies, garlic, ginger and 1-3 cup of water in the jar of a blender and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Turn the machine off, and scrape down the sides of the jar with a rubber spatula. Blend again until the mixture is a smooth puree.

-In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the contents of the blender jar and, stirring frequently, cook briskly until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture is thick.

-Stir in the coriander, turmeric, cumin and salt and cook for a minute or so. Then pour in the coconut milk, mix well and remove the pan from the heat.

-Preheat the broiler to its highest point. Thread the cubes of beef tightly, 4 or 5 pieces at a time, on a small skewers-preferably Oriental wooden skewers about 6 inches long. Protect the ends of the wooden skewers by wrapping them with foil.

-With a pastry brush, spread a generous coating of the sauce evenly over the beef. Arrange the skewers on a large baking sheet and broil them 4 inches from the heat, turning them once or twice, for about 3 minutes, or until crisp and brown.

-Arrange the skewers on a heated platter and brush the meat again with sauce. Reheat the remaining sauce and serve it in a small bowl.


Sweet Potato Tart

Ingredients: 2 tspns. Nutmeg, 1/2-tspn. Salt, 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, 3/4-cup brown sugar,

2 tspns. tapioca flour, 1/2-tspn. Pepper

Directions: -Grate raw sweet potatoes and knead all ingredients together.

-Place in a greased mould to three-quarters full and steam for 45 mins.

-Slice and serve as tart or cake.

Indonesian Peanut Butter Muffins

Ingredients: 13/4 Cups Flour, 1/2 Tsp. Salt, 3 Tsp. Baking Powder, 1/3 Cup Sugar, 3/4 Cup Milk, 1 Egg, 1/3 Cup Shortening, Peanut Butter

Directions: -Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl.

-Mix milk, egg and shortening, and add all at once to dry ingredients.

-Mix only until moist.

-Batter will be lumpy.

-Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full.

-Drop one teaspoon peanut butter in center of each muffin.

-Cover with batter.

-Bake until brown.

-Bake at 400 degrees 18 minutes

 Indonesian Fruit Salad

Ingredients: 1 small jalapeno chili, finely chopped, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 medium-size Delicious apples (3/4 pound total weight), 1 small honeydew melon, 2 pints fresh strawberries, 4 kiwi fruits, 2 medium-size mangoes, 4 cups fresh pineapple chunks, or juice-packed pineapple chunks, drained , 1/2 cup fresh or packaged shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Directions: -For the dressing, in a small bowl combine the jalapeno with 3 tablespoons of the lime juice and the honey; set aside.

-Core but do not peel the apples and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Place them in a small bowl and toss with the remaining lime juice.

-Cut the honeydew melon into balls or 1-inch cubes; you should have about 4 cups. Place the melon in a large bowl.

-Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries and add them to the bowl. Peel the kiwi fruits and mangoes, cut them into bite-size pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the apples, pineapple chunks and dressing, and toss well. Divide the salad among 6 plates, sprinkle with coconut and peanuts.

Children’s Day

Children’s Day in Indonesia is a celebration and promotion day recognizing children’s rights. There are many activities, festivals, and events held on that day, July 23rd of every year, and one of the important events is an award ceremony. This ceremony is meant to encourage local authorities to include child protection issues, including free birth registration, in their development plans. This day is highly anticipated by the juvenile population of Indonesia, and for the parents to spoil their children.

Fun Facts

  • Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and the largest Muslim populated country in the world.
  • The word “Indonesia” is derived from the word Indus which in Latin means “Ocean” and the word nesos which in Greek means “island”. So, Indonesia means the territory of the Indian islands, or archipelago located in the Indies.
  • There are five Officially recognized religions in Indonesia, namely Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. And Islam is the Largest one.
  • Indonesia consists of five major islands, namely: Java with an area of 132,107 km ², Sumatera with an area of 473,606 km ², Borneo with an area of 539,460 km ², Sulawesi, with an area of 189,216 km ², and Papua with an area of 421.981 km ²
  • The most popular sports in Indonesia are badminton and football.
  • Indonesia is the fourth largest country of the world, in terms of population.

Customs and Etiquette

  • A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied with the word “Selamat”.
  • Many Indonesians will give a slight bow or place their hands on their heart after shaking your hand.
  • In Islam alcohol is forbidden. Only give alcohol if you know the recipient will appreciate it. DO NOT GIVE ALCOHOL AS A GIFT.
  • Any food substance should be “halal” – things that are not halal include anything with alcoholic ingredients or anything with pork derivatives such as gelatine. Halal meat means the animal has been slaughtered according to Islamic principles.
  • Offer gifts with the right hand only. Wrap gifts in red, yellow or green paper or other bright colors as these bring good fortune. Gifts are not opened when received.
  • Dining etiquette is more than likely relaxed but depends on the setting and context. The more formal the occasion the more formal the behavior.

Must See Spots

Jakarta: The capital of Indonesia is a major tourist attraction, and one of Indonesia’s great economic boosters. Being the largest city in Indonesia, Jakarta has everything one would look for in any place such as this. There are shops, malls, restaurants, hotels, and many parks and recreational activities for children. One of the great things about the food of Jakarta is how affordable it is.

Salawesi Island: Formerly known as Celebes, Sulawesi is in the shape of a tropical orchid which makes it automatically appealing to the eye. Being the third largest island at 172,000 km, it is divided into provinces and is surrounded by lakes, mountains, and jungles to explore with your children.

Lombak Island: With beaches, volcanoes, and various landscapes, Lombak Island is now Bali’s greatest competition. It is rather small, but the perfect romantic getaway for parents and couples.

Festivals/Holidays of Indonesia

February 15 – Sekaten Fair: In celebration on this day annually of the prophet Mohammed, all festivals are centered on the Kraton, or the royal palace. There are stalls, games, and many cultural shows. There is a feast to end the event, that promotes good luck and great harvest.

Proclamation of Independence, August 17th: Being more important than New Year’s Day, Indonesia celebrates the independence of their nation in the state capitol annually. It is like the Fourth of July here in America, as the flag is raised during a ceremony in Jakarta and the President delivers a state of address to the public. There are festivals and fireworks as well.

New Year/January First: as it is not a tradition to celebrate this day in Indonesia, it is not as important of a holiday as any other holiday. Yet, there are still some forms and varieties of festivals held to bring in a new year.

Getting dressed in Indonesia

Men: in the house, men usually wear checker patterned sarongs. The sarongs are worn in public only before prayer on Fridays during mosque. For national occasions, the men wear batik shirts with trousers or teluk beskap, a combination of the Javanese jacket and sarong.

Women: Indonesian women wear the kebaya, a beautiful, figure-hugging embroidered blouse worn with a batik sarong that is usually dyed with flower motifs and in bright colors. Women will tie their hair into a bun and may even wear a hairpiece instead. Selendang are often worn over one shoulder. This cloth can be used as a head shawl or on less formal occasions, used to carry babies or objects. Their traditional dress consists of silk robes with metallic thread woven into the material.

Traditional Tunes

Gamelan orchestra: most popular and important kind in Indonesia. Most instruments used for this kind of music is struck with wooden mallets, padded sticks or hammers. It has been handed down for many generations but was never a written type of music. It is essential to Indonesian life, and varies from island to island.

Angklung music: This is another extremely important form of music that is representative of the Indonesian culture. It is played on instruments made entirely of bamboo of different lengths. Each instrument is made up of two bamboo tubes, each of a different note. The instruments are shaken to produce sound.

There are many genres and forms of music in Indonesia, but their people strive to keep the traditional music intact. While the younger generation will enjoy westernized music from time to time, everyone will know of the top two genres listed because they are very representative of the Indonesian culture of music that started around the Bronze Age, or 2nd-3rd century B.C.

One Thing You Must Know about Indonesia

There are 237 MILLION people in the country of Indonesia; this makes it the fourth LARGEST country in the world. It is made up of 17,508 islands in which 6000 of them are lived on by Indonesians and tourists.

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