Indonesia Customs and Etiquette

Customs and Etiquette

  • A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied by 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.
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