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News Link • Geography

The next big trend…

•, Tim Staermose
 Yet it’s so huge… so diverse, with different languages, cultures, and religions, to even call Indonesia a single country demonstrates how antiquated the traditional concept of geography has become.

Indonesians typically identify themselves first with their home province or island; here in Bali, they would consider themselves Balinese above all else. “Indonesian” is an idea made up by politicians. Even the national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is artificially contrived.

To give you an example, whenever I make the two-hour flight from Jakarta to Bali, I feel as though I’ve gone to a different country altogether.

The time zone is different. The principal language is different. The culture is different. The religion is different. The weather is different. The diet is different. The level of development is different. The economy is different. The whole vibe of the place is different.

Bali is predominately Hindu (rather than Muslim). People here speak Balinese first. In Jakarta, Javanese is the mother language. Muslims, which dominate the population on Java and Sumatra, don’t eat pork. In Bali, Babi Guling (suckling pig) is the local specialty.

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