A quick Introduction
Indonesians refer to
their homeland as Tanah Air Kita, which means "Our Land and
Water." This refers to its geographical makeup consisting
of 17,508 islands with a total land mass of 1.91 million square
kilometers connected by six seas covering more than 3 million
square kilometers. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the
world extending some 2,000 kilometers from North to South and
more than 5,000 kilometers from East to West. The archipelago
stretches over more than one-tenth of the Equator between Southeast
Asia and Australia.
The largest islands
are the Kalimantan provinces on Borneo, Sumatra, Papua (formerly
Irian Jaya), Sulawesi and Java (where Jakarta is located).
Nearly 60 percent of
Indonesia's land is forested and a significant portion is mountainous
and volcanic. Some mountains on Sumatra and Papua (Irian Jaya) exceed
3,000 meters in height. Mt. Merapi, near Yogyakarta, is regarded
as the most volatile of Indonesia's 500 volcanoes, 129 of which
are still active. Java alone has 112 volcanoes. Centuries of volcanic
activity has led to high degree of soil fertility on Java and Bali,
which accounts in part for the high concentration of agriculture
and people on these two islands.
Jakarta, with a population
of over 9.5 million, Surabaya, Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surakarta
(Solo), Medan, Padang, Palembang, Ujung Pandang, Banjarmasin, Bandar
Lampung and Manado.
Mostly equatorial. Temperatures
range between 16-35 degrees Celsius (61-91 degrees F) with humidity
ranging from 60-90 percent. There are two seasons, the rainy monsoon
season which usually lasts from November through May, followed by
the dry season which usually lasts from June through October. Rainfall
varies throughout Indonesia, averaging 706 mm (28 inches) yearly.