Indonesia - Research Paper Example

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#527039 Indonesia: Identity, History, Women, Politics and Religion.       Indonesia gets its name from its geographic location, sitting on the fence between India and Southeastern Asia, an archipelago consisting of 17, 508 islands, lying in the middle of the Indian and Pacific Oceans…
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Download file to see previous pages Indonesia carves its identity as a nation through hundreds of years first as a strategic trade point for Indian and Arab traders, then as a land annexed in conquest with European colonization. Social issues divide the population at many points, for example, the place of women in the labor market, feminized labor, women's rights and prostitution, suffrage, dress, religious observance and politics.       The demographics of Indonesia inform on the population's race, religion, languages, and ages. Indonesia is a country of diverse ethnicities. Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese and Minangkabau represent some examples of these races. Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism are some recognized religions in Indonesia. The official languages of Indonesia are Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese. From the national census in 2009, Indonesia reported a population totaling 240.3 million. The life expectancy for men is 67 years and the life expectancy for women is 72 years (U.S. Department of State).       Although not an Islamic state, more than 85 percent of Indonesia profess the Muslim faith. Islam has established deep roots in Indonesia since the 5th century in which Indian traders transferred their beliefs to the Indonesian Natives. The mixture of traditional religion with Islam produced a syncretistic version of Islam such that Indonesian Muslims retain certain doctrines of animism. Although there were a few attempts to implement shariah law within the national constitution of Indonesia, Indonesia remains a democratic, liberal and secular state where adherents of different religions can freely practice religion according to their consciences. However, a few guerrilla extremist Islamic groups exist in Indonesia that continue to fight for a stricter Islamist state, so that constitutional laws would be subject to shariah law.       The political history of Indonesia is wide and rife with conflict, conquest and colonialism. Between the 7th and 14th century A.D., the Indonesian island of Sumatra enjoyed the flourishing of a Buddhist-centered empire called Srivijaya. This kingdom spread far and wide to encompass a vast region including West Java and the Malay Peninsula. In the thirteenth century, the Mataram dynasty began as a small kingdom in central Java. The chronicles of Mataram indicate it was a pro-Islamic state which encouraged preservation of traditional animism.  The fourteenth century marked the introduction of another Hindu-based empire named Majapahit. Majapahit lasted about two centuries until the 1600s when the Dutch began a campaign of colonization. The broken kingdom and divided islands facilitated conquest. Soekarno/Sukarno ne Kusno Sosrodihardjo is the mastermind behind Pancasila. He emerged as Indonesia's first president after the declaration of independence and reigned as President until 1967. The end of WWII marked the end of colonialism for Indonesia since Japan occupied and gained control of government for three years between 1942-1945. After Sukarno renounced power, one of Sukarno's military generals, Suharto, rose to command presidential authority. Suharto is noted to have played a great role in the extensive bloodshed of 150,000-500,000 alleged communists in 1966. Contrary to his predecessor, Suharto's tenure ushered in a "New Order." He put in place new policies to further develop the infrastructure of Indonesia.  After successive re-election terms, President Suharto ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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