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Unity in Diversity

Indonesia, with over 228 million people, has the fourth largest population in the world. Indonesia can be considered a spectrum of all the Asia cultures, races and religions with 87% Muslim, 6%Protestant, 3%Roman catholic, 2%Hindu, 1%Buddhist and 1%other. Freedom of religion is protected by the Indonesian Constitution, which defined in the First Principles of the State Philosophy.

From "Sabang till Merauke" is the name of a song dedicated to Indonesia’s many island and it’s diversity. Sabang is a small island just off the coast of Sumatra; Merauke is a small village near the border of Papua New Guinea.

Indonesia inhabited by 350 different ethic grouped, and more than 700 different languages and dialects, although there is a national language spoken throughout the country, namely Bahasa Indonesia. Bahasa Indonesia, is kind to Malay, finally adapted to be the official language and is written to Roman script based on European orthography. English is the most widely used foreign language for business and travel alike. In some of the bigger cities and tourist destinations Dutch is still used, and the influence of Dutch in Bahasa Indonesia is quite obvious.

It is thus appropriate that the country’s motto is "Bhinneka tuggal ika", which means unity is diversity. Consequently this part of the world gave many different cultures, traditions, and way of lives.

Despite this diversity, Indonesia today has a common bond that united them all into one nation, one language, and one people although conflicts are sometimes unavoidable.

However, the people of Indonesia have been able to manage their differences. The spirit of musyawarah (to deliberate or confer), mufakat (to agree), and gotong royong (mutual assistance) that have been instilled by their fore father have helped in achieving peace between the people’s groups.