Traveling to Indonesia might be a dream for everyone. This archipelago country has everything that traveler want. It has the biggest temple in the world, the most beautiful volcano, the largest lake, and the list go on and on.
But before you go to Indonesia, makes sure to get to know a little bit about this country. The culture here might be totally different than yours. The people, the food, and everything are completely different, especially in European countries.
When you visit another country, of course, you should follow and respect the culture and regulation. You must also pay attention to locals etiquette and their behaviors. Sometimes there is something that you should understand or something that you should do and don’t.
If you have never been to Indonesia before, here is some information about do’s and don’ts when visiting Indonesia.
Respect the culture
Respect the culture for no matter what. Indonesia consists of 34 provinces with more than 300 ethnic and languages. Indonesian people cannot be generalized as one type of people. Every tribe has their own rules of everyday life.
They are actually different from one tribe to the others. The way they talk, the way they behave and the way they are affected by their culture and where they live (Geographically). For example, in Sumatra, people tend to talk very loud which is very normal for them. While in Java, you can not speak louder because it might disrespect them.
If you stay in Java island, try to speak a little bit soft and show them your best smile. West Sumatra people love to eat spicy foods, when you stay in their home, for example, they will cook you spicy food. You should try their food even though it’s too spicy for you.
Because it’s unrespect for them if you deny what they offer. Just try a little bit to show your respect if you do not like their food.
Indonesian people are very respectful especially when there are talking to older people. They do not say someone’s name, but they use other polite words to call people. You should use these following title or words to call somebody whether he/she is younger or older than you.
- Use “Bapak” to call older man no matter what their names are.
- Use “Ibu” to call older women no matter what their names are.
- Use “Mas” to call younger man or boys (Mas is commonly used in Java. You can use “Bang” in Sumatra island )
- Use “Mbak” to call younger women or girls
When it comes to respecting, Indonesia might be the country with the most respectful people. They tend to respect people wherever they are. So, when you are traveling to Indonesia, try to behave like a local.
Respect the religion
Indonesia has the most populated Muslim in the world but the country is not a Muslim country. This means that there is no Islamic regulation expect Aceh province. Aceh province is the one and only province that undergoes Islamic rules or so-called “Shariah law”.
People in Aceh has their own rules for their daily lives. In Islam, drinking alcohol is banned or “haram”, this means no alcohols are being sold in Aceh. If you travel to Aceh, then you drink alcohol in front of them, it might be disrespect for them. You can drink alcohol in your hotel or in a place where there are no Aceh people around.
Indonesian people are really fanatic about their religion. Most people follow the religious events and festivals such as Ramadhan (a month of fasting), Eid Mubarak (celebration after fasting), and many other events related to religions.
If you visit Indonesia during the Ramadhan month (usually in the month of May, June or July), you should avoid to drink or eat in front of the public. People in the cities are usually okay with that.
Many people in the cities who are more open-minded than the people in the village. But if you visit a village, try to respect their religion.
Most of the Indonesian people are Muslim, they have 5-time prayers a day. When the time of prayer comes, they have a sound to call everybody to pray called “Azan”. If you hear the sound, do not show your bad attitude if you do not like the sound.
Respect their habit
Here are some Indonesian habits that you should respect when you travel to Indonesia
- Indonesian people do not wear their shoes inside their home. So, if you visit someone’s house, you should take your shoes off.
- Indonesian people love to show respect to their guest. So, if they offer you something like food, drinks or anything else, do not reject their offer.
- Do not place your feet up on the chairs or tables.
- If you travel with your partners, do not show them your affection in public such as kissing and hugging. It’s considered impolite behavior in Indonesia
- If you travel to Indonesia, try not to wear shorts pants, sleeveless shirts or T-shirts. Try a bit cover up.
- Indonesian people love to smile even with strangers. If you travel To Indonesia, try to smile with the people you meet especially in the village or non-touristy areas.
- Indonesian people like to ask many things when they meet someone’s new. You should not be offended if they ask you personal opinion such as “your age”, marital status and stuff like that.
- Indonesian people love to smoke. If they smoke in front of you, avoid them in a good manner.
Safety tips :
The increase of visitors to Indonesia from year to year makes another problem especially in the tourist areas and big cities. The safety is not as high as many years ago. In big cities, for example, the road is more chaotic due to numerous vehicle. Traffic in Jakarta might be the worst in Indonesia, but in the cities like Yogyakarta, Bandung, Medan, and Bali are also not even better. So, stay safe wherever you are especially in the big cities. Pay attention and look twice to the right and to the left when you are crossing a street. Because Indonesian people can cross everywhere.
If you travel to touristy places like Bali and Yogyakarta be careful of cheaters. The cheaters are probably coming from everywhere. In the street, in the restaurants, and in the touristy places. There are many forms of cheating. For example, if you want to eat in a small restaurant, make sure they have a price on their menu. In some cases, often tourists got cheated because they do not know the price of the menu and the food seller asked them for much money to pay for their food.