Indonesia is a country made up of an archipelago (chain of islands) and lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans in Southeast Asia with geographic coordinates of 5 00 S, 120 00 E. The capitol, Jakarta, is located on one of the archipelago's larger islands, Java. The total area of the country is 735,358.2 square miles (1,904,569 square kilometers) with 699,450.7 square miles (1,811,569 square km) being land and 35,907.5 square miles (93,000 square kilometers) being water. The coastline of the country totals 21,126 miles (54,716 kilometers). The terrain is mostly coastal lowlands with some mountains towards the interiors of the larger islands. Indonesia has a very hot, humid tropical climate and is subject to floods as well as extreme droughts. Other natural hazards include tsunamis, volcanoes, forest fires, and earthquakes. 31.2% of land in Indonesia is used for agriculture, 51.7% is forest, and 17.1% other.
Influences of other cultures can be seen in Indonesia, again going back to the motto of, "unity in diversity."; Indian and European influences can be seen in their architecture as well as Chinese and Arab influences to a lesser extent. Rice is the staple food of Indonesia and coconut milk and chili are found in many dishes. Indonesian food is influenced from countries all over the world including India, the Middle East, Europe, China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Another major component of Indonesian culture is art. This includes sculptures, Balinese paintings, stylized dance, music, and puppets made of wood or leather used to tell stories.
- 700s: Trade began with India and China
- 1500: Islam becomes the dominant religion of Indonesia (and still is to this day)
- 1595: Cornelis de Houtman leads the first Dutch expedition to Indonesia
- 1670-1900: The Dutch colonize, take control, and unite Indonesia under one government as the Dutch East Indies
- 1704-17055: First Javanese War of Succession
- 1719-1723: Second Javanese War of Succession
- 1746-1755: Third Javanese War of Succession
- 1942-1945: Japanese occupation of Indonesia during WWII
- 1945: Independence from the Netherlands is declared by Indonesian nationalists
- 1945-1949: The War for Independence between Indonesia and the Netherlands
- 1949: The Netherlands acknowledges Indonesia's independence
- 1950: Indonesia becomes a part of the U.N.