According to the 2010 national census, the population of Indonesia is 237.6 million, with high population growth at 1.9%. 58% of the population lives in Java, the world's most populous island. In 1961, the first post-colonial census gave a total population of 97 million. The country currently possess a relatively young population, with a median age of 28.6 years (2016 estimate). The population is expected to grow to around 269 million by 2020 and 321 million by 2050. An additional 8 million Indonesian live overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Most of them settled in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, and Australia.
Indonesia is a very ethnically diverse country, with around 300 distinct native ethnic groups. Most Indonesians are descended from Austronesian-speaking peoples whose languages can be traced to Proto-Austronesian, which possibly originated in Taiwan. Another major grouping are the Melanesians, who inhabit eastern Indonesia.
The largest ethnic group is the Javanese, who comprise 40.2% of the population. They are predominantly located in the central to eastern parts of the Java island and also significant numbers in most provinces of Indonesia. The Sundanese, Batak and Madurese are the largest non-Javanese groups. A sense of Indonesian nationhood exists alongside strong regional identities.
In 1930, the Dutch people and other Europeans (Totok), Eurasians, and derivative peoples like the Indos, numbered 240,000 or 0.4% of the total population counted in the Dutch East Indies census. Historically, they constituted only a tiny fraction of the whole Indonesian population and continue to do so today.
More than 742 different languages and dialects are spoken in Indonesia's numerous islands. Some belong to the Austronesian language family, while over 270 Papuan languages are spoken in Western New Guinea. The official language is Indonesian (also known as Bahasa Indonesia), a variant of Malay. It borrows heavily from local languages such as Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, etc. Indonesian is primarily used in business, politics, education, academics and the national media.
Indonesian is based on the prestige dialect of Malay, which for centuries had been the lingua franca of the archipelago. It is also the official language of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. The Minangkabau language is a variety of modern Malay that school teachers and authors helped to standardize. Indonesian is universally taught in schools and consequently is spoken by nearly every Indonesian. It was promoted by Indonesian nationalists in the 1920s, and declared the official language under the name Bahasa Indonesia in the proclamation of independence in 1945. Most Indonesians speak at least one of several hundred local languages and dialects, often as their first language, of which Javanese is the most widely spoken, as it is the language of the largest ethnic group.
Despite the Dutch presence for almost 350 years, the Dutch language has no official status and the small minority that can speak the language fluently are either educated members of the oldest generation, or employed in the legal profession, as certain law codes are still only available in Dutch.
While religious freedom is stipulated in the Indonesian constitution, the government officially recognises only six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim majority country with 205 million adherents in 2010, with the majority being Sunni Muslims (99%). The Shias and Ahmadis respectively constitute 0.5% and 0.2% of the Muslim population. In 2010, Christians made up almost 10% of the population (7% of the total population was Protestant, 2.9% Roman Catholic), 1.7% were Hindu, and 0.9% were Buddhist or other. Most Indonesian Hindus are Balinese, and most Buddhists in modern-day Indonesia are ethnic Chinese.
Though now minority religions, Hinduism and Buddhism remain defining influences in Indonesian culture. Hindu influences reached the Indonesian Archipelago as early as first century. Salakanagara kingdom, a Sundanese kingdom, is the first historically recorded Indianised kingdom in Indonesia, located in West Java, created by Indian trader after marrying a local Sundanese princess. This kingdom existed since 130 AD. Islam was brought to Indonesia as early as the 8th century AD through the influence of Arab traders, and became the country's dominant religion by the 16th century. The majority of Indonesian Muslims practice Sunni Islam of Shafi school of jurisprudence.
Roman Catholicism was brought to Indonesia by early Portuguese traders and missionaries such as Saint Francis Xavier. Kingdom of Larantuka in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara was the only Christian (Roman Catholic) indigenous kingdom in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia, with the first king named Lorenzo. In present-day Indonesia, unique Catholic traditions close to Easter days remain, locally known as the Semana Santa. It involves a procession carrying statues of Jesus and Virgin Mary (locally referred to as Tuan Ana and Tuan Ma) to a local beach, then to Cathedral of the Queen of the Rosary, seat of the bishop.
Protestantism is largely a result of Dutch Reformed and Lutheran missionary efforts during the country's colonial period. The Dutch Reformed Church was long at the forefront in introducing Christianity to Indonesians, and was later joined by other Reformed churches that separated from it during the 19th century. The Dutch East India Company regulated the missionary work so it could serve its own interests and restricted it to the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago. Although the Calvinist and Lutheran branch are the most common, a multitude of other denominations can be found elsewhere in Indonesia. The Batak Protestant Christian Church, founded in 1861 by German Lutheran missionary Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen, is the largest one.
A large proportion of Indonesians—such as the Javanese abangan, Balinese Hindus, and Dayak Christians—practice a less orthodox, syncretic form of their religion, which draws on local customs and beliefs. Most of indigenous native Indonesian beliefs could be categorised as animism, shamanism as well ancestral worship. Examples of Indonesian native belief systems are Sundanese Sunda Wiwitan, Dayak's Kaharingan, Torajan Aluk' To Dolo, Manusela and Nuaulu's Naurus, Batak's Parmalim faith, and to some extent Javanese Kejawen belief. There are also a number of indigenous deities and ancestral worship in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua.
Close to 80 percent of the Indonesian population lives in the western parts of the country, but that segment of the population is growing at a slower pace than the rest of the country. This creates a gap in terms of wealth, unemployment rate, and health between the densely populated islands like Sumatra and Java, which are the economic centres of Indonesia, and the sparsely populated islands such as Maluku, and Papua which is considered as Indonesia's disadvantaged areas. Economic inequality is also an issue that not only affects the economy, but also the social structure of Indonesia, resulting in social discrimination. Racism, especially against the Chinese since the Dutch rule, is a major and controversial issue and still continues to this day.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Indonesian province of Aceh. LGBT people and activists in Indonesia face fierce opposition, homophobic attacks, and hate speech, even launched by Indonesian authorities.
Education in Indonesia is compulsory for twelve years, and the constitution dictates that 20 percent of the national budget is to be prioritized for education. Parents can choose between state-run, non sectarian public schools supervised by Ministry of Education and Culture or private or semi-private religious (usually Islamic) schools supervised and financed by the Department of Religious Affairs. Private international schools, which are not based on the national curriculum, are also available. The enrolment rate is 90% for primary education (2015), 76% for secondary education, and 24% for tertiary education. The literacy rate is 95.22% (2016) and the government expenditure on education as 3.59% of GDP (2015).
By 2014, there were 118 state universities and 1,890 private higher educational institutions in Indonesia. Entry to state universities depends on the nationwide entrance examination (SNMPTN and SBMPTN). According to the 2017 QS World University Rankings, the top university in Indonesia is University of Indonesia (rank 277), followed by Bandung Institute of Technology (rank 331). Seven other Indonesian universities, including Gadjah Mada University (in the 401–410 rank range), Airlangga University (in the 701–750 rank range), Bogor Institute of Agriculture (in the 751–800 rank range), as well as Diponegoro University, Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology, Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta and Brawijaya University all huddled in the 801–1000 rank range. All of these universities are located in Java. Andalas University is pioneering the establishment of a leading university outside of Java.
Government expenditure on healthcare in Indonesia is about 3.1 percent of its total gross domestic product. Every citizen is protected under Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN), a scheme to implement universal health care in the country which launched by Ministry of Health of Indonesia. It is expected that spending on healthcare will increase by 12% a year and reach US$46 billion a year by 2019. Under JKN, all Indonesians will receive coverage for a range of treatments via health services from public providers as well as those private organisations that have opted to join the scheme. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Indonesia is 240. The main health problems are air quality, disease, child malnutrition, alcohol and smoking. Health outcomes have significantly improved in Indonesia since the 1960s. Life expectancy at birth is 70.8 years. The child mortality rate has declined from 220 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 45 per 1,000 live births in 2007. It has been suggested that over a third of the children under 5 have stunted growth. More than 28 million live below the poverty line of US$17 a month and about half the population have incomes not much above it. The malnutrition status has shown steady progress from 38 percent in 1990 to 25 percent in 2000. The rate of smoking is very high and about 400,000 die each year from smoking related illnesses.
Science and technology
Living in an agrarian and maritime culture the people in Indonesian archipelago have been famous in some traditional technologies, particularly in agriculture and marine. In agriculture, for instance, the people in Indonesia, and also in many other Southeast Asian countries, are famous in paddy cultivation technique namely terasering. Bugis and Makassar people in Indonesia are also well-known with their technology in making wooden sailing vessel called pinisi boats.
In aerospace technology, Indonesia has a long history in developing military and small commuter aircraft as the only country in Southeast Asia to produce and develop its own aircraft, also producing aircraft components for Boeing and Airbus, with its state-owned aircraft company (founded in 1976), the Indonesian Aerospace (Indonesian: PT. Dirgantara Indonesia), which, with EADS CASA of Spain developed the CN-235 aircraft, which has been exported to multiple countries. B. J. Habibie, a former Indonesian president played an important role in this achievement. While active as a professor in Germany, Habibie conducted many research assignments, producing theories on thermodynamics, construction, and aerodynamics, known as the Habibie Factor, Habibie Theorem, and Habibie Method respectively. Indonesia also hopes to manufacture the South Korean KAI KF-X fighter.
Indonesia has its own space agency and space program, and is also the first developing country to operate its own satellite system, known as Palapa. Palapa is a series of communication satellites owned by Qatari-controlled company Indosat Ooredoo. The first satellite, PALAPA A1 was first launched on 8 July 1976 Florida time, or on 9 July 1976 Western Indonesian Time on a US rocket, Delta 2914, from the Kennedy Space Center. As of 2016, Indonesia has launched 11 satellites to connect alongside the archipelago. The space agency has expressed a desire to put Indonesian satellites in orbit with native launch vehicles by 2040.
Indonesia has a well established railway industry, with its state-owned train manufacturer company, the Indonesian Railway Industry (Indonesian: PT. Industri Kereta Api), located in Madiun, East Java. Since 1982 the company has been producing passenger train wagons, freight wagons and other railway technologies and exported to many countries, such as Malaysia and Bangladesh. In the 1980s an Indonesian engineer, Tjokorda Raka Sukawati invented a road construction technique named Sosrobahu which becomes famous afterwards and widely used by many countries. The technology has been applied in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
With an estimated userbase of 132,700,000, Indonesia is one of the top five largest countries by number of Internet users, and its Facebook and Twitter user populations are fourth and third largest, respectively, of any country. The majority of Internet users in Indonesia are between the ages of 18 and 25, with an average Internet usage of 4.7 hours daily. Approximately 85% of Internet users depend primarily on their mobile phones for access, while the number of laptop users is greater than that of personal computer and tablet users combined. The Internet remains a relatively new communication medium in Indonesia. Like other developing countries, Indonesia began Internet development in the early 1990s. Unusually, Indonesia's Internet participation began with a small private group, known as the "Paguyuban Network", or "Network Group". Its first Internet service provider, IndoNet, began operation in Jakarta in mid-1994.
Indonesia has a multicultural, multilingual and multi-ethnic society. Each ethnic group has its own art, architecture and housing, cuisine, traditional dress, festivals, music, dance, tradition, ritual, myths, philosophy of life, and language. The cultural identities developed over centuries, and influenced by Indian, Arabic, Chinese, and European sources, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity. The result is a complex and unique cultural mixture that differs from the original indigenous cultures. Examples include the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, and the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan. Traditional Javanese and Balinese dances, for example, contain aspects of Hindu culture and mythology, as do wayang kulit (shadow puppet) performances.
Traditional carpentry, masonry, stone and woodwork techniques and decorations also thrived in Indonesian vernacular architecture, with numbers of traditional houses' styles have been developed. The traditional houses and settlements of the several hundreds ethnic groups of Indonesia are extremely varied and all have their own specific history.
The Indonesian film industry's popularity peaked in the 1980s and dominated cinemas in Indonesia, although it declined significantly in the early 1990s. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Indonesian films released each year has steadily increased.
As of 2015, Indonesia holds 8 items of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage, which include wayang puppet theatre, kris, batik, education and training on making Indonesian batik, angklung, saman dance, noken, and the three genres of traditional Balinese dance. Batik, which is native to Indonesia was also recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009.
Indonesian arts include both age-old art forms developed through centuries, and recently developed contemporary art. Despite often displaying local ingenuity, Indonesian arts also has experienced foreign exposures and influences—most notably from India, the Arab world, China and Europe, as the result of centuries of contacts and interactions facilitated, and often motivated, by trade. It is either work of arts produced by its people—created by Indonesian artist, or influenced by its culture and traditions.
The art of painting is quite well-developed in Bali, where its people are famed for their artistry. The Balinese art paintings tradition started as classical Kamasan or Wayang style visual narrative, derived from East Javanese visual art discovered on East Javanese candi bas reliefs. Balinese painting tradition are notable for its highly vigorous yet refined intricate art which resembles baroque folk art with tropical themes.
Megalithic sculpture has been discovered in several sites in Indonesia. Subsequently, tribal art has flourished within the culture of Nias, Batak, Asmat, Dayak and Toraja. Wood and stone are common materials used as the media for sculpting among these tribes. Between the 8th and 15th century, Javanese civilisation has developed a refined stone sculpting art and architecture which was influenced by Hindu-Buddhist Dharmic civilisation. The celebrated example is the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan.
Architecture reflects the cultural diversity that has shaped Indonesia as a whole. Invaders, colonisers, missionaries, merchants and traders brought cultural changes that had a profound effect on building styles and techniques. The most dominant influences on Indonesian architecture have traditionally been Indian; however, Chinese, Arab, and European architectural influences have been significant.
The Indonesia traditional houses are at the centre of a web of customs, social relations, traditional laws, taboos, myths and religions that bind the villagers together. The house provides the main focus for the family and its community, and is the point of departure for many activities of its residents. Traditional houses hold a prominent position in the society, relates to its social significance.
Example of Indonesian vernacular architecture including Toraja's Tongkonan, Minangkabau's Rumah Gadang and Rangkiang, Javanese style Pendopo pavilion with Joglo style roof, Dayak's longhouses, various Malay houses, Balinese houses and temples, and also various styles of lumbung (rice barns).
Indonesia is considered as the home of world handicraft. Every ethnic group in Indonesia has its own uniqueness, style, and philosophy of craft. Most of them are made from wooden, bone, fabric, stone, paper, and other. Using hands, these natural materials were crafted into useful and aesthetic items. Handicraft manufacturing, unlike most other manufacturing activities, has a social function as well. In Indonesia, handicraft is not just a tradition; it is also an important economic sector. The handicraft industry employs thousands of people in towns and villages across the country. About half a billion dollar worth of handicraft is exported every year, and many more is consumed domestically.
There are many varieties of handicraft from other regions. West Sumatra and South Sumatra are particularly noted for their songket cloths. Villages in Lesser Sunda Islands produce ikat. Provinces in Kalimantan (Borneo) are long known for their basketry and weaving using rattan and other natural fabrics. Wood art produced by the Asmat people of Papua is highly valued. Along the northern coast, Cirebon, Pekalongan, and Lasem are batik centres. For furniture, the important cities are Cirebon (for rattan) and Jepara (carved wood). Tasikmalaya is known for embroidery. Pasuruan also produces furniture and other products and may support stores and galleries in Bali. Bandung and Surabaya, both are modern, cosmopolitan, and industrialised cities—much like Jakarta but on a lesser scale, are creative cities with a variety of innovative startups.
Indonesia has its own representation of traditional attire and dress from each province with its own unique and distinguished designs. Notable dress such as Kebaya and Batik both of Javanese from Java; Ulos of Batak from North Sumatra; Songket of Malay and Minangkabau from South Sumatra and West Sumatra; and Ikat of Sasak from Lombok.
Today, the most widely recognised Indonesian national costume are Batik and Kebaya, although originally those costumes mainly belong to Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese cultures. National costumes are worn during official occasions as well as traditional ceremonies. The most obvious display of Indonesian national costumes can be seen by the type of costumes worn by the President of Indonesia and the First Lady in many and different types of occasions and settings, and also worn by Indonesian diplomatic officials during meeting or gala dinner.
The music of Indonesia predates historical records. Various native Indonesian tribes incorporate chants and songs accompanied with musical instruments in their rituals. Traditional Indonesian instruments include angklung, kacapi suling, siteran, gong, gamelan, degung, gong kebyar, bumbung, talempong, kulintang and sasando.
The diverse world of Indonesian music genres was the result of the musical creativity of its people, and subsequent cultural encounters with foreign musical influences into the archipelago. Next to distinctive native form of musics, several genres can trace their origins to foreign influences, such as gambus and qasida from Middle Eastern Islamic music, keroncong from Portuguese influences, and dangdut—one of the most popular music genres in Indonesia—with notable Hindi music influence as well as Malay orchestras.
Today, Indonesian music industry enjoys nationwide popularity. Thanks to common culture and intelligible languages between Indonesian and Malay, Indonesian music enjoyed regional popularity in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. However, the overwhelming popularity of Indonesian music in Malaysia had alarmed the Malaysian music industry. In 2008, Malaysian music industry demanded the restriction of Indonesian songs on Malaysian radio broadcasts.
Traditional dance of Indonesia reflect the rich diversity of Indonesian people. The dance traditions in Indonesia; such as Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, Balinese, Aceh and many other dances traditions are age old traditions, yet also a living and dynamic traditions. Several royal houses; the istanas and keratons still survived in some parts of Indonesia and become the haven of cultural conservation. The obvious difference between courtly dance and common folk dance traditions is the most evident in Javanese dance. The palace court traditions also evident in Balinese and Malay court which usually imposed refinement and prestige. Java and Bali are more deeply rooted in their Hindu-Buddhist heritage, while Sumatran courtly culture such as the remnant of Aceh Sultanate and Palembang Sultanate, are more influenced by Islamic culture.
Dances in Indonesia are believed by many scholars to have had their beginning in rituals and religious worship. Such dances are usually based on rituals, like the war dances, the dance of witch doctors, and dance to call for rain or any agricultural related rituals such as Hudoq dance ritual of Dayak people. In Bali, dances have become the integral part of Hindu Balinese rituals. Sacred ritual dances are performed only in Balinese temples such as sacred Sanghyang dedari and Barong dance.
The commoners folk dance is more concerned with social function and entertainment value than rituals. The Javanese Ronggeng and Sundanese Jaipongan is the fine example of this common folk dance traditions. Both are social dances that are more for entertainment purpose than rituals. Randai is a folk theatre tradition of the Minangkabau people which incorporates dance, music, singing, drama and the martial art of silat. Certain traditional folk dances has been developed into mass dance with simple but structurised steps and movements, such as Poco-poco dance from Minahasa and Sajojo dance from Papua.
Indonesian cuisine is one of the most diverse, vibrant and colourful in the world, full of intense flavour. Many regional cuisines exist, often based upon indigenous culture and foreign influences such as Chinese, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian precedents. Rice is the main staple food and is served with side dishes of meat and vegetables. Spices (notably chili), coconut milk, fish and chicken are fundamental ingredients.
Some popular Indonesian dishes such as nasi goreng, gado-gado, sate, and soto are ubiquitous in the country and considered as national dishes. The official national dish of Indonesia however, is tumpeng, chosen in 2014 by Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy as the dish that binds the diversity of Indonesia's various culinary traditions. Another popular Indonesian dishes like rendang which is one of many Minangkabau cuisine, beside of dendeng and gulai. In 2011, rendang was chosen as the "World's Most Delicious Food" which was announced by CNN. Rendang can be made from beef that is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilies, then left to stew for a few hours to make it tender, flavourful bovine goodness. Another fermented food is oncom, similar in some ways to tempeh but using a variety of bases (not only soy), created by a different fungi, and particularly popular in West Java.
Wayang, the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese shadow puppet theatre shows display several mythological legends such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, and many more. Wayang wong is Javanese traditional dance drama based on wayang stories. Various Balinese dance drama also can be included within traditional form of Indonesian drama. Another form of local drama is Javanese Ludruk and Ketoprak, Sundanese Sandiwara, and Betawi Lenong. All of these drama incorporated humor and jest, often involving audiences in their performance.
Randai is a folk theatre tradition of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, usually performed for traditional ceremonies and festivals. It incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the silat martial art, with performances often based on semi-historical Minangkabau legends and love story.
Modern performing art also developed in Indonesia with their distinct style of drama. Notable theatre, dance, and drama troupe such as Teater Koma are gain popularity in Indonesia as their drama often portray social and political satire of Indonesian society.
Sports in Indonesia are generally male-oriented and spectator sports are often associated with illegal gambling. The most popular sports are badminton and football. Indonesian players have won the Thomas Cup (the world team championship of men's badminton) thirteen of the twenty-six times that it has been held since 1949, as well as numerous Olympic medals since the sport gained full Olympic status in 1992. Indonesian women have won the Uber Cup, the female equivalent of the Thomas Cup, 3 times, in 1975, 1994 and 1996.
Liga 1 is the country's premier football club league. On the international stage, Indonesia experienced limited success despite being the first Asian team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1938 as Dutch East Indies. In 1956, the football team played in the Olympics and played a hard-fought draw against the Soviet Union. On the continent level, Indonesia won the bronze medal once in football in the 1958 Asian Games. Indonesia's first appearance in Asian Cup was back in 1996. The national team qualified for the next three tournaments in 2000, 2004 and 2007. They, however, failed to move through the next stage.
Basketball has a long history in Indonesia and was part of the first Indonesian National Games in 1948. Boxing is a popular combative sport spectacle in Indonesia. Some of famous Indonesian boxers are Ellyas Pical, three times IBF Super flyweight champion; Nico Thomas, Muhammad Rachman, and Chris John. In motorsport, Rio Haryanto became the first Indonesian to compete in Formula One in 2016.
Traditional sports include sepak takraw, and karapan sapi (bull racing) in Madura. In areas of Indonesia with a history of tribal warfare, mock fighting contests are held, such as caci in Flores and pasola in Sumba. Pencak Silat is an Indonesian martial art and in 1987, became one of the sporting events in Southeast Asian Games, with Indonesia appearing as one of the leading forces in this sport. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is one of the major sport powerhouses by winning the Southeast Asian Games 10 times since 1977, most recently on 2013.
The first domestically produced film in Indonesia was in 1926: Loetoeng Kasaroeng, a silent film by Dutch director L. Heuveldorp. This adaptation of the Sundanese legend was made with local actors by the NV Java Film Company in Bandung.
After independence, the film industry expanded rapidly, with six films made in 1949 rising to 58 in 1955. Djamaluddin Malik's Persari often emulating American genre films and the working practices of the Hollywood studio system, as well as remaking popular Indian films. The Sukarno government used cinema for nationalistic, anti-Western purposes. Foreign film imports were banned. After the overthrow of Sukarno by Suharto's New Order regime, films were regulated through a censorship code that aimed to maintain the social order. Usmar Ismail, a director from West Sumatra made a major imprint in Indonesian film in the 1950s and 1960s.
Films made in the 1980s included Pintar-pintar Bodoh (1982), Maju Kena Mundur Kena (1984), Nagabonar (1987), Catatan Si Boy (1989), and Warkop's comedy films, directed by Arizal. Actors included Deddy Mizwar, Eva Arnaz, Meriam Bellina, and Rano Karno.
Indonesia has held annual film festivals and awards, including the Indonesian Film Festival (Festival Film Indonesia/FFI), which has been held intermittently since 1955. This festival hands out the Citra Award, an Indonesian counterpart of the United States' Academy Awards, the most prestigious award among Indonesian film workers. From 1973 to 1992, the festival was held annually and then discontinued until it was later revived in 2004.
Under the Reformasi movement, independent filmmaking was a rebirth of the filming industry in Indonesia, where films started addressing topics which were previously banned, such as religion, race, love and other topics. Riri Riza and Mira Lesmana were among the new generation of Indonesian film figures who co-directed Kuldesak (1999), Petualangan Sherina (2000), Ada Apa dengan Cinta? (2002), Gie (2005), and Laskar Pelangi (2008). Locally made film quality has gone up in 2012. This is attested by the international release of films such as The Raid: Redemption, Modus Anomali, Dilema, Lovely Man, and Java Heat. In 2016, Warkop DKI Reborn: Jangkrik Boss Part 1 smashed box office records to become the most-watched Indonesian film in theaters with 6,858,616 spectators.
Media freedom in Indonesia increased considerably after the end of President Suharto's rule, during which the now-defunct Ministry of Information monitored and controlled domestic media, and restricted foreign media. The TV market includes ten national commercial networks, and provincial networks that compete with public TVRI, which, for 27 years, was the only channel that Indonesians could watch. By early 21st century, the improved communications system had brought television signals to every village in the country, and most Indonesians could choose from up to 14 channels. Private radio stations carry their own news bulletins and foreign broadcasters supply programs. The number of printed publications has increased significantly since 1998. In 2016, 88 million Indonesians used the Internet, of which 93% used smartphones, 5% tablets and 11% computers. Broadband reached 8% of the households. More than 30 million cell phones are sold in Indonesia each year, and 27% of them are local brands.
The oldest evidence of writing in Indonesia is a series of Sanskrit inscriptions dated to the 5th century. Many of Indonesia's peoples have strongly rooted oral traditions, which help to define and preserve their cultural identities. In written poetry and prose, a number of traditional forms dominate, mainly syair, pantun, gurindam, hikayat and babad. Some of these works are Syair Raja Siak, Syair Abdul Muluk, Hikayat Abdullah, Hikayat Bayan Budiman, Hikayat Hang Tuah, Sulalatus Salatin, and Babad Tanah Jawi.
Early modern Indonesian literature originates in Sumatran tradition. Balai Pustaka, the government bureau for popular literature, was instituted around 1920 to promote the development of indigenous literature, it adopted Malay as the preferred common medium for Indonesia. Important figures in modern Indonesian literature include: Dutch author Multatuli, who criticised treatment of the Indonesians under Dutch colonial rule; Sumatrans Mohammad Yamin and Hamka, who were influential pre-independence nationalist writers and politicians; and proletarian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia's most famous novelist. Pramoedya earned several accolades, and was frequently discussed as Indonesia's and Southeast Asia's best candidate for a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Indonesian literature and poetry flourished even more in the first half of the 20th century. Chairil Anwar was considered as the greatest literary figure of Indonesia by American poet and translator, Burton Raffel. He was among those youngsters who pioneered in changing the traditional Indonesian literature and modifying it on the lines of the newly independent country. Some of his popular poems include Krawang-Bekasi, Diponegoro and Aku. Other major authors include Marah Roesli (Sitti Nurbaya), Merari Siregar (Azab dan Sengsara), Abdul Muis (Salah Asuhan), Djamaluddin Adinegoro (Darah Muda), Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana (Layar Terkembang), and Amir Hamzah (Nyanyi Sunyi) whose works are among the most well known in Maritime Southeast Asia.