Indonesia is known as a country of ten thousand islands with hundreds of thousands of large and small islands. Not only developing sea and island tourism, Indonesia also owns many national parks, majestic and unspoiled natural volcanoes.
When you come here, you should refer the things you should and shouldn’t do when travelling Indonesia below.
When greeting, it is necessary to use both hands to shake and not hold the other person’s hand. However, you should note that Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, according to Reuters. Therefore, Indonesian women tend to keep their distance from strangers when greeting. They will nod hello or smile, clasp their hands. You just do the same thing.
People on the island of Java appreciate the smiles of international guests. “Friendliness is the nature of the people here, so as long as you smile, they will surely smile back.”
Meeting older people, bowing a little when greeting is considered a polite and standard act. Visitors don’t have to do this, but it shows your respect and is appreciated by the elders.
When visiting people’s houses, temples, you should take off your shoes before entering. Always use your right hand when eating, giving or receiving gifts because Indonesians consider the right hand sacred, the left hand unclean.
Use the thumb of your right hand to point at someone, or something, and fold the remaining fingers into a fist for a more polite look. Avoid pointing with your index finger as it is considered rude.
If you encounter street vendors trying to buy things, you can comfortably refuse by saying “tidak” – meaning “no”.
Locals feel offended if they see tourists wearing off-the-shoulder tops and no bras. Therefore, guests need to dress appropriately when going to public places, especially sacred destinations such as temples.
Indonesia is likened to a “beach paradise” because it is a “land of ten thousand islands”. But visitors should only wear swimsuits on the beaches, instead of wearing them and walking around.
Things should not to do
Be careful when walking or driving late at night. Girls who do not go with men after 10pm can be victims of robberies, or harassment. Should go in large groups, and be accompanied by men. Indonesian people are considered to be kind and willing to help. But like everywhere in the world, there are bad guys everywhere.
Don’t be surprised if someone of the same sex tries to hold your hand in public. This is their way of showing intimacy and hospitality. But everything stops at holding hands. Indonesia does not encourage tourists to show affection between men and women in public.
Do not stand and talk to people in the position of hands on hips. That is considered an insult, disrespecting the other person. Rubbing, touching someone’s head is considered taboo. When writing a wish, or thank you to people you have met on your trip, avoid writing in red ink. This is a symbolic gesture of anger, wanting to end a good relationship.
Do not get upset or angry when locals ask questions related to personal matters. They have no intention of prying, but are just showing intimacy. You are not required to answer any of them, if you are not comfortable.
Do not refuse meals and drinks if invited. Indonesians are Muslim, so they do not drink alcohol or eat pork. This is also something you should keep in mind and don’t invite them to “make a drink”. In particular, do not rest or put your feet on the table or chair.
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