Given Indonesia's extraordinary diversity, it is easy to see what all Indonesians have in common, what defines Indonesia as a nation.
The history of the archipelago has seen many chapters, but there is no doubt that the years of colonial rule brought exploitation. The indigenous people of the archipelago first began to develop a national consciousness as Indonesians. Indonesian and Indian eras reached a point of mutual understanding and respect for each other and for the people of Indonesia as a whole.
Indonesians today are of Malay origin, like Malaysians and Filipinos, and descendants of migrants who arrived around 4000 BC. In the earliest recorded times Malaya was still the language of the people of Sumatera, which is separated from the Malaysian peninsula by the Strait of Malacca. As a result, it became the main language for the people who lived in the area, especially in coastal areas, where languages became a widespread lingua franca. Over the centuries, Malaysians were born on the islands of Indonesia, but since the early records, it has been the only language still used among the peoples who live there today and in other parts of Asia.
Most Indonesians are of Malay or Polynesian descent, although the country's history has produced many other ethnic groups, such as Malaysians and Filipinos, as well as other indigenous peoples.
Much of what is now called Indonesia was influenced and controlled by the Hindu Majapahit empire, which controlled large parts of Indonesia in the 1290 "s when it conquered Java. Indian concepts and concepts copied by empires throughout the archipelago, such as "Indian" concepts, can be found on the islands of Kalimantan, Java and Sumatra, as well as Bali. Much of it was controlled or controlled until the 13th century, when the Hindus of the "Majapahsit" empire conquered it in Java.
Srivijaya ceased to exist in 1414 when Paramesuara, the last prince of the kingdom, converted to Islam and founded the Sultanate of Malacca on the Malay Peninsula.
Islam came in the 13th century and has prevailed in some of Indonesia's least affected areas, but the historical links between trade and Islam are visible. Java and Sumatra became powerful sultanates, while other islands continued to follow Hindu, Buddhist and animist traditions. These interactions led to a multitude of cultural and religious differences between the people who lived on these islands, and between Muslims and non-Muslims.
The ancestors of most modern Indonesians came from Taiwan and arrived in the archipelago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most likely via Indonesia. The Melanesians had already inhabited Indonesia, but were driven out by the Austronesians, who arrived on the islands around the same time as the first Europeans, about 10,000 years ago.
The largest island is Irian Jaya, located in the western part of New Guinea and home to the largest Melanesian population in Southeast Asia. In many cases, Indonesia has a population of over 239 million people in 2010, but Borneo, one of the world's most populous islands, has only a few hundred thousand people. The largest of these islands is the larger of the two main islands, also called West Papua, about 1,000 km east of Jakarta.
Indonesia shares Irian Jaya with Papua New Guinea and Borneo, the largest island in Southeast Asia and one of the most populous in the world. Indonesian territory, but it is also home to a population of about 2.5 million people.
The Indonesian economy, for example, seems to have promised the country a more stable future several times over than in the past.
Secondly, the whole area, which is now called Indonesia, was conquered by the Dutch, but not simultaneously, and then for 3.5 centuries. During this time, the homonid appeared for the first time and the Javanese inhabited the part of the world that we call Indonesia today. The man lived upright in Indonesia while Europe lay on ice, and most of it in parts of Asia.
Although 90% of Indonesians are Muslims, East Timor is primarily Catholic, and while the rest of Indonesia is a Dutch colony, it is ruled by the Portuguese. The Indonesian islands, including the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, Papua, West Java and Sumatran, became a territory known as the Dutch East India.
When Marco Polo visited North Sumatra at the end of the 13th century, the first "Islamic state" was founded. On the basis of the scant evidence we have, Islam has spread rapidly and become the dominant force in the region. The dominant mix of Hinduism and animism was superimposed, leading to the hybrid religion that now dominates much of Indonesia.