INDONESIA, the largest archipelago in the world to form a single state consists of 17,508 islands and islets (around 6,000 are inhabited), which are scattered over both sides of the equator. The five biggest islands are Kalimantan (539,450 sq.km); Sumatera (473,606 sq.km); Papua, which forms part of the island of New Guinea (421,952 sq.km), Sulawesi (189,035 sq.km) and Java (132,035 sq.km). The capital and also largest city, Jakarta, is on Java island. The other biggest cities are Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, and Semarang.
Indonesia is home to over 250 million people, more than 300 ethnic groups and 700 spoken languages and dialects. Indonesia is a country with the largest muslim population in the world, where six world religions are officially recognized: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Besides those religions, other faiths can also be found, especially in isolated societies.
Indonesia is a very diverse nation. This great diversity is reflected in the country's national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika which means unity in diversity.
The state philosophy is called Pancasila (taken from Sanskrit words) meaning five principles, comprising:
1. Belief in the one supreme God.
2. Just and civilized humanity.
3. Unity of indonesia.
4. Democracy guided by deliberations of the people's representation.
5. Social justice for all Indonesians.