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Introduction to Indonesia

Assessing the seminar, it can be seen that the speaker highlighted the development of Indonesia as a country in Southeast Asia. It is in here that he described the growth of the country from the colonial occupations of the Dutch, British, and Portuguese until it gained its independence in August 17, 1945. At first, it can be seen that the speaker portrayed Indonesia in terms of its geographic boundaries. Here, he described the country as an archipelago with more than 13,000 islands. However, with this number, there are only about 6,000 islands that are inhabited by man.

Alongside this information, it was also mentioned that the inhabitants continue to be diverse as it comprises of around 600 languages with around 300 ethnic groups. It is in here that these languages/dialects are divided among population of approximately 240 million Indonesians. Such perspective then provided the idea of Indonesia ‘as the melting pot of culture and ethnicity’. In terms of political structure, the speaker mentions that the country remains to be the ‘third largest democracy’ in the world. In here, the bureaucracy remains to be centered towards a check and balance system.

Specifically, institutions have means to monitor and provide specific identifications for its actions. Such capacity then infuses better means to incorporate responsibility and accountability in its political leaders and exercise fully the democratic process. Seeing this, the idea of power is then divided into three branches – the executive, legislative and judiciary. Each one has specific responsibilities and power of creating, exercising, and interpreting policies in accordance to the needs of the citizenry. At the same time, embedded in its constitution is the freedom of its citizenry to practice the religion that they wish to.

Seeing this, the speaker then provides the five dominant religions in the country which include: (1) Islam, comprising 85% of the population, (2) Christians, around 10%, (Catholics and Protestants) and (3) Hinduism and Buddhism, around 5% of the population. Given the dominance of the Muslims in the region, it can be seen that majority of Indonesian culture and practices revolve around these dynamics and shapes the way people act and respond accordingly. It is through such dynamics and interaction that the ideas and norms of the people were shaped accordingly with the interactions among religions.

The next section of the seminar talked about the political history of the country and how its leaders intensified efforts towards ensuring stability and growth in the region. It was in here that the leadership of Soekarno, the first Indonesian president was highlighted and alongside these the programs he has instituted to the country. Similarly, the diversification of leadership and continuity was also highlighted as it paved the way for furthering relations with the citizenry as well as Indonesia’s foreign relations with other countries.

In essence, this political structure consolidated better means for the country to pursue its policies and open up opportunities for continuous growth and development. Lastly, the speaker highlights the economic perspective and history of Indonesia. It is in here that he highlights how the political and social structure sought to complement its economic advantage. Specifically, the seminar provides how the economy sought to transform itself from an agricultural industry and open up new means for diversifying trade and specializing in different raw materials.

Similarly, its participation with international organizations such as the ASEAN and WTO expanded its capacity to take advantage of free trade and expand opportunities towards growth and development. In the end, the seminar provided constructive insights not only of the history of Indonesia but also the manner it tries to respond to the changes happening in its political, social, and economic environment today. It is through such that they remain adherent to these challenges and diversify means of complementing their strengths towards policy development and growth.

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