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Along with unity and conformity to society's rules, honor and respect for the individual is the basis of Indonesian culture. Indonesians value loyalty to family and friends above all else. Life is simple for most people; most enjoy few modern conveniences, such as running water. Indonesia as a whole is viewed by its people as an extended family with the president, schoolmasters and leaders of business enterprises referred to as "fathers" by the public. Meeting and Greeting Shake hands and give a slight nod when meeting for the first time.

After the first meeting, a handshake is not necessary; a slight bow or nod of the head is sufficient. Shake an Indonesian woman's hand only if she initiates the greeting. Greet people with "Selamat" sell-a-matwhich means peace. Say it slowly and sincerely. Body Language Good relationships involve a great deal of physical contact and touching.

But, foreigners should allow time to be accepted and to develop good relationships before this is acceptable. Indonesians are used to an overcrowded society; they tend to ignore inadvertent invasions of space. Allowing for personal space is a sign of respect. A man does not touch a woman in public except to shake hands, indonesian dating customs.

Do not display affection in public. The head is where the spirit resides and is considered sacred. Keep both feet on the floor when sitting.

Do not cross your legs, especially not with an ankle over the knee. Sitting with good posture rigid and both feet on the floor is a sign of respect. Looking someone straight in the eyes is considered staring. Avoid prolonged eye contact, which may be viewed as a challenge and may cause anger.

Point with your thumb, indonesian dating customs, not your index finger. Never beckon with one finger. The left hand is considered unclean. Do not touch food, pass or receive anything, touch anyone or point with your left hand. Approval is sometimes shown with a pat on the shoulder, but American-style backslapping is considered offensive. Corporate Culture Westerners are expected to be punctual for business appointments. Call if you are delayed. It is very common for Indonesians to arrive late.

Present your business card to the receptionist immediately upon arrival; otherwise, there could be long delays. Exchange business cards when being introduced.

Present and receive the card slowly with much interest. Cards in English are acceptable. Negotiations should start at the top of a corporation and then move down to the operating level indonesian dating customs discuss technical matters. Later on, discussions will return once again to the top level of the company.

It is best to conduct a first meeting with the highest ranking person of a company. An introduction from a local associate or bank representative is helpful.

Indonesians don't get right down to business. An initial meeting may last minutes without accomplishing much. After this amount of time, the visitor should initiate leaving. Patience is a necessity when doing business in Indonesia. Business dealings are usually slow, long and frustrating. Business relationships must be allowed to develop over time. Several visits are generally necessary to complete a contract. Indonesians love to bargain. Giving concessions too quickly will be viewed as naivete.

Clarification and feedback are a necessity throughout negotiations. Avoid disagreement and, especially, arguments with Indonesians. A contract should be viewed as a guideline rather than a statement of duties and responsibilities. Personal visits are important to Indonesians. They do not take well to faxes, telephone calls or messages. Show up in person whenever possible.

Indonesians want very much to please. An untruthful answer may be given so as not to disappoint anyone. Indonesians rarely disagree in public. To succeed in negotiations with Indonesians, do not apply pressure or be confrontational. Dining and Entertainment Social events generally start late.

Indonesians usually arrive thirty minutes after the stated time. Any business discussions at social events should be initiated by Indonesians. A fork and spoon are used for dining. The fork is held in the left hand and the spoon in the right. Use the fork to push food onto the spoon. Most Indonesians are Muslim and consume no liquor or pork. Indonesians are known for their hospitality. Do not reject their hospitality, as it will be viewed as a personal rejection. Never refuse food or drink, but never finish either completely.

Compliments about the food are appreciated. It is a special honor to be invited to an Indonesian's home. The host is always the last to sit and eat. Men are generally served first. Wait to be invited to eat or drink. The guest of honor or senior person begins the meal; this is a distinct honor. If you are asked to begin the meal, you should indonesian dating customs twice and then begin.

Fingers are still used for eating in some places. Both hands are kept above the table while eating. The person who invites is expected to pay the bill in a restaurant. Request the bill by making a scribbling gesture on the palm of your hand. When finished with the meal, place the fork tines down on your plate with your spoon down crossed over the fork. If possible, reciprocate with a dinner before you leave the country. A lavish dinner may be criticized; be generous and hospitable, but don't overdo it.

Dress Men should wear a suit and jacket for the first business meeting. Women should wear skirts and blouses never sleeveless or dresses. Muslim rules of modesty should be honored. Gifts Business gifts are generally not exchanged. A small token of appreciation may be given to secretaries. Gifts to colleagues should be given after most business has been concluded. Receive a gift appreciatively.

It is impolite to refuse a gift. Gifts are not opened in the giver's presence except at a ceremony, where the gift is opened in front of an assembled group. Helpful Hints Taking photographs is a way of honoring someone. Indonesians may ask to take your picture. Civil servants are respected. Be very respectful to government workers. Never treat them as though they are your servants. Don't assume tomorrow means tomorrow. Tomorrow may mean sometime in the future. Set specific dates and times for arrangements.

Do not chew gum or yawn in public. Especially for Women Indonesia is a Muslim society and very male-oriented, but most female visitors experience very few hassles with men.


Various codes of etiquette in Indonesia govern the expectations of social behavior in the country and are considered very important. Etiquette demonstrates respect, and is considered one of the key factor in social interactions. Some conventions may be very regional practices, and thus may not exist in all regions of Indonesia. The following are generally accepted contemporary customs in Indonesia.

Indonesia is a vast tropical country of sprawling archipelago with extremely diverse culture and demographic make-up with over ethnic groups , [2] and speaking more than living languages. Indonesia also has considerably significant numbers of Christian Protestant and Catholics population, also Hindu that mostly inhabit the island of Bali , and Buddhist that are mostly Chinese Indonesians.

Each of these Indonesian ethnic groups has its own culture and tradition and may speak their own mother language. Each of them may adhere to different religions that have their own rules and customs.

These combinations made Indonesia a complex mixture of traditions that may differ from one place to another. Some ethnic groups such as the Javanese have a complex set of etiquette behaviors and are rather constrained in expressing their true feelings, while others, such as Batak and Betawi people, are more open and straightforward.

Nevertheless, there are some similarities and common traits that can be used as a guide to interact with Indonesians. It is widely felt however, that the highly refined social behaviour of the Javanese as the majority — more or less — sets the social standards throughout the country.

Indonesians smile a lot to initiate contact, it is highly recommended to smile back in return. Smiling, even toward strangers that you are interacting with, or someone that accidentally met your eyes, is considered polite and could be a social ice-breaker and to sign that you are approachable.

Probably that is why Indonesians are rated highly as the most smiling people in the world. Indonesians are family and community oriented. Several ethnic group has knit-tight relations that its member are expected to involve actively in many of their community events. Social harmony and spirit of cooperation is nurtured, as embodied in the tradition of decision by consensus musyawarah-mufakat , and the long-established pattern of mutual assistance gotong-royong.

This ties back to the idea of maintaining strong group cohesiveness and harmonious relationships. Politeness as well as respect, modesty and loyalty, is prevalent in the culture. As with most group-oriented cultures, hierarchy plays a great role in Indonesian culture.

It is important to observe that in Indonesia everyone has a status, no one is equal, and status is situational. Respect is usually shown to those with status, power, position, and age. Failure to demonstrate proper respect, would be deemed as kurang ajar Indonesian for "lack of education or teaching" to denotes the lack of good manners.

Elders are respected through performing salim , which is a revering handshake by touching the back of the hand to the forehead. For example, when shaking the hand with older persons, such as parents, grandparents and teachers, the younger people or students are expected to touch the back of the elder's palm with the tip of their nose or forehead, this reflects a special respect from the young to the old. This can be seen in both the village and families.

The ritualized gesture of asking for forgiveness, paying respect and honoring the elders is the sungkem gesture. It is the utmost gesture of respect in Javanese and Sundanese tradition, mostly performed between parents and children. The parents place their hands on their laps and the children hold their parents hands and bow deep to put their nose in their parents hands, almost placing one's head upon the elder's lap.

Most Indonesians valued social harmony dearly, so direct confrontation is best avoided. With such eagerness to avoid confrontation, indirectness would mostly become the norm. Indonesians might went to such extent to avoid unpleasantness, bad news or direct rejection. A socially refined Indonesians would go to elegant lengths to avoid to directly said "no"; in Indonesian language there are twelve ways to says "no" [13] and six ways to says "please", [14] this describes the complexity of social interaction and manners in Indonesia.

Yet today, in the relatively new atmosphere of democracy, expressing disagreement, performing demonstrations, and arguing in open debate are becoming more publicly acceptable.

Saving one's face means one should carefully consider others' dignity and avoid them experiencing shame or humiliation. Openly airing your displeasure at certain circumstances would be considered extremely disrespectful and bad etiquette. In the event that you are disgruntled or angry with a person, it is best to discuss the matter privately.

Greetings in local Indonesian includes selamat pagi good morning , selamat siang good afternoon , or selamat malam good evening , and apa kabar? Saying terima kasih thank you after receiving services or favours demonstrate good manner.

When greeting or introducing oneself, smiling, handshake salam and slightly nod is a good gesture. A medium to soft handshake grip is sufficient, since gripping too hard could be considered rude or an act of aggression. Indonesians may not shake hand as firmly as their Western counterparts. In certain cultures with significant Hindu-Buddhist heritage such as Bali, Java and Lombok — it is common to perform sembah ; to greet by clasped two hands together in front of the chest while slightly bowing.

Both the Muslim and Hindu faiths somewhat abhor the use of the left hand. It is considered 'unclean'; the left hand is traditionally perceived as the hand used to clean yourself in the toilet. So when shaking hands, offering a gift, handing or receiving something, eating, pointing or generally touching another person, it is considered proper etiquette to always use your right hand.

Pointing toward someone with forefinger is considered rude. While pointing with the whole open palm or just a thumb with other fingers folded are considered most polite. Pointing direction by doing smooth and graceful motion with your chin is quite acceptable, [6] except a sharp and strong movement, which is not polite and considered as an insult. During a dinner or luncheon invitation, the oldest man, most senior family member, or the honored host, has the right to initiate the meal, [18] followed by the rest of the family and guests to help themselves to the dishes.

Indonesian meals are commonly eaten with the combination of a spoon in the right hand and fork in the left hand to push the food onto the spoon. Knife however, is absent from dining table, thus most of the ingredients such as vegetables and meat are already cut into bite-size pieces prior to cooking.

In many parts of the country, it is quite common to eat with one's bare hands. In traditional restaurants or households that commonly use bare hands to eat, such as Sundanese and Padang restaurants, they usually serve kobokan , a bowl of tap water with a slice of lime in it to give a fresh scent. This bowl of water should not be consumed, rather it is used to wash one's hand before and after eating. In some restaurants, one may be required to share a table; yet involving in conversation with strangers that shares table is not necessary, a smile and a slight nod during initiate contact is sufficient.

Usually the one who does the inviting pays the bill, [18] while going Dutch is not common and often considered as a poor form [6] , though younger people and teenagers often do this when. Indonesia is a Muslim majority country , so a majority of Indonesians observe halal dietary law which prohibits the consumption of pork and alcohol.

Overall, conservative and modest dress sense are adopted in Indonesia, however it might differ from one place to another. For example, Aceh that adopt Sharia law are more strict and conservative compared to Bali. Shorts , strapless or sleeveless tops are considered only suitable for sports or worn in private, and are not usually worn in public.

Business dress code are pretty much the same as international standard. Most of Indonesian offices are air conditioned, so the heat is not a problem on wearing suits indoor. When in Indonesia, by and large a conservative and modest dress sense should be adopted — especially by women. Skirt hemlines should fall below the knee and the shoulders should always be covered.

Business attire is generally conservative. Women should dress conservatively ensuring that they are well covered from ankle to neck. Attending ceremonies, dinner parties, wedding receptions or official events wearing international standard dress-code are acceptable, such as to wear suit, shirt and trousers for men and modest dress for women. Wearing long-sleeved batik shirt for men and long-sleeved batik dress for women is acceptable for most formal occasions.

Attending religious events or visiting religious sites require utmost care. When visiting a place of worship, such as candi and pura temples , mosques , and churches , the proper dress etiquette for such places is of utmost importance — modest dress is required. Some non-religious sites such as keratons sultan's palace and some museums may require modest dress almost similar to religious sites. Shoes or any form of footwears should be removed when entering a mosque.

Men and women should both cover as much skin as possible; women are required to cover their heads. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Indonesian art Architecture of Indonesia. Music and performing arts.

Flag Coat of arms. National costume of Indonesia. Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition". Retrieved 20 November Retrieved 9 April Retrieved 2 April Retrieved 28 May Archived from the original on Retrieved 27 May Draine, Cathie; Hall, Barbara Retrieved from " https: Etiquette by region Indonesian traditions.

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Traditions of Indonesia are traditions, beliefs, values, and customs that belong within the culture of Indonesian assettracker.infosia is a vast country of sprawling archipelago with a diverse demographic range of over ethnic groups, and . Etiquette in Indonesia The following are generally accepted contemporary customs in Each of these Indonesian ethnic groups has its own culture and. Culture of Indonesia - history, people, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social Ge-It.

Dutton Traditions of Indonesia are traditions, beliefs, values, and customs that belong within the culture of Indonesian assettracker.infosia is a vast country of sprawling archipelago with a diverse demographic range of over ethnic groups, and . Home > New Posting > Cultural Etiquette: Indonesia: The People. Along with unity and conformity to society's rules, honor and respect for .