I have made a similar blogpost about Islam and the Muslim world, as I have made so many non-Muslims who love Islamplaining and Muslimplaining things to me, someone who was born and raised as a Muslim in a Muslim-majority country.
But, to a lesser extent, I also have encountered foreigners who insist they know about Indonesia.
Some are angry that I – a citizen of a developing country – have the gut to criticise their significantly more developed beloved countries; they always react by trash talking mine… and their words are either vague and too generalised or full of exaggerations.
Others are angry that I refuse to paint my entire country as a Saudi Arabia-clone; they believe fighting Islamic extremism is futile without anti-Muslim bigotry.
Both share something in common: they think they know Indonesia more than I do.
If – for some reasons – you are one of those pea-brained muppets and are currently reading this blogpost, answer the questions below:
- Where is Indonesia located?
- What is our climate?
- Name the nearest oceans to Indonesia?
- Name our neighbours. Which ones we share land borders with?
- What is the capital city?
- What are the most and second most populous cities?
- How many islands are there?
- Name at least six.
- How many provinces are there?
- Name at least six.
- How many of them have autonomous status? Name at least two.
- Pick one and state what makes it autonomous.
- Name at least one province that implement religious laws.
- Name at least three non-Muslim-majority provinces.
- Name all of the landlocked provinces.
- What is the percentage of Indonesia’s Muslim population?
- Indonesia has the _____ biggest Muslim population in the world. Answer it with an ordinal number.
- Name all of the six officially recognised religions.
- Name the state religion. Yes, state religion is different from officially recognised religion.
- Name other religions which are also present in Indonesia.
- What is the dominant Islamic denomination?
- Name every Grand Imam of Indonesia in order.
- What is our national language?
- Name at least four regional languages.
- Which ethnic group is the biggest?
- Name at least six other ethnic groups.
- Indonesia has the ____ biggest population of any countries on earth. Answer it with an ordinal number.
- Name at least five traditional dishes.
- Name at least two traditional musical instruments.
- Name at least three folktales.
- Name at least two traditional dance styles.
- Name at least four folk songs. State their provinces/ethnic groups of origin.
- Name at least two Candis (ancient Buddhist temples).
- Name at least three state-funded universities.
- State at least two countries which used to colonise Indonesia.
- Name every Indonesian president in order.
- What is the official name of Indonesia? State it in Indonesian.
- What was its name before independence?
- When did we declare independence?
- When was our independence recognised by the whole world?
- Which country was the first to recognise it?
- Name at least three ancient kingdoms which existed in present-time Indonesia. State their religious affiliations.
- What was G30s?
- What were Orde Lama and Orde Baru?
- What is our national symbol?
- What is our national motto? State it in the original language and state the English translation.
- What is the name of our state ideology? State all of its principles.
You know what? I have to stop or I will end up with hundreds of questions.
Many Indonesians will have a hard time answer all of those questions. A sad fact I acknowledge. But, if you are one of those snooty foreigners who sincerely believe you know Indonesia more than Indonesians do, you should be able to answer more than half of them. In fact, you should know which among them are trick questions.
Never mind answering half of them. I am certain many of you can’t pass the first question.
Considering how I have encountered snooty Americans, Brits and Aussies who get some basic facts about their countries wrong, my low expectation is not condescending. It is realistic.
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