It only takes a cursory glance around the malls in Indonesia’s major cities to realise that, rightly or wrongly, Christmas is already upon us. Those who enjoy and celebrate Christmas will be pleased that the festive season has started, while those who are less enthusiastic will be putting off their acknowledgment and involvement until the last possible minute. Whichever category you fall in to, there is no denying that the world’s largest Muslim nation has decided that the festivities must begin and Christmas trees and festive decorations adorn almost all of the retail and food and beverage outlets in the country’s major cities. While some parts of the world argue about the appropriateness of terms like “Merry Christmas”, Indonesia embraces the festive season and celebrates without prejudice, underlining the country’s motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, literally meaning “out of many, one”, but generally translated as “Unity in Diversity”. In the same way non-Muslims accept and respect Ramadhan in Indonesia, non- Christians accept and respect Christmas. This is one of the many things that make Indonesia such a wonderful place to live for people of all races and religions. Many countries could learn from Indonesia’s example of tolerance and acceptance.
Within these pages you will find an eclectic mix of stories and information, including a look at some of Indonesia’s most controversial convictions and the latest advice on visas for investors wishing to stay in Indonesia.
Until next time,