by Tim Staermose
A sprawling archipelago of more than 14,000 islands, Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful, exotic, and alluring places in the world.
Yet it’s so huge… so diverse, with different languages, cultures, and religions, to even call Indonesia a single country demonstrates how antiquated the traditional concept of geography has become.
Indonesians typically identify themselves first with their home province or island; here in Bali, they would consider themselves Balinese above all else. “Indonesian” is an idea made up by politicians. Even the national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is artificially contrived.
To give you an example, whenever I make the two-hour flight from Jakarta to Bali, I feel as though I’ve gone to a different country altogether.