Your DSP Relcoations Asia Office in Indonesia

DSP Relocations Indonesia
(Currently managed by DSP Relocations Singapore)

Tel        : +65 6266 5225
Fax       : +65 6266 5335
E-mail  :

Local time :
Capital : Jakarta
Location : Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Total Area : 1,904,569 sq km
Climate : Tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Population : 248,216,193 (July 2012 – estimated); Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%, Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other or unspecified 29.9%
Government Type : Republic
Official Languages : Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (of shich the most widely spoken is Javanese)
Religions : Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4%
Currency : Indonesia Ruppiah (IDR)
Country Code : +62
Indonesia is a vast country with a wide range of different ethnic tribes distributed over more than 13,000 islands, the largest being Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Kalimantan. Its name is derived from the Greek words ‘Indos’ meaning Indian, and ‘nesos’ meaning islands It is the most populous nation in south-east Asia, having the fourth largest population in the world, and is the world’s largest archipelago.

During the nineties Indonesia was one of the fastest growing countries in Asia, contributing significantly to regional growth.
Visitors to Indonesia should be aware of the following special beliefs :
  • The left hand is considered ‘unclean’ and should not be used for giving or receiving. It should also not be used for pointing a person.
  • Green and yellow are favoured colours.
  • Consumption of pork and alcohol is forbidden.
  • Midday on Friday is the most important time of the week for praying.
  • ‘Ramadan’, the month of fasting, followed by the celebration of ‘Idul Fitri”, is the most important occasions of the year.
  • Great respect should be shown towards the most senior person in families and organisations.
  • Muslims are required to wash themselves before their next prayer session. Should they have touched a dog, a more rigorous washing process is required. The hands, elbows, face, head, ears and feet are cleansed.
When interacting with Indonesians, don’t :
  • Pass an item, especially food, using the left hand – Muslims consider this hand a ‘dirty hand’.
  • Shake hands using the left hand.
  • Point at or move items on the ground, with the foot.
  • Make jocular remarks or criticise the Islamic religion, Mohammed or Allah. The Islamic term ‘Insh’Allah (if God is willing) should also not be taken lightly or denigrated.
  • Use the American action of pounding the fist into an open palm of the other hand. This is considered an obscene gesture.
  • Point with the index finger. Rather use the open palm of the right hand, or better still, make a fist keeping the thumb at the top of the fist and point with the thumb. Only the right hand should be used for pointing.
  • Adopt the pose of arms akimbo on the hips. This is seen as an extremely aggressive pose.
  • Show anger to a superior, or disagree with a superior in public – deference should be shown to elders and seniors.
  • Touch a Muslim man if you are female. He will be required to ritually cleanse himself before praying again.
  • Display affection, in public, with a member of the opposite sex.
  • Cross the legs when seated, and avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards another person.
  • Be intolerant of a Muslim’s need to be excused (even during a meeting) to pray, and be aware that 11 am to noon on Friday is a special prayer time for men.
  • When passing in front of someone or between two people, particularly if they are older or more senior, it is considered polite to bend forward slightly.
  • Use colloquialisms or jokes, as these will probably not be understood. If directed at an Indonesian, this may result in an unfavourable face-losing reaction. For example, to refer to someone as a ‘political heavyweight’ might be interpreted as them being obese.
  • Criticise or praise an Indonesian person in the presence of others – rather do this in private.