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The Republic of Indonesia, with an estimated population of 258 million as of 2015, is the fourth most populous country of the world. It is an archipelago with an area of 1,919,440 square kilometers. The Indonesian Republic was proclaimed on August 17, 1945, and it achieved independence on December 27, 1949, after victory against the Dutch, who had ruled Indonesia as a colony. Indonesia’s culture is based on indigenous traditions and Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic influences. Its cultural traditions include puppet shadow theater (wayang), the gamelan (an orchestra composed mainly of gongs, xylophones, and percussive metal bars), and batik textile dyeing.

Heritage monuments, natural parks, rain forests, a diverse landscape, ethnic diversity, hospitable people, and the liberal form of Islam practiced by the country’s Muslims have ...

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