This week All Around This World travels all the way to Indonesia, an extraordinary nation that exists in 17,508 bits. There are that many islands in the 3,000 mile-long Indonesian archipelago and on those islands live nearly 240 million people who are members of over 300 ethnic groups. Indonesia is the most populous nation in Southeast Asia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, and, with approximately 85% of Indonesians practicing Islam, the world’s most populous majority-Muslim nation (though its government remains consciously secular). Despite the many logistical nightmares inherent in keeping such a multifaceted nation afloat, Indonesia is most proud of its diversity. What’s Indonesia’s national motto?: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika! That means “Unity in Diversity,” or “many, yet one.” Many, yet one, sounds quite nice…so let’s go there!
— HISTORY: Sukarno and Pansciola. Shuarto the good saver.
— MUSIC: 6,000 inhabited islands, and at least that many different kinds of music.
— LANGUAGE: Promoting one language to unite everyone.
— GAMELAN: Mesmerizing and mysterious community music…bang a gong.