Indonesia has 6 recognized religions : Islam (around 85%), Christian (around 10%) (Protestantism and Catholicism), Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
Since november 2017, Indonesia officially recognises native faiths, such as animism. That’s a good news for all the tribes in Indonesia.
Sumatran people are mostly Muslim. Islam is moderate.
In order to respect local beliefs, specially in remoted villages, we suggest our female travelers to wearing appropriated clothes, not too short skirt or hotpants, no tank top and low neckline.
To swim, expect in very touristic places, better to do not swim with bikini. Indonesian people never swim in bikini, they keep their clothes on.
For couples, do not show up in public places. Indonesian people are very shy and their privacy stay at home.
If you enter a mosque, keep in mind to always cover up your shoulders.
Greetings in Indonesia is » salam », with right hand.
If someone invites you to his home, please put your shoes off before enter the house.
If someone invites you to eat, do not start eating before your host starts first. You can try eating with your hands but never use your left hands. The left hand is impure for Muslim. Always use your right hand.
Try to keep calm in every situation. Indonesian people dont get angry but try to solve a problem by speaking. Getting angry will not help you to get out from the situation, but at the contrary, it will make all more complicated.
Dont give money to children, better bring clothes or school supplies. Shoes are also greatly prized.
Indonesian people are smiling and welcoming, and they like to ask many private questions. Don’t feel offended, its their way to break the ice and start a conversation. Its not incursive, but rather kind.
And dont forget to smile.