What would you like the youth of America to know?

Indonesia is an archipelagic country, located in Southeast Asia and stretches from Sabang to Merauke. Indonesia comprises thousands of islands and shares borders with 10 neighboring countries... Hence, Indonesia abounds with cultures, races, religions, and languages. Nonetheless, those differences are united with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) in the form of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and based on Pancasila as the philosophical foundation.

What they sent me:
There is no greater thrill or honor, I think, than to receive a personal letter from a world leader. The President of Indonesia's letter touched me greatly, especially the last line: "I sincerely pray that your dream to become a diplomat will come true." It's amazing that someone so powerful and busy has the time to reach out and encourage a single individual, especially someone not from their own country.

President Widodo shared many things about his country, including a reminder that American President Barack Obama spent his childhood there. He writes, "Indonesia is a tropical country blessed with natural biodiversity, be it on land and in the sea. Rare animals and vegetations can be found in many parts of the country. The world's fourth biggest tropical forest is in the island of Kalimantan; thus Indonesia is dubbed as the lung of the world. Indonesia also has a number of active volcanoes, making Indonesian lands relatively fertile."

President Widodo also wrote of Indonesia's maritime and aquatic initiatives, its extraordinary cultural richness, its creative economy of handicrafts, its delicious food, and its well-known spices.

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Indonesia is perhaps the most diverse nation in the world. Its 257 million inhabitants live on islands spread out over almost 3,000 miles of ocean. There are over 600 different languages in the Papua province alone. While the Indonesian island Americans are probably most familiar with is Bali, the archipelago is comprised of between 17,000 and 18,000 other islands (depending on whom you ask). Over 8,000 of the islands have been named by the Indonesia government, but only 922 are permanently inhabited.

As President Widodo mentioned, Pancasila is the official philosophical foundation of Indonesia. Created in 1945 as Indonesia declared its independence and sought to unite a diverse archipelago, Pancasila includes five principles: the belief in one God, just and civilised humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy guided by inner wisdom arising out of deliberations amongst representatives, and social justice for all of the people of Indonesia.

Pancasila was developed to help address the conflicting priorities among nationalists, Muslims, and Christians.

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Official Name
Republic of Indonesia


Current Leader
Joko Widodo

• Widodo is known for his hands-on
style of leading; as the governor
of Jakarta, he would regularly
visit poor areas, dressed in
informal clothes, and talk directly
to people about their problems

• Widodo is a huge fan
of heavy metal rock music

Recommended sites
President's Website

The House of Representatives

Wonderful Indonesia