Indonesian Culture: Discover some of the most beautiful ones

Music that is traditionally played in the Central and East Java is the gamelan.

Kroncong used guitars and ukulele as the main musical instruments. These sounds originated from Portugal and was introduced by the Portuguese traders in the 15th century.

Another type of music comes from the East Nusa Tenggara in west Timor called Sasando. It uses a type of instrument that is made from a split leaf of the Lontar Palm.


Typical Indonesian dances

Barong dance, Batubulan, Bali – Indonesian culture

Indonesian dance reflects the diversity of Indonesian cultures from the different ethnic groups that made up the nation. The Melanesian tribal dance and the original Austronesia forms influence the neighboring countries as well, including India and China, as well as the Middle East. Every ethnic group originally has their own type of dance, which, however, makes the dances in Indonesia to sum up to more than 3000 original Indonesian dances.

broken plate/fire dancing in Bukittinggi, Sumatra – Indonesian culture

The Indonesian dances can be divided into three main groups, regarding the period of their appearance, so that way, they can be observed as

  • The dances of the Prehistoric Era
  • The dances of the Islamic Era
  • The dances of the Hindu Era

However, it is not difficult for tourists to notice a clear difference between the highly stylized dances of Yogyakarta and Surakarta and their variations. The court dances are performed internationally and they are highly promoted. Poco-poco, a dance that is popularly known among native people of Indonesia originates in Indonesia, but it is also popular and well known in Malaysia.

Drama and theatre in Indonesia

The Wayang, Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese shadow puppet theatre shows usually display many mythological legends, which includes Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Both are part of the amazing Indonesian culture.

Puppet theatre, Wayang Kulit, Yogyakarta – Indonesian culture

Randai is a type of traditional theatre plays, which are commonly performed in traditional festivals and ceremonies. It is a combination of dances, singing, music, and drama performances, based on semi-historical Minangkabau legends and love stories.


Indonesia is not only one of the largest countries when it comes to population, but it is also a country proud of its diversities which enrich the interesting Indonesian culture and tradition of the area. All of the tourists who are willing to explore its beauties may feel comfortable because the Indonesian culture is welcoming for every visitor interested in it, regardless of the culture and the country they come from.