Indonesia - the archipelago with more than 17000 islands, 33 provinces, over 238 million people (it is the world's fourth most populous nation) and some 300 ethnic groups. It has the world's largest Muslim population among all countries of the world. But that is not what’s amazing about Indonesia. What is most remarkable is that in spite of so much diversity, the people of this country have managed to become a model of the maxim "unity in diversity". So smoothly and peacefully have they learnt to co-exist that one is filled with both envy and awe.
Indonesia is modern, developed and in synch with the contemporary world, yet it has not let go of it's distinct cultural roots. As for how they practice Islam, it is interesting to note that they are completely unapologetic about practicing their faith, proudly. Yet, in the true spirit of Islam, they represent a model of good ethics, moral and social values, and they do all of this smilingly.
Here are a few glimpses of Indonesia, taken whilst shuttling between Jakarta, Surabaya and the breath-taking Bali. – Text and photos by Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam