Top 10 Unique Customs of Indonesia (#4 is Common)

Indonesia, with many many beautiful things to see. Beside the panoramas, there are also the people, who friendly enough. People in Indonesia also have customs, which represent their behavior every single day. In here, the customs seem normal though.

However, for the tourists, they might start to scratch their head when seeing all the customs of Indonesia Many of them may seem not usual to you. However, its normal in here, maybe that sight is the thing you will see for the next couple days when you visiting Indonesia.

Meanwhile, for the tourists who firstly visit Indonesia, they will absolutely confuse of what actually happen around them. The questions like “What?”, “What are they doing?”,”Why are they doing it?”, are like common words. However, beside that, the customs of Indonesia, make this country more unique and different from other countries. There also positive customs in here, but also the bad ones. All of them you can get and see only in here, Indonesia. That’s why many people like Indonesia, its very unique.

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Okay then lets go straight to the customs shall we, here we go!

1. Eating With Hands

What are those tools?. Spoon and fork?, why use it when you can use your own hands. Very simple, maybe looks a little bit unhygienic maybe but still, its not complicated at all. Maybe its a little bit the same like Americans who eating Tacos with their hands, but this is actually totally different from that.

Indonesian believe that when eating the foods with hands, it will increase the tastiness of the foods. Maybe its a myth or legend, but fortunately its true. Especially when you eating Nasi Padang, oh my god. The taste is undescribable, you must taste it yourself.

To reduce the unhygienic level, before start eating the foods, you must clean your hands with water, or hand sanitizer. Many stalls also provide a bowl water with lemonade, to wash your hand before and after eating. Its a good thing, you must experience it yourself.

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2. Smoking Everywhere

This is maybe the view you will mostly see in here. Restaurant, stalls, or maybe just on the side of the street, they literally smoke everywhere.

Sadly you can find these smokers even in Hospital though, even though there’s restriction for doing it.

The sight of people smoking in public places is not a rare thing in Indonesia. Therefore, maybe you want to wear the mask, it’ll be good.

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3. Toilet Paper Used as a Paper Towel (Kitchen Paper)

When you visiting the local stall in Indonesia, you find this toilet paper served as a paper towel. Toilet paper toc lean your mouth, sounds wrong doesn’t it?. However, for Indonesian, its a no. As long as it still clean, you can use it to wipe anything, including your mouth.

Of course, many tourists will start to scratch their head and giggling. Because they think it an abnormal sight. Toilet paper to clean your mouth, is it funny enough?.

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4. Eating Rice Is a Must

Yes, the title describes it all. Most Indonesian “dont feel anything” in their stomach, if they haven’t eat rice. Even though eat many doughnut, spaghetti, noodles, 3 hamburgers or more, they’re feeling invisible. Once they eat rice, its done. They will say, “Yeah i’m full, already eat chicken with some rice on the way”.

They will full, if they already thouch rice, no matter how many it is. That’s why, many stalls or restaurants in Indonesia, must serve rice. Because they love rice. Everyone loves it. So, if you want to treat some of your Indonesian friends, don’t forget to give them the food which rice contains in it.

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5. Want to Have a Sharp Nose

The average shape of the nose of Indonesian people is almost the same. Medium or maybe not too sharp, alias pug nose. However, most Indonesians assume that the sharp nose is definitely better. As a result, they are desperate to perform a nose surgery or find a girlfriend of Caucasians to improve the offspring.

It looks nice on them, but sometimes is not. Like the girls are more cuter when they have a pug nose. Not everyone looks fit with sharp nose, you know.

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6. The Hot Sauce

Yup, many many Indonesians are fond of eating chili sauce. The sambal (chili) menu will almost certainly be available at the stalls and also restaurants selling Indonesian specialties. But in fact, many of the foreigners are anti-eating foods that are too spicy like sambal.

Beside the spicy taste, there’s also unique taste of other spices including in the sambal. It will make your eyes open instantly. For Indonesia, the spicier the sambal is, the better and also more challenging to them. So that’s why, Indonesian mostly known for the durability of eating the spicy foods.

You may also read : Table Manners in Indonesia – Indonesian Street Food

7. Obsessed with Skin

Almost the same as the nose sharp, white skin also became an important issue in Indonesia. The reason, the average Indonesian people are brown-skinned and they want to make their skin white. Even though they live in the tropics. As a result, many Indonesians claim to be afraid of the sun. It sounds silly, but that’s a fact.

The truth is many tourists want to have tanned skin, so they only wear a t shirt when they take a walk in the afternoon. But, most of Indonesian (especially girls) wear jacket or long sleeve shirt, just to protect their skin from the sun. The foreigners want to have brown skin, while the Indonesian want to have white skin. Its starting to be a paradox.


  • Late

Yes, time is our enemy. This is maybe the most Indonesian’s opponent. Many Indonesian think that, its ok to be late, but of course its not. The laziness is unbreakable you know. When making an appointment, they can late maybe for an hour, or maybe more, or maybe cancel it. Many people don’t like this late thing, but funny thing is they also do it. Maybe its becoming a habit.

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  • Corruption

In the eyes of the world, the culture of corruptions in Indonesia is indeed apprehensive. Indonesians are considered not able to distinguish between sincere giving and bribe. So that the two things are increasingly blurred and exacerbate corruption in Indonesia. Sad fact, but its the truth.

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  • Helping Each Other

One of the good Indonesian habits that make tourists wonder is the culture of mutual help. For them, this is one of the greatness of Indonesian people who do not mind to help each other even without being rewarded. The neighbors helping each other in many activities. Like cleaning the environment annually, they do it together.

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Finally, that’s it, all you need to know about Indonesian Customs. Well, get use to it, because those are the things you will se in here. You must experience them yourself. Okay, enjoy it and have a great day !

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