After several plans for our future life after Qatar, of how we would travel around the world before settling down in our final destination; we ended up instead of traveling according to plan A or plan B, we finished up by travelling with plan “X”.
So here I am in the UK with my British husband as a trailing spouse instead of a working expat. Even my UK visa in my Indonesian Passport says that I am permitted entry to the UK as the spouse of K.G. Pearson – thanks Keithey. It’s just another new country to me, the difference is that I can understand and better control what’s going on around me (well almost…) just like I did in Indonesia. What I mean is that I can listen to the local radio stations and understand what is being discussed compared to when I was in Qatar, or even reading local newspapers. I can even drive cars on the same side of the road as Indonesia…. the steering wheel being on the right side of the car. What I like most is driving around the English country side listening to the famous radio, “the Beeb” – the nick name for the BBC according to the English.
One of it’s radio channels is BBC Radio 2, easy to listen radio where they play light popular music that I understand and here and there they slip in current news and events.
As a true Indonesian, any news about Indonesia outside of Indonesia is always of interest me. The latest Indonesian news that made it to the BBC was the recent bombing attack in Jakarta which happened a couple of days ago… not very good news but, there you go…
Jeremy Vine was the Radio 2 DJ that morning, when he introduced a discussion about the bombing in the middle of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Before the ‘on air’ radio discussion Jeremy slipped in a little bit information about Indonesia by saying: “…. it is the biggest Muslim country in the world, where 99.5% of the population are muslims.”
Well Jeremy , that information is incorrect!
Let me explain here, the first statement of Indonesia is a Muslim Country is not really true. Indonesia is NOT an Islamic Country, we also celebrate Christmas, Chinese New Year, Waisak, as well as Hindu festivals, and that’s official, as those dates are official government holidays. I think this make Indonesia a secular country. Compared to Western Countries who never call themselves Christian countries (except Vatican off course,) and officially they don’t celebrate other religious holidays like Indonesia.
The second statement, “99.5% of Indonesian are Muslim” is also incorrect. Indonesians are religious people (maybe), but certainly not only Islam, this is why:
- Most famous island, Bali belongs to Indonesia, and the real Balinese, are Hindu (in fact they are the biggest Hindu population outside the Indian subcontinent)… well, you can say that it doesn’t make any difference, as ethnic Balinese are less than 1% out of total Indonesia population. But I would say 0.79% is more than 0.5%.
- Aside from the Philippines, Indonesia has the biggest Chinese population outside China. It may be only 6% of the total Indonesian population, but they certainly are not Muslim, and is more than 14 million out of the 238 million population of Indonesia.
- There are some areas in Indonesia where the local ethnicity took Christianity as their faith instead of Islam.
“Religious map of Indonesia” by Marshmir – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons. The map above explain the demographic layout of religions in Indonesia according to Wikipedia where most of us rely for information.
All in all there is 20% Christianity in Indonesia, compared to 4.4% Islam in the UK. Yes it is still true that Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population in the world (around 166,600,000 people claim to be Muslim), but Jeremy Vine, you are wrong on saying 99.5% of Indonesians are Muslim.
That day, I was brave enough to telephone the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 to correct the error about percentages of religions in Indonesia, but unfortunately he did not take my information or call me back and continued to state 99.5% of the Indonesian population is Moslem …. shame on you Jeremy!
All information on religions are taken from Wikipedia, I did not make it up. The link below: