Indonesia is culturally prosperous their art and culture are intertwined with their religion and age-old traditions from the time of newcomer with western thoughts influenced by Portuguese merchants and dutch settlers. The basic concept which guides life includes the idea of mutual assistance or “gotong royong” and consultations or “musyawarah” to arrive at a consensus or “mufakat” Derived from rural life, this system is still very much in use in community life across the country.
Though the legal system is based on the Old Dutch penal code, social life as well as the rites of passage is build on conventional or “adat” law which differs from area to area. “Adat” law has a binding impact on Indonesian life and it may be concluded that this law has been influential in maintaining equal rights for women in the community. Religious influences on the community are variously evident from island to island.
The art and culture of Indonesia has been molded around its hundreds of ethnic groups, each with cultural differences that have slide over the centuries. Modern day Indonesian culture is a fusion of cultural aspects from Arabic, Chinese, Malay and European sources. Indonesian art and culture has also made an impact from the ancient trading routes between the Far East and the Middle East leading to many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Islam.
The arts of Indonesia are many, especially Indonesian paintings which are unique works of art. The intricate and expressive Balinese paintings are quite famous and often express natural scenes and themes from the traditional dances. A long-standing tradition of sculpture can also be seen in the art and culture of Indonesia, some dating back to the Bronze and Iron Ages. Examples of sculpture illustrating the story of the life of Buddha can be seen in the temples of the 8th and the 10th century. Indonesia’s art and culture is also famous for their unique batik, ikat and songket cloth which is even popular today.
Similar form the other countries art forms in Indonesia are not only based on methodology, as many were grow in the courts of former kingdoms such as in Bali, where they are part of religious ceremonies. The famous dance dramas of Java and Bali are derived from Hindu mythology and often feature fragments from the Ramayana and Mahabharata Hindu epics.