The story of a wonderful country where the main religion is Islam but the culture is that of Hindus. Which is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, where 90 percent of the population is a believer in Islam. But still, the picture of Lord Ganesha remains on the notes here. Friends, the name of this wonderful country is Indonesia.
Indian Population in Indonesia
Today Indonesia is a country in South Asia. Indonesia was a Hindu-majority nation from the 6th to the 7th centuries. Where the people of Buddhism also lived. However, it is a different matter that today the number of followers of Hinduism in Indonesia is less than 2 percent. But still today the impression of Hindu culture is easily visible on everything here. The names of the people, schools, streets, roads and shops are kept in Sanskrit.
The name of the first President of Indonesia was Hindu
The name of the first President of Indonesia was Sukarno Joe was a Muslim. Sukarno’s father was very much influenced by Karna of Mahabharata and because in Mahabharata Karna had taken the side of the wrong people, that is why he named his son Sukarno. In this Su means good. Here you will find many Muslim kids names Krishna, Priya, Vishnu, Vidya, Radha, etc based on Hindu culture. In fact, Sanskrit has become a part of the language of life here. Where the local language of Indonesia known as Indonesia bhasha. In which culture and Tamil languages dominate.
Influence of Ramayana in Indonesia
The influence of Ramayana in Indonesia is so deep that the entire culture here is associated with the traditional faith of Ramayana. Indonesia’s Ramlila is famous all over the world. If you mention Ramayana and Mahabharata in Indonesia, they will say that these are our religious texts.
About 3 years ago today, Indonesia’s Education and Culture Minister Anish Vas Salary had come to India, while speaking in front of the media, Anees said that our Ramayana is famous all over the world and we would like our artists to do their art regularly in India to perform effectively.
Friends, I hear another story related to the popularity of Ramayana in Indonesia, which was mentioned by the famous Hindi scholar Father Kamil Bulk in one of his articles. In his 1982 article, he writes that a friend of mine, seeing a Muslim teacher reading Ramayana in a village in Java, asked why do you read Ramayana? So the answer of that Muslim teacher was that I read Ramayana to be a good person.
Friends, there are many such interesting stories related to the popularity of Ramayana in Indonesia. Once a delegation from Pakistan was on a visit to Indonesia to meet Sukarno, the first President of Indonesia. During this, when he got a chance to see Ramlila there. Then those people were surprised to see that why Ramlila has been staged in an Islamic country? He asked Sukarno hesitantly what was the point of holding Ramlila in an Islamic country. Then Sukarno immediately replied that Islam is our religion and Ramayana is our culture. Friends, this was the statement of a Muslim President of a Muslim nation.
Today the reality is that many characters of Ramayana, Mahabharata and statues of Hindu gods and goddesses are easily seen on the banks of roads and places in Indonesia. In the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, the center of attraction is the grand statue of Shri Krishna and Arjuna on a chariot pulled by several horses in the middle of the city. Today Indonesia is also famous for temples associated with Hindu architecture and culture. In the Mahabharata period, Ghatotkacha, son of Bhima, played a major role in the war of Mahabharata and with whom very few people in India will be familiar today. The statue of that Ghatotkacha is built in Jakarta.
Picture of Lord Ganesha on the note of Indonesia
The currency of Indonesia is known as Rupiah. You can guess the secularism of Indonesia from the fact that the idol of Lord Ganesha is made on the twenty thousand note here. Lord Ganesha is worshiped here as the god of education, arts and science. Along with Ganesh Ji, the picture of Indonesia’s first education minister Hadjar Dewantara is also on the note. Dewantara has also been a hero of Indonesia’s independence. A few years ago, when Indonesia’s economy faltered, the national economic thinkers here after much consideration issued a note of twenty thousand and the picture of Lord Ganesha was printed on this note.
Indian Culture in the Indonesian Military
Apart from this, the official mascot of the Military Force of Indonesia i.e. mascot is Hanuman. Along with this, as in India, the Chief of the Navy is called Admiral. In Indonesia, this post is known by the name Lakshmana. The logo of the Indonesian airline is the Garuda bird, which is derived from the Garuda Raj of Ramayana. Apart from this, the national symbol of Indonesia is also Garuda.
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