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Indonesian Etiquette

Before embarking on a trip to Indonesia, it will be helpful to browse through some information on Indonesian Etiquette, so that you do not hurt the sensibilities of the people, even by mistake, while on a trip there.

Further more learning about the Indonesian Etiquette will help you blend in better with the locals and even surprise your host with some pleasant gestures.

Like any other place in the world, when visiting Indonesia, visitors should observe the local customs and practices, which are held very dear by the Indonesian people.

Some common courtesies and customs are as follows:


Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some Muslim women may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies.

There is no grasping in Salam, in this form of greeting, the man offers both hands, lightly touches his friends outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest to mean, "I greet you from my heart". The visitor should reciprocate the salam.

It is considered polite to call before visiting a home. Unannounced visits are not expected. Always remove your shoes before entering someone’s home. It is a common practice to offer drinks to guests, so if offered it is polite to accept.

Always use your right hand while eating or giving and receiving objects. Do not point at places, objects or persons with the right forefinger. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred usage for the purpose.

Always remove your shoes before entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors to cover there heads before entering the place of worship.

It is usually permitted to take photographs at places of worship. However, always ask permission beforehand.

As over 85% of the Indonesian population is Muslim, drinking is not a common practice and hence toasting is not a common practice in here.




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