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Definition of Indonesia

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In·do·ne·sia  audio  (nd-nzh, -sh, -d-) KEY  Formerly Dutch East Indies

A country of southeast Asia in the Malay Archipelago including Sumatra, Java, Timor, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, parts of Borneo and New Guinea, and many smaller islands. First settled by Austronesian-speaking peoples from the Asian mainland, the islands were the site of kingdoms allied with India before the arrival of Arab traders (14th century) who introduced Islam, which became the dominant religion. The Dutch East Indies Company controlled the territory from 1602 to 1798, when authority was turned over to the government of the Netherlands. In 1945 Indonesia declared its independence, which was finally achieved in 1949. Jakarta, on Java, is the capital and the largest city. Population: 234,000,000.

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