What do Indonesians think of India?



Tiffany Citra, Indonesian currently studying in the US

Prior to college, the closest person to being Indian that I knew was my close friend from middle school, whose father is Indian and mother is Indonesian. She has never visited the country, and knows very little things about India herself.s a result, all I knew about India for the first 18 years of my life were Bollywood movies, Taj Mahal, some history of India-Nusantara relation (think of all the Hindu kingdoms that a lot of other people have mentioned), and the fact that it is the second most populous country in the world.

I have attended a university in the United States for three years now, and so far, I came to know > 10 Indians quite well, from whom I learn so much more about the country.

As for now, here are some of the things I think of India that come to mind:

1.India is large and diverse. I have friends from Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi. Some languages spoken in India that I know now include Hindi, Urdu, and Telugu. Some other people I know have visited other parts of India, such as Chennai and Kuttanad. Sometimes, in-between casual conversations, there are even more new places and customs in India mentioned here and there, all of which are unfamiliar to me. All those experiences have made me realize how diverse the country is! Ah, and most importantly, I never thought India was as large as it actually is in terms of size! (Edited: I removed a map of India to show its relative size to the US. There is an error in the map that I wasn’t aware of; thanks to those pointing it out and I apologize for the inaccuracy.)

2.The food is good. From where I’m from in Indonesia (Serpong, basically the suburb of Jakarta), Indian food isn’t big at all. I had never tried Indian food when I lived in Indonesia, and fast forward three years later, I am quite obsessed with the curries (tikka mas, saag paneer, lamb vindaloo), variety of naan (paneer naan and garlic naan are my favorites!), and the biryani bowls.





2.食物很美味。我来自印度尼西亚(塞尔彭,雅加达的市郊),那里的印度菜一点也不好吃。我住在印度尼西亚时从来没有吃过印度菜,三年后,我对咖喱(tikka mas, saag paneer, lamb vindaloo)、各种各样的烤饼(奶酪烤饼和大蒜烤饼是我的最爱!)和比尔亚尼非常着迷。


Source: insidenirvana.com

3.Startups in India. I have always known that India is very good with science and technology, but I wasn’t familiar with its startup culture. A conversation with a friend, however, convinced me that there are quite a lot of emerging startups in various areas! For those of you who are interested, there is a thread on Quora about it here.

4.Tourism beyond Taj Mahal. Upon returning home and having conversations with my Indonesian friends, I realize that the only site in India that they can think of to visit is, unsurprisingly, Taj Mahal. India is not even remely close to be considered a top destination to visit among my Indonesian friends. I was quite surprised when my Indian friend mentioned a ton of places to visit in India, ranging from nature to historical places, and now India is definitely in the list of places I’d like to visit in the near future! :)

5.IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). My Indian friends are always impressed by people who attend IIT. They tell me stories about how hard it is to get in and how hard people prepared for the test. People who are able to get admitted to prestigious US schools can easily fail the IIT admission.

I guess that’s it for now, but perhaps I’ll add more to this list when I find out something new about the country. :)

译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47892.html  译者:Joyceliu






Adhimas Wijaya, lives in Indonesia

I always imagine that India and Indonesia as very close friend. My friend told me that maybe I have India descent, because back years ago there is Hinduism in Indonesia and my physical appearance like Indian ( even though I don't think so).

There is two memorable things when I meet Indians.

First time, when an Indian sit besides me in the 6-hours flight. I keep my self silent. He was introduced himself and we end up having conversation in that 6-hour flight, everything about India and Indonesia.

Secondly, when I accidentally have Indian roommate for only three days. He was nice person as well. We spoke a lot about India. I was straightforward to ask everything about India.






I ask him

A: Is true about the picture of people in the train?

B: Yes, it is

A: Why don't the go nment provide more train

B: There is already a lot of train, every 10 minutes. The problem is there is a lot of people

A: …….

Another conversation

B: Is that your name?

A: Yes

B: Why your name is like Indian name?

A: Really?

B: Yes, it is

Then I googling. My surname is Wijaya and there is also Vijaya in India, pretty similar. My middle name Wahyu Agung may have similarities with Indian name? I am not sure.

Since then, I add India as one of dream destination to know more about the people and the culture. My Indian classmates told me that Indian golden temple is also beautiful places to visit.













然后我去搜索了一下。我姓维贾亚,印度也有维贾亚,非常相似。我的中间名Wahyu Agung可能和印度名字有相似之处?我不太确定。


Previously, I was thinking that Indian food has too strong flavour. They can add more than 30 ingredients into one dishes. After several years, I like several Indian foods and snacks. It just delicious. I like chicken mango curry. I just can't mentioned the name, just too many. Nowadays, there is a lot of Indian foods sell in Indonesia, both served in 5-star restaurant and or as street food.

I like Indian festival like Diwali. My university also held springflare festival (festival of colours) which is inspired from Holi festival.




Luckily, if I just miss something about India, I can travel to Bali, which the majority people there is Hindu[1] . Even though not really perfectly same, at least there is some Indian taste in Bali.

Well, I am Indonesian who have very positive views about India and the good relation between India and Indonesia[2] . At least, historically Indonesia also has warm relation with India, like what Soekarno and Nehru friendship. They also initiate African Asian conference in Bandung, Indonesia , which was called south-south relationships back in 1955.




I almost forget to add that Slumdog Millionaire and Three idiots is one of my favorites. It is , indeed, high quality movies, with a lot of inspiration inside the stories.



Ikhsan Radjab, Citizen of Indonesia

I feel betrayed.

Not too long ago when someone mention India the things that comes to my mind are those horribly over the top cliche bollywood movies (no offense). We would laugh about the perceived incompetence of Indian police because for some reason in the bollywood police seem to come late to every situation. Back then, all we heard about India were co ption, horrible infrastructures, po itical dynasties and slums. In short, India was in the same boat as Indonesia.

And now, it seems like India is leaving our boat. So many Indians became important figures in the world (Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, etc). Indian students, engineers and scientists are among the best in the world. Indian corporations like Tata are making their way to the world. And India even have its own space program. In short, India is now a world apart from Indonesia.

But seriously, I'm always curious how India were able to achieve so much in relatively short time. For years, Indonesian go nment always try to learn and emulate Western model of development from US de acy to Nordic model. Perhaps it's time Indonesian go nment learn a thing or two from India, which is culturally closer to Indonesia than Western countries.






Danu Aditya, lives in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2012-present)

Q: What do Indonesians think of India (Indians and Indian culture)? I have never had an opportunity to meet people from Indonesia and know very little about this zing country.

As I stated before, I am Indonesian who have been lived in Bali. In general, previous answers here have been give a good picture about Indonesia-India relation. However, I will write some facts.

  1. Some Indonesian believe that India is a Hinduism country.

Thanks to inadequate learning, some Indonesian believe that India is a Hinduism country. It is true that India is a Hindu-majority country. However, it is not true that India is a Hinduism country. It is actually secular.

Indonesia also has Hindu-majority province of Bali. While in general both are Hindu, Balinese Hinduism has influenced by ancestral belief. Thus, there are several things that seem different, but in essence are same.

  1. Many Indian cultural influences have been so familiar to Indonesian and unrealised them as a foreign influence.

For example, the Indonesian word of ‘barat’ which means ‘west’ actually means India in Hindi (the Hindi word is bhārat) or Indonesian ‘sambal’ (a group of spicy sauce) can be traced from Sanskrit sambāra which means spices. There are many words in Indonesia which can be traced as Indian origin (either directly loanword from Sanskrit, other Indian languages or via Old Javanese).



  1. 一些印尼人认为印度是一个印度教国家。





3.India is Bollywood

Alas, most informational things about India in Indonesia is imported Indian soap operas and bollywood. The impact are quite significant. Some other answers have been writing about this. The example are Indians are Indo-Aryans (such as in Alam Fajarahman Mulyana's answer) and Indians like to randomly dance and sing every time (see Nietha Heng (王玲恩)'s answer). I was thinking ‘India is Bollywood’ until my Tamil friend introduced Tamil Cinema.




Figure 3. Uttaran —don’t you remember that East Asian Indonesian youngster?

Perhaps, that’s all for what do Indonesians think of India.

图3. Uttaran -你不记得那个东亚印尼的年轻人吗?



Alvin Chaniago, studied at Presi nt University

Me, personally. I love Indian food. Like i really do love the food from India.

Anyhow, culturally and re giously speaking, the two countries are quite similar. Indonesia in the past (before Is m came) witnessed the rise and fall of several Hindu and Buddhist Kingdoms. I think some of those kingdoms have been mentioned by others here in this forum. Despite the fact that now Indonesia is the largest Mus m country in the world, Bali has retained its status as a Hindu sanctuary for the Hindu min ity in Indonesia (1.7% of the total population in Indonesia are followers of Hinduism). However, Balinese Hinduism as far as i know is a mixture of local traditions and Hindu teachings. I don’t think the original version of Hinduism is practiced in the province (correct me if i’m wrong though).

From re gious point of view, both countries have had quite a lot of interactions. The same can be said about the diplomatic relationship. Nehru alongside Soekarno were critical when they helped found the non aligned movement. It’s a group of nations who did not wish to join either sides (West or USSR) during the Cold war. The close relationship between the two countries has continued to flourish up to now, and i do think India is an important trade partner of Indonesia.


从文化和上来说,这两个国家非常相似。印度尼西亚在过去(ysl教到来之前)见证了印度教和王国的兴衰。我想,这个论坛上已经有其他人提到了其中的某些王国。尽管印尼现在是世界上最大的国家,巴厘岛仍然是印尼印度教 的避难所(印尼总人口的1.7%是印度教信徒)。然而,据我所知,巴厘岛印度教是当地传统和印度教教义的混合体。



Dyza Vanska, An Indonesian who has a huge interest in Bollywood musical movies

The largest ethnicity in Indonesia is Javanese. Apparently, Javanese culture are largely influenced by the ancient Indian culture. To this day, Indonesian people (mostly the Javaneses) still name their children with Indian names like Aditya, Indira, Devi, Vidya, Sarasvati, Ganesh, and so on. Many of them don't know that their names have Indian origin. From my recent experience in college, many undergrad students consider Sanskrit or Indian-related names cool. So, they name their sports teams or bands that way.

Bollywood movies and TV shows are very popular. There are online fan sites for Indonesians who idolize today's popular Indian celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor or Deepika Padukone. The fact that there are many Indian celebrities who are mus m is a plus for the mus m fans here--and there are many of them.

Also, two young Indonesian celebrities are of Tamil Indian descent from North Sumatera: Petra "Jebraw" Michael--musician & presenter of a popular Youtube series called Jn-Jn Men--and Kimmy Jayanti--eccentric fashion model, actress, & TV personality. Many of their fans have no idea that they're Indian-Indonesians.



此外,还有两名年轻的印尼名人是北苏门答腊岛的泰米尔裔印度裔:Petra "Jebraw" Michael和Kimmy Jayanti。他们的许多粉丝并不知道他们是印度裔印尼人。


Petra "Jebraw" Michael



Kimmy Jayanti


TL;DR: The Indian culture and the Indian people (and Indonesians of Indian descent) are adored and loved by many, many Indonesians.



Hendri Sulaeman, AMd from Polytechnic APP Jakarta (2018)

When i was a high school student. i participated in a Scout-dance competition and I won the first place. ( i put a few Indian music in the music remix and and coreo )some reason are:

1.The judge and the people love Indian Music

2.People think Indian music is the most romantic genre (while korean are cool and traditional are awesome )

3.every single person known some indian movie

okay, lets back to the question…






What is Indonesian think of India

1.Culturally, Many Indonesian Cultures are influenced by Indian Cultures.

2.India and Indonesia have almost similar name

3.when i was kid. I think “Indo” mean Indonesia. but the meaning is India accademically

4.Nice people

5.The old movie like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Mohabbatein, Nagin, Dhoom

6.The Recent movie like Mahabharat, Ryana, Balveer, Uttaran,

7.The cartoon like Little krisna, Sheeva

8.You guys always dancing during rainy day ? and suddenly dancing in a garden?_:D hehehe . oh i love it

9.your traffic is terrible, worse than Jakarta

10.Almost every single person elder than me is crazy about you

11.Some teenagers also do

12.Many Indian people i met on Facebook thought me as a girl because my name Hen-Dri . is that true “Dri” are female name? oh my god

13.many Mus ms there

14.Taj Mahal

15.Always fight with pakistan

16.Have a conflict with Indonesia use to be

17.I always afraid if i live in India. i meet cobra every day likes in movie of Nagin :D

18.Your accent ( I have an Indian colleague and i cannot understand what he said at all. beside he is very very very advance in English)

As the conclusion: So much Positive






5.有Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Mohabbatein, Nagin, Dhoom这样的老电影。


7.也有新卡通片如Little krisna, Sheeva。














Dionysius Rumbaka, lives in Indonesia

—This answer is probably disturbing to some people, warnings ahead—

1.Indians are genius.

I’m med student, so take look at the proportion of Indians in Harvad Medical School compare to Indonesians (Omit the Indonesian because the are most likely not from Indonesia) which is “A random number : 0”. On average.

It applies to other majors.

If ‘made in ’ stuff is everywhere, I predict a curent of ‘made in india’ stuff in the future.

  1. Looks

Most of Indians that I know is from the Southern part and they are all dark-skinned (almost black) and seems unattractive for Indonesian taste. The only attractive Indians that I know are biracial actors and actress (White-Indian).

All of my Indian friends in Indonesia have never been fair-skinned, except the biracial child of Indonesian-Indian.

They don’t care much about their looks or body like the rest of Asians do. (I rarely see a muscular Indian guy! Not to expect abs lol)

  1. Buddhist or Hindu

Based on history of Buddhism and Hinduism spread in Indonesia which is brought by Indians. We have stereotype that most of Indians are Buddhist and Hindu. -I don’t know if its true or not






  1. 相貌






  1. Likes dancing, singing, and wearing traditional Indian clothes

Based on Bollywood.

  1. Wide socioeconomic gap

Based on the depiction of Mumbai slums by many International newspapers. In contrast to many successful Indians that I know abroad.

  1. Thick culture

The bollywood movie in our TV somehow depicts Indian as conservative and patriarchal. You have arranged marriage, husband domination, the mother-in-law influences, and the typical housewife women. It looks like feminism hasn’t touched Indian.

  1. 喜欢跳舞,唱歌,穿着传统的印度服装


  1. 社会经济差距很大


  1. 厚重的文化


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