Truth Stranger Than Fiction

Although Indonesia is a Muslim majority country, it has a long Hindu history. Indonesian president is Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (the name is derived Samskrutam). Jakarta is the capital city of 10 million. Just driving around Jakarta’s streets is an education in the Mahabharatam. The national language, ‘Bahasa’, has lots of Sanskrit-derived vocabulary, the word “Bahasa” itself is one. Often people discuss ‘Chinta’ – chinta means love rather than anxiety.


16-foot statue of goddess Saraswati in Washington DC.

It was recently gifted by Indonesia to the U.S. government.

Some interesting points:-

ü In Indonesia, on the night before Eid, families sit together and read through short stories from Ramayanam.

ü Vinyaka is a standard insignia for Engineering students.

ü Mechanical & Electrical engineering departments has separate insignias, but Vinayaka is common for both

ü The National Airlines is Gauruda

ü A Muslim’s mechanic shop is named as Rama Repairs.

ü Muslim banker is named Wisnu (Vishnu)

ü A nationwide charitable foundation for twins is called the Nakula and Sadewa Society.

ü Support group for Indonesian women in mixed marriages named Srikandi (Shikhandi)

ü A popular energy drink is called Kuku Bima, which promises Bhima-like endurance

ü A kinetic statue of Arjuna being driven by Krishna to battle on a chariot led by eight horses can be seen near the National monument, Monas.

ü Gatot Subroto, named after a much-feted army general. Gatot is actually a diminutive for Ghatotkacha, Bhima’s fearsome half-demon warrior son

ü People here pepper their conversations with words like Karena (KaaRaNa meaning because)

Manushya (humanity) and Bumiputra (son of the soil). The national museum’s nickname is ‘museum gajah’ after the statue of an elephant on the front lawn


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