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Masjid Baiturrahman, Aceh

Tourism Department. 1997. Indonesia Travel. Jakarta

The capital city of Aceh is Banda Aceh.  This province is known as  Serambi Mekah (Mecca's veranda), because it is seen as the closest part of Indonesia to Mecca. The native people of this province are called the Acehnese, who are Islam.  Unlike in other regions of the country, in Aceh alcohol beverages are not legally available.
        Aceh has its own traditional music and dance that are different from those of other provinces' in the same island.  Seudati, meusakat, and ranub lam puan are some dances of Aceh.  Acehnese musical  instruments are made of bamboo, rattan, or horsetail. This province is very rich with natural resources such as oil and natural gas.

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Rumah Adat Batak Karo

Homan, Peter.et.al. 1990. Indonesia in Focus. Netherland: Edu'Actief Publishing Company.

         North Sumatra covers an area of 70,687 sq. km.  It is known for its large share of argicultural products.
         Medan is the capital city of the province.  It is the largest city in Sumatra and the third largest city in   Indonesia. The native people of this province are the Bataks. Other ethnic groups who live here  including Javanese, Acehnese, Arabians, Riau Islanders, Chinese, Indians, and Melayus.  These people  migrated to North Sumatra to seek fortune given that the province has a lot of commercial activities and plantations.
         Some of the major sites of interest in the province are Gang Bangkok Mosque (Medan's oldest mosque),  Parisada Hindu Dharma Temple,  Vihara Gunung Timur, the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.  In addition,  the capital city of Medan  has several  buildings that were constructed in the colonial-style architecture.  These buildings  include the general post office and the Dutch Church.  

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Rumah Gadang

Turner, Peter. et.al. 1995.  Indonesia: A Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit.  Hong Kong: Lonely Planet Publication

West Sumatra is the home of the Minangkabau ethnic group.  This group comprises 95% of the total population of the province.  The capital city is Padang which the third largest city in Sumatra.  Islam is a main religon in addition to Christianity and Hinduism.
         This province is known for its unique Minang culture of matrilineality.   Unlike most ethnic groups in Indonesia,  the Minangkabau people believe that mothers are the heads of families as well as decision makers.  In fact,  in marriage arrangements,   the woman's family generally initiates the proposal.
      "Rumah Gadang"  or the "Big House" is a famous cultural site of this province.  The house is usually a place where young people hang out, a meeting  room  for elders, and  generally a gathering space for families.

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Perfect waves and idyllic scenery
Destination: Indonesia, Your Travel Planner, 1997. Hongkong: Ismay Publication, Ltd.

       Jambi  became a province in 1957 and has one and a half million inhabitants.   They are Chinese,  Arabs,  Japanese, Malaysians, Pakistanis,  Javanese, Minangkabaus, Sundanese, Bataks, and the earliest inhabitants of Jambi and  the Kubus.
       The capital city of Jambi is also named Jambi -- the name is the same as the province.   Attractive sites are Majid Agung, Sungai Tutung, and  Batu Gong. 

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Becak Drivers in the city of Palembang.

Storey, Robert. et.al. 1992. Indonesia: A Travel Survival Kit. Singapore: Lonely Planet Publications

South Sumatra is place of five million people.  They are Javanese, Malay, and Minangkabau.   Around one million and a half  people reside in Palembang, the provincial capital.  Palembang is the second largest city in Sumatra.   
        Famous handicrafts are kain songket which are usually made of silk and plangi cloth. The name plangi was originally taken from the word pelangi, or rainbow.  Attractive sites are the Dutch Fort which was built in the late 18th century and the Mesjid Agung.  In the Pasemah islands, which can be found in the foothills of the Bukit Barisan,  is the area where dozens of mysterious megalithic monuments can be found.

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Traditional Market Lampung
Indonesia, Lonely Planet. May 1995

     Lampung became a province in 1964.  Its capital city is Bandarlampung.  About eight million people live in the province.  However, they can mainly be found in the capital city.   
          The Lampungese culture is not so dissimilar to the  West Java culture.  The cultural attachment has been formed since the occupation of Dutch colonials who brought people as labor into pepper, coffee, palm, clove, and rubber plantations.

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Smoking volcanoes
Destination: Indonesia, Your Travel Planner. 1997.
Hongkong: Ismay Publication, Ltd.

Bengkulu became a province of Indonesia in 1968.  The capital city has the same name as the province, Bengkulu.  This province was the first door to Indonesia for British colonials under Raffles in 1818.  The province has 767,980 people, 98 percent of whom are Muslims.   
         Bengkulu was also the place where Sukarno (the first president of Indonesia) was exiled by the Dutch in 1938 until the arrival of Japanese in 1941.  Sukarno designed the Mesjid (Mosque) Jamik.
          One special event is the Tabot Carnival. It is known as the festival of fifty colorful towers (tabots), which are made of bamboo and decorated with colored paper.  This carnival attributes the heroism of Hassan and Hussein,  grandsons of the Prophet Mohammed.   Other attractions are a small boat harbor, Pantai Panjang and a small beautiful lake, Danau Dendam Tak Sudah. 

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Danau Tawar
Sorey, Robert et.al. 1992. Indonesia: A Travel Survival Kit. Singapore: Lonely Planet Publication.

        Riau is a province made up of a group of 3214 islands that are scattered across the South China Sea.   The capital city is Pekan Baru.  Most people who live in this islands are of Malay origins.  Other origins are Batak, Minangkabau,  and Chinese.  Ninety percent of the population are Moslems.
        Riau has a famous industrial zone, Pulau Batam.  This is a growth triangle of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia which keeps the three countries at a pace of rapid development.
       Attractive sites are an old palace of Raja Ali and the tombs and graveyards of Raja Jaafar.   Other attractions are Gunung Bintan Besar (Bintan Besar Mountain),  Pulau Mapor, and a tiny Pulau Terkulai.

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