The Things You Need to Do To Create a Good Impression When You Are Travelling to Indonesia


If you are travelling to Indonesia, you need to understand that there are several things that need to be understood before you do so. These things (or rules, if you prefer to call them that way) are things that Indonesians considered the norm. If you follow these rules, Indonesians will see you as someone who is respectful, someone who understood how things work in Indonesia. On the other hand, if you decide to NOT follow the rules, chances are you will be thrown out of the city you are travelling to (if you are travelling to the Eastern part of Indonesia) or you will be the biggest talk of the town (if you are travelling to the Central and Western part of Indonesia). Those talks are not pretty, I tell you, so unless you want to become the next hot topic that Indonesians talk about, you are better off following the rules.

The Things You Need to Do To Create a Good Impression When You Are Travelling to Indonesia

With that in mind, let us now jump into the rules, shall we?

Back then, using your left hand to give or to shake other people’s hand is a slight

Indonesians do not understand the notion of wiping their bottom with tissues after they took to the crapper. They mostly use running water and their left hand to clean their butts. Knowing that, you would certainly understand why Indonesians do not like it when they have to receive things from people who use their left hand, right? Some Indonesians still think it as an offensive gesture, with some would outright reject items given to them if the giver is using their left hand. 

The fact that the majority of Indonesians are muslims also makes it worse (because they say that Satan eats with its left hand), so you are better off using your right hand when you are giving to or receiving something from Indonesians. 

We said back then because most people are fine with using their left hands these days. That being said, you can never tell which person is fine with your use of left hand, so it is better for you to play it safe.

If you move in front of Indonesians without saying ‘permisi’ (which is ‘excuse me’ in Indonesian), you will be nonverbally despised

This is MUCH more prevalent if you are travelling to the countryside. Most country folks are used to seeing someone from their village, and they mostly greet each other by saying ‘permisi’. If you are not doing this kind of thing, not only you will be the talk of the town, the talk itself will generally be about the bad things that you did when you are travelling to the village. Indonesians are generally people who will form a (sometimes) lifelong perception based on the first impression that other people make. So if you made a good impression on an Indonesian, said Indonesian will see you as a good person. If you made a bad impression, you will definitely be on that Indonesia’s crap list for a LONG time.  

To avoid getting added to the crap list, you need to be courteous with Indonesians. You can first do so by doing the two things we listed you. Those two things will go a long way in creating a good first impression when you are travelling to Indonesia.