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Shaddow Puppets (Wayang Kulit)


Indonesians are generally polite, courteous and understanding and visitors should be the same. Benefit of the doubt is normally given to those tourists who slightly over step the mark, but in more remote areas, that are not used to tourists, locals may not be so forgiving.

Calm attitude is highly admired in Indonesia, so if things do go wrong, you've missed your bus or are delayed, just stay calm.

As a largely Muslim country, women should dress modestly inorder not to offend- avoid shorts, sleeveless dresses or short skirts. Except on the beach where the only rule to remember is no nudity or topless bathing.

If you are invited into someones house, a gift is customary, such as an item on china or glass and these can be bought in most general stores boxed and gift wrapped for you- these gofts are not opened until after the guest has left.

The head is considered sacred and should not be touched- in the west it is seen as friendly to ruffled the hair of a child- this would be seen as highly inappropriate in Indonesia. Handshaking is common but do not use the left hand to give or recieve as this is seen as taboo. When eating with fingers only use the right hand.

Pointing with your finger is very impolite so use your thumb instead and flag down a bus or wave to a person by flapping your right hand down by your side instead of raising it higher.

Shoes are not worn in houses and should be removed upon arrival- while in company do not cross your legs and never point with your toes. Keep feet off the table as well.

Public displays of affection are frowned upon, however, same sex relationships in Indonesia tend to be more openly affectionate than in the west- holding hands for instance

Tipping is not usual. In the more expensive restaurants a 10% service charge  is added to the bills, in addition to the tax at 11%; if no service charge has been added a reasonable amount is between 5 and 10% of the bill. Porters expect to be tipped about 500RP a bag and taxi drivers would expect 200-300Rp



Be warned penalties for those trafficking, even the smallest amount of drugs, are harsh and you should expect a lengthy jail sentance at least.If you do find yourself facing a jail sentance contact Prisoners Abroad, free post 82, Roseberry Avenue, London EC1B 1XB tel 020 78333467 (internaltion dialing code +44171)



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