Indian Indonesians

Indian Indonesians

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Indian Indonesians

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Indian Indonesians are a group of people who live in Indonesia and whose ancestors originally came from the Indian subcontinent. Therefore this term can be regarded as a blanket term for not only Indonesian Indian proper, but also Indonesian Pakistanis, Indonesian Sinhalese etc. The total number of Indonesians of Indian origin is about 5,000 most of whom are concentrated in Medan (North Sumatra) and in the Javanese cities of Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung.


Various people from the Indian subcontinent have frequented the Indonesian archipelago since the prehistoric era. In Bali, for example, remains of potteries from the first centuries C.E. have been recovered. In fact, the name Indonesia itself comes from the Latin Indus "India" and Greek nêsos "island" which literally means the ‘Indian archipelago’.

From the 4th and 5th centuries onwards, Indian cultural influences became more and more visible. The Sanskrit language was used on inscriptions. However, since the 7th century onwards, the Indian scripts were used more and more to write down indigenous languages which by now already contained many loans not only from Sanskrit, but also various prakrit and Tamil.

In addition to that, indigenous Indonesians began to embrace Indian religions, in particular Shivaism and Buddhism. But some were followers of Vishnuism and Tantrism.

It is believed that various Indian people also settled in Indonesia, mixed and...
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