Since the 1960s Australia has been an important centre for the study of Indonesian language and culture. Indonesian has been popular both in our primary and secondary schools, and at the tertiary level where it is one of the ‘big three’ Asian languages, together with Japanese and Chinese. So why do students choose to study Indonesian? Consider the following:
Indonesia is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world. With over 220 million people and more than eighteen thousand islands linking the Pacific and Indian Oceans it is of great environmental, cultural, political, and economic interest to the countries in the Asia Pacific region.
While industry and government agencies need to secure thousands of professionals to work across these diverse fields there has been a clear shortage of professionals with the appropriate communications skills in Indonesian. This means that it has often been left up to the Indonesians to acquire the linguistic and cultural knowledge required for an efficient workplace.
Ultimately language study can not just be about the work place, you need to personally engage with a new culture and understand more about your own. Language study therefore is also about the pure enjoyment and inspiration of entering another culture, journeying into someone else’s world. You may explore Indonesia ‘s theatre, literature, music, and cinema or you might like to follow interests in politics and religion.
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