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Hindu Buddhist culture in Indonesia summary

Hindu Buddhist culture in Indonesia - The Hindu-Buddhist influence in Indonesia resulted in the development of Hindu-Buddhist culture and religion without eliminating the native customs which had existed earlier in the local society.

Combination happened Hindu-Buddhist culture and native culture. The combination of elements of two different cultures in which the foreign elements are gradually accepted by the native culture is called acculturation.

The combination was evident from the historical remains which resulted from acculturation between Hinduism-Buddhism and the customs of Nusantara people, for instance the existence of Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, from Kutai, Tarumanegara, Hi-ling, Sriwijaya, Old Mataram, Kediri, Singasari until Majapahit.

Of all the kingdoms, Sriwijaya was the largest Buddhist kingdom with a specific characteristic as a maritime kingdom, whereas Majapahit was the greatest Hindu kingdom, but it still allowed Buddhist people to live ing the kingdom. Majapahit was an agrarian country.

The golden period of Majapahit did not last long nbecause other regions in Indonesia felt they were colonized by Majapahit. On the other hand, Majapahit did not concentrate on attemps to maintain the unity of the kingdom because a civil war often happened.

The inheritances of Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms which we still can see now are, among others, litereary works, scripts, a language, calender system, system of government, system of beliefs, architecture, temples, stupas, palaces, and other. The remains are proofs which show that there had been a period in which the influence of Hinduism-Buddhism on various aspects of Indonesian people's life was prominent.


  • Acculturation is : combination of two different cultural elements in which the elements of foreign culture are gradually adopted by the native or local culture.
  • Amarawati is : an area in South India which had a specific characteristic in producing statues, so it was well-known for its Amarawati statues.
  • Ansuman is : god of the sun of the people of Kutai who did not profess Hinduism.
  • Statue is : stone sculpture picturizing a god, goddess, or king.
  • Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, tana hana dharma mangrawa is : a slogan in Sutasoma book which was written by empu Tantular intended as a means to unite followers of different religions, it means : "Unity in the diversity, there is no two-sided truth".
  • Temple is : a building that functions as a place to store or bury the ash from the corpse of a Hindu king after being crimated.
  • Cola is : kingdom in South India which attacked Sriwijaya in the competition to take control of Malacca Strait.
  • Dynasty is : succession of king from the same descendants or family.
  • Ganesha is : god of knowledge and science in Hinduism that is symbolized as a human with an elephant head, like the symbol of ITB Bandung.
  • Gate is : a kind of entrance that is equipped with a door and roof, some are like a split temple.
  • Palace is : the residence of a king and queen, it is also a control center of the government of a kingdom.
  • Lingga (kind of post) is : a symbol of Shiva, it is usually made of stone that is cylindrical in shape and is fitted into its match (Yoni) in upright position.
  • Nalanda is : an area in South India which was one of the centers of Buddhism.
  • Pallava is : an area in India that has its own scripts which are also used by people in other regions.
  • Hermitage is : a shelter built in a cave and used as aplace where hermits live.
  • Petirtaan (Bathing site) is : a sacred bathing place that is used by the royal circle.
  • Sanskrit is : alanguage originating from India that is commonly used in inscriptions and books used in Hindu ceremonies.
  • Stupa is : a building associated with Buddhism that is commonly located on the top of a temple.
  • Waprakesyavara is : sacred piece of land for brahmanas.
To find more articles please visit historical articles : Development of Hindhu Buddhist religion and culture in Sout Asia
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