Indonesia is the 4th populated nation in this world, and about all Indonesians are expert in Indonesian — their primary language. It is a standardized version of Malay, an Austronesian language. For 75 million people in the world, it is their first language, and for 140 million people, Indonesian is the second language.
The old Malay can track its background back to the 7th century, but it is only in 1945 that it was declared the official language. In 1930, as part of the liberation movement, the language was standardized. In a nation where there are over 300 native languages, Indonesian acts as a compulsory factor, since the media, government, educational institutes and all the formal work carried out in the nation is in the Indonesian language. It has combined within it many words from other speeches, such as Dutch and Sanskrit. Sanskrit has its sources in India and is known as the base for several languages in society. In schools, children are taught the approved verbal style. Though, in their daily lives, the tongue used by children and other people have sprinklings of different dialects, such as Balinese, Javanese, and Sudanese. Thus, region-wise there is an excellent variation in the spoken dialects.
When Indonesia was a colony, Dutch was the language spoken. After Indonesia earned its independence, the people rejected Dutch and other regional tongues in support of Indonesian. This is partly because the Dutch did not make many efforts to spread their style through their colony’s people to keep the native people separated from the larger Dutch culture. The country’s decision to choose Indonesian is interesting, as it was not the language with the most native speakers when it was chosen. Javanese, a regional language, would have held that distinction.
Indonesia was a Dutch community for three and a half centuries and gained its independence after World War II. There are several religious groups in Indonesia, but the Muslim population is the largest. During the colonization time, the Dutch tried to know the use of Dutch language among the people of the archipelago. One of these struggles was followed by the admitting of the specific rights to natives who were able to speak Dutch. For instance, they were allowed to wear a hat. Indonesian women who could talk to Dutch were permitted to marry a European man. Moreover, these people were also allowed to register in Dutch schools, which were seen as elite during the period.
Hence, this describes why after Indonesia declared its independence, there were still some Indonesians who could speak Dutch. Some people may have grandparents who can speak Dutch because they witnessed and became part of the colonization.
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