They arrived around 2,000 BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, confined the indigenous Melanesians to the far eastern regions.allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE.However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia; they preferred Malay Archipelago (Maleische Archipel); the Netherlands East Indies (Nederlandsch Oost Indië), popularly Indië; the East (de Oost); and Insulinde.
A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it.
Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country.
For almost 200 years, the company was the dominant European power in the archipelago. In 1901, the Netherlands introduced the Dutch Ethical Policy, which had the purpose of improving living conditions and welfare, expanding education to native peoples, the Japanese occupation was fundamental for Indonesian independence, as the Japanese encouraged and facilitated Indonesian nationalism, promoted nationalists such as Sukarno, Mohammad Hatta, and Ki Hajar Dewantara, and provided weapons and military training.
and were selected as the country's first President and Vice-President respectively.
is home to more than half of the country's population.