Do & Don’ts

DO’S AND DONT’S

When visiting Indonesia visitors should observe local customs and practices. Some common courtesies and customs are:

  • The traditional greeting or salam, which resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp, is commonly used.
  • Handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women although some Muslim ladies may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling.
  • It is polite to call before visiting a home.
  • Shoes must always be removed when entering a home.
  • Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship, such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors.
  • It is polite to accept drinks, which are usually offered to guests.
  • The right hand is always used when eating with ones hands or giving and receiving objects.
  • The thumb of the right hand, with four fingers folded under, is the preferred way to point at places, objects or persons, instead of using the right forefinger.
  • Most places of worship usually allow visitors to take photos but it is polite to ask for permission beforehand.

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