Important Do's and Don'ts

Indonesia has a high Muslim population and it is important to understand and respect the local beliefs. Scanty clothing is not advisable in public places in deference to local customs. Shorts are not allowed in mosques and women should have their arms and head covered.

  • Calling people by crooking your finger is considered impolite.
  • Patting someone on the head is not done among adults and should even be avoided with children.
  • Climbing over monuments or places of worship is considered highly disrespectful. In Bali, waist sashes should be worn when visiting temples.
  • Take off your shoes when entering a mosque (or temple).
  • Take off your sunglasses inside someone's house, unless you have an eye disease.
  • Use your right hand when receiving something from or giving something to someone. Talking with one's hands on one's hips is considered impolite.
  • Show respect.
  • Smile!
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