Bizarre customs and practices of the Indonesian mainland

All travel aficionados have forever been enticed by the diversity of the world as well as the lifestyles and traditions they incorporate. And customs, rituals and practices differ from nation to nation, and even between localities. Most countries that are relatively unexplored have really eerie social customs that might spook you to no end and Indonesia, with its wide concentration of tribalistic rituals and notions will seriously send your mental faculties up for a toss. Read on to learn more about some of the most bizarre traditions.

  • Death is not an ‘occasion’ of mourning for the Indonesians, rather a still life is celebrated with much fanfare and gusto as there is a belief that the spirit would want to engage in revelry and fun even after it leaves the body.
living with the dead
Source: Velvet
  • Indonesians may appear peculiar to you if you consider that they are so curious about things that this has actually turned into a psychological disorder called Kepo. And don’t ever underestimate the people’s stalking skills if they are hell bent on getting some information outta you!


  • The people of this country have a rather weird way of declining invitations; so you will not be refused outright, rather you will have your invitation respectfully postponed off for tomorrow. And remember, ‘Besok’ is the term you will encounter, which translates to ‘tomorrow’ in the native tongue.
accept- refuse
Source: Pinterest
  • The concept of time is very elastic in this land! Indonesians as a race aren’t very punctual, and time moves really slow in this land of relative calm and peace.


  • Black magic use is also widely prevalent in Indonesia, even now. You have the ‘Shamans’, who will employ every chant up their sleeve to try and cure ailing patients.
Source: Flickr

Take another shot at discovering the mythical with Philippine mythical creatures: A dozen horrifying monsters

  • Indonesians can surprise you with oddities galore. Masuk Angin- basically the flu, can afflict you under quickly changing weather conditions. Scrape the body with coins or some non pointy stuff to get rid of the disease. Well, that’s another strange practice, referred to as Kerokan.
Source: Bektleay
  • Indonesians utilise toilet paper for alternative uses. Specifically, the tissues that you wipe your hands on at the restaurants are those that have been derived from their use at the toilet. Logical enough, since Indonesian toilets have water provisions, not wiping issues!


  • ‘Cabe cabeans’ abounds in Indonesia. That’s the word you would attribute to young girls who dress ‘outrageously’, and the country regards it as a taboo.
Source: Detik