Do's and Dont's

Indonesia has several traditions and customs and it is best if you know them beforehand. Some of them are:

  • Even though hand shaking is deemed appropriate between men and women, bear in mind that a number of Muslim women prefer to introduce themselves to men by nodding their head, smiling, and clasping their hands without any physical contact.
  • Traditionally, when you greet someone, both hands are used when shaking, without grasping.
  • It is considered polite to make a phone call first before visiting.
  • Shoes must be taken off before entering a house or places of worship like mosques.
  • Usually drinks are offered to guests. It is polite to accept.
  • When eating, receiving or giving something, always use your right hand. Your right index finger should not be used to point to a place, item or person. Instead use your right-hand thumb and fold the remaining fingers to be more polite.
  • Taking photographs of houses of worship is allowed. However, permission should be requested first whenever possible, especially if you want to take pictures of the interior.
  • Most Indonesian Muslims do not consume alcoholic drinks or pork.
  • Hence, the tradition of proposing a toast to honor someone is not generally known.