The nature of Indonesian national culture is somewhat analogous to that of India—multicultural, rooted in older societies and interethnic relations, and developed in twentieth century nationalist struggles against a European imperialism that nonetheless forged that nation and many of its institutions.The national culture is most easily observed in cities but aspects of it now reach into the countryside as well.The guiding religious phenomena and cultural aspects bind its people historically.The religious practices and beliefs of Muslims are centered around the religion of Islam.In a nutshell, Shaikh says, he felt like they were having fun and he wasn't. Ghazala Irshad, who also grew up in a Muslim family in Illinois, says she knows young Muslims who growing up, were told to "lower [their] gaze" when they came across the opposite sex. We don’t know how to talk to the opposite sex, how do we go about this?
It was just something that was non-existent," he recalls. "You see your friends, they go out on movie dates and they go to the mall and they hold hands," he says. And this creates a dilemma for young Muslims in search of love.
Indonesia's borders are those of the Netherlands East Indies, which was fully formed at the beginning of the twentieth century, though Dutch imperialism began early in the seventeenth century.
Indonesian culture has historical roots, institutions, customs, values, and beliefs that many of its people share, but it is also a work in progress that is undergoing particular stresses at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Derived from the Greek, Indos (India) and nesos (island), it has parallels in Melanesia, "black islands"; Micronesia, "small islands"; and Polynesia, "many islands." A German geographer, Adolf Bastian, used it in the title of his book, Indonesien , in 1884, and in 1928 nationalists adopted it as the name of their hoped-for nation.
Although Irshad's family isn't aganist her dating, they have taken things into their own hands.
"My parents and my grandparents are constantly asking other people, anyone they meet 'do you know anyone good for my daughter? Irshad says her parents aren’t pushing her into a marriage, rather "helping" in the process.