Indonesian state emerged in the 20th century after the colonial period that is long enough. Previously only a nation’s archipelago with many flags and different languages ​​on each tribe. But the feeling of nationality among the tribes in these islands gained as the same fate under Dutch rule, and the same feeling of wanting independence is felt every tribe.
However, why do people use the name ‘Indonesia’ as the name of the country? From where does this name come true? Who is the true inventor of the word ‘Indonesia’ and what does it own?

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So, if anyone asks who the first person who said that this country called Indonesia ? I Can explain as much as possible following

Historically Indonesia name is officially known in the world in December 1949 the time when the Dutch formally cede sovereignty over the territory of Indonesia . The name Indonesia was first presented by George Samuel Windsor Earl (G.W.Earl) an ethnological who are looking for an analogy to express racial ‘Polynesian’ or ‘Melanesia’ in 1850 in his writings in the magazine Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Indonesia . Indonesia has not exactly call it but Indu – nesian . He used the term to refer to Indunesian or Melayunesian archipelago residents who was then known as the Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago . In development G.W.Earl himself said more inclined to use the word Melayunesian .

J.C. Logan pupil of G.W.Earl also using Indonesian words in his article titled Ethnology of the Indian Archipelago . He wears the name ” Indonesia ” as a synonym for the word ” Indian Archipelago ” ( archipelago ) . So if G.W.Earl Indunesian use the word in the sense of ethnological , Logan using Indonesian words as geographical sense . Logan then felt the need for a new designation words , it uses a new name like ” Asianesia ” to refer to the whole of Indonesia, Melanesia , Micronesia , and Polynesia .

However , when the designation Asianesia quickly forgotten . Until finally W.Schmidt , a German national linguist trigger ” Austronesian ” as the name of the joint between Indonesia , Melanesia , Micronesia , and Polynesia . Austronesian name itself became a popular name when it replaces Asianesia .

Academia in the Netherlands are reluctant to mention the name of Indonesia . Therefore they called the archipelago as ” Malay Archipelago ” or ” Netherlands East Indies ” . Some leading Indonesian students agree to use this name .

In 1884 , 34 years after the term was introduced to Indonesia . Adolf Bastian , a German scholar to use the name of Indonesia in his work , which reads : Rodel order die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels . From the quote above it is clear that this leads to the designation Indonesian archipelago was sendiri.Karena Adolf Bastian works made popular in the Netherlands , then indirectly make Indonesia designations ranging widely known. This resulted linguist from the University of Leyden , Rakern use this designation on a study of the British India and Indonesia in 1889 .

In addition to the Netherlands scientist , the name Indonesia also grew among the French and British anthropologists . A French scholar , Indonesia ETHamy use designations in the ethnological sense . On his work entitled Les Alfourous de Gilolo , Indonesia is defined as specific groups that occupied the Malay Archipelago ( archipelago ) , like the Batak people in Sumatra and the Dayaks in Borneo ( Kalimantan ) .

Among the British anthropologist , Hamy opinion is used as a reference in a long time . An example is AHKeane , Indonesia considers not only the race but also the culture . Keane split the region into two divisions , namely ” Mongoloid ” and ” Indonesian ” . The people in the second division , according to Keane not only different races , but also language support and applicable customs .

After the 1900 Indonesian term began to spread . This term is used by the majority of academics and the public . The term is also beginning to be used by organizations that are national . Indonesian title is used as a tool for the formation of the national unity and political freedom ( independence was ) from colonial rule . At the moment there are organizations that change their name by inserting the word Indonesia as the organization’s new name . An example is the Islamic Party ( PSI ) which became the United Party of Islam Indonesia ( PSII ) , then Indische Vereniging that turned into Indonesische Vereniging . Indonesia’s current use of the word is not only used as the name of the organization but also figures like Iboe Pertiwi Indonesia mythology turned into Iboe Indonesia . Indonesia is also increasingly recognized designation with the slogan Indonesia and Indonesia Merdeka Ra’ja .

Although the name of Indonesia began to grow , but it resistance from the Netherlands Army . Before the second world war the Dutch do not want to use the name of Indonesia is widespread because they will arouse nationalism Indonesian people , thus encouraging people to independence . In the Dutch resistance not only come from the men of skill , but also come from Dutch rule in Indonesia and the former universiter that Indonesia has approved the use of scientific names . Until finally the name of Indonesia can be used on a large scale after the trial Volksraad .

Dutch – Indian novelist Edgar du Perron in 1939 recording of his conversation with a professor who teaches in the Netherlands Indies ( archipelago ) . The professor assumes that the in- lander as a designation for the archipelago are too old and he stated the word inheemschen ( indegenous people ) . He uses this word to refer inheemschen his students in the archipelago .

The words of the title for the native Dutch ( native / resident of the archipelago ) and the more formal inlander inheemsche , they do not have fundamental differences . In the opinion of the Toynbee who try to solve the problem ” native ” that the native word in the English language with the same meaning indigenes eingeborenen in French and in German . He then added Dutch language , inlander list. So basically all these words have the same meaning .

In 1943 he released a book about Bernard Vlekke brief history of East Indies , under the auspices of the Netherlands . He uses the name of the archipelago as the title of his book. By 1943 it had grown too much reason to use the designation Indonesia for the East Indian Archipelago .

Some modern scholars of the Dutch language also shows that unity has begun to grow in the archipelago , and Indonesian is preferred from all the dialects that exist in the archipelago . ” Language ” has been used as the standard of the Malay language and has been used for centuries as a means to trade both at home and abroad among Malays islanders .

That’s a brief explanation of how the name of our country Indonesia began coined until now has been known in the World …


Van der Kroef, Justus M. 1951. “The Term Indonesia : Its Origin and Usage”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol.71,No.3 (Jul-Sep.,1951), pp. 166-171.