History of Indonesia
As early as 200 BC, the Jawa Dwipa Hindu kingdom occupied parts of Indonesia now known as Java and Sumatra. This and other early kingdoms were mainly Hindu and Buddhist and lasted throughout most of the first millenium. Many of the relics left behind, such as the Prambanan and Borobudur, can still be visited today.
From 1200 until around 1600, Islam began to leave its mark on Indonesia. Through the persistence of missionaries, the country's Muslim population spiked, especially in the Java region. Today, there is still a strong Islamic presence in the country.
The biggest culture shift in Indonesia began after the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century. The Portuguese, Dutch, and British empires all put their flags down. The spice trade at that time was in full swing and Indonesia was at the center. Delicacies like nutmeg, which were native to the country, became the prize behind many battles.
It was not until the 1940s that Indonesia achieved independence. Up until the start of World War II it had been still occupied by the Dutch, but this ended after the Japanese take-over. After the war, with some help from the United Nations, Indonesia was finally declared its own unitary Republic.