1. When Indonesia's founding fathers declared independence from Dutch colonists in 1945, the official declaration stated: "We, the people of Indonesia, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia. Matters relating to transfer of power etc. will be executed carefully as soon as possible." That was it. That was the entire thing. (For comparison, the USA's was a bit more long winded.) 

2. I'm currently reading the book "Indonesia etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation" that explains how Indonesia's been working on that "etc" part ever since. Just roving around Bali, it's obvious that Indonesia is still figuring things out. It's an incredibly diverse country with all of the islands, ethnic groups and languages but those different groups are actually living at different points in human history, all at the same time. Some parts of the country (urbanites in big city Java) are hyper modern. Other folks in mountainous rural areas, exists in much the same way their ancestors did. As the author, Elizabeth Pisoni explains, "Often, the more-or-less ancient and relatively modern co-exist in the same space; farmers get to their rice-field on a motorbike, villagers film a ritual sacrifice on their mobile phones". 

3. Given that ancient and modern Indonesia co-exist, the government has the daunting task of sorting out which Indonesia they should make laws for. For example, on the island of Sumba (a world away from Bali), traditionally people used machetes to slaughter animals, slice open coconuts and sharpen pencils. But occasionally, they would use those machetes to commit terrible human massacres. In an attempt to reduce the latter from happening, machetes were banned from use in town or at traditional ceremonies. Most of the people of Sumba found other tools to do the job of the household machetes (like pencil sharpeners). This makes sense, because, as Pisoni explains "modern life erodes even the legitimate uses that still make machetes indispensable in rural Sumba". The parallel between this and America's issues with gun control is pretty obvious. Sure, guns were a major part of the national culture in the US when we hunted wild animals and fought tribes. But now, we go to Stop and Shop and argue in courts of law (or on Twitter). In many ways, the Americans who assert their Second Amendment rights are equivalent to the people in Sumba who cling to their freedom to use a machete. For context, these are the same people who, when arranging marriages, kill a dog chosen by the brides family, and then have a priest from each side "read the dog's heart to see if the pair are well suited."

4. In Bali, people only name their children (male or female) one of 4 names: Wayan (first born), Made (second born), Nyoman (third born) and Ketut (fourth born). If there's a 5th, they just start over again with Wayan.  Before we knew this fun fact, we asked a mechanic if he "knew a guy named Wayan" when we were trying to find the fellow who rented us our motorbike. We got laughed at.