JAKARTA – Love for Inter really does transcend borders and Indonesia, with its 15 million Nerazzurri fans, is testament to that. We’ve been brothers of the world throughout our history. United in diversity, just like Indonesia, according to its national motto.
Halfway between Asia and Australia, this land made up of thousands of islands has developed a common identity based around the national language, Indonesian. All this in spite of different ethnic groups, dialects, religions within a predominantly muslim population, and a history of colonialism. First came the Portuguese and then, more significantly, the Dutch. The Netherlands ruled here until the Second World War before Japan intervened and with that came rebellion. The Indonesian national motto – which is drawn from the legendary Garuda, the mythological eagle which adorns the country’s emblem – recalls this diversity. ‘Bhineka Tunggal Ika‘, ‘United in Diversity‘, literally ‘Many, but one.’ We are all brothers of the world.
The national sport in these parts is Pencak Silat, a very complex martial art which involves the use of weapons such as knives, sticks and machetes. In recent times, however, football has replaced all other sports in terms of popularity and passion, the Indonesian people keeping a keen eye on Italian football, with Serie A having been broadcast on television for 20 years. That’s how the love for the Nerazzurri sprang up here, with incredible figures showing nearly 15 million Inter fans (from a population of 300 million) and 15,000 members of Inter Club Indonesia, based in Jakarta.