“Plucking” tea leaves refers to the harvesting of those leaves growing above the flat top of the tea bush—known asthe plucking table.Here, women rest after a long day of plucking, a livelihood requiring both skill and speed. The women are generally paid by the weight of the leaves they have picked, so the ability towork quickly isessential. The Indonesian tea business was started in the 18th century by the Dutch. The volcanic soil and tropical climate made Java perfect for growing tea. Thanks to women like these, Indonesiais now the world’sfifth largest teaproducer.
Photo © 2010 John Schilling
Southeastern Asia, archipelago of 13,000 islands between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Mostly coastal lowlands, larger islands have interior mountains. 1,904,569 km2 (slightly < 3 x TX), 11% arable.
Capital Jakarta (9.1M)
Population 248M (130/km2)
Life expectancy 72 years
Lang(s) Bahasa Indonesia (OFFICIAL) (modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects of which the most widely spoken is Javanese
Religions Muslim 86%, Protestant 6%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, other 3%
Ethnic Groups Javanese 41%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3%, Minangkabau 3%, Banjar 2%, Banten 2%, Betawi 2%, Bugis 2%, other, 30%
PCVs 1963-65, 2010-present; English education. Volunteers in country: 43. Total volunteers to date: 87.
Nat’l holiday Independence Day, 17 August (1945)