the island Sumatra (spoken Sumátra) or Sumatera (Indonesian way of writing) belonged to Indonesia and is at 473.000 km ² the sixth-largest island of the world. Into this surface several pre-aged islands at 50.000 km are taken into consideration ².

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thoseIsland extends 1,700 km in northwest southeast direction and is broad up to 370 km, the equator crossed exactly the center of the island. The Barisangebirge (Peg Barisan) accompanies the west coast and becomes southward ever higher. The Mount Kerinchi (Gunung Kerinci) rises upup to 3.805 m, it gives however still different Dreitausender. Volcanic activity in this mountains equipped the island with fruitful country and pictorial landscapes (for example around the Tobasee). The eastern half of the island is flat; thoseuntil 300 km broad level is nearly to the half with sumps covered.

Sumátra represents the extreme west of the densely populated state, to that with its Hauptinseln in 5,000 km is enough for chain over Java, Bali and Flores up to that Molukken before new Guinea is enough.

Southeast from Sumatra - by 40 km broad Sundastrasse separately - the central island Java lies. In the southern Sundastrasse are some Inselchen, under it however the feared volcano Krakatau (816m, see 1883 and 1930).Beyond the eastern sea, which is broad 600 km, lies the enormous, but deserted island Borneo, and in the north - by the busy, close road separately from Malakka, the Malaii peninsula and Singapore. Of the point of land Aceh in Northwest comes one to 200 to 1,000 km to the Inselgruppe of the Andamanen and Nikobaren, which belong however despite large distance to India.


Fütterung eines Orang-Utan im Gunung Leuser Nationalpark, Nord-Sumatra
feeding a Orang Utan in the Gunung Leuser national park, north Sumatra

excessive clearing forests, dynamite fishery, it has the hunt for noble skins, the demand for exotic souvenirs (like turtle tanks) the consequence that a large part of the animal and plant world is threatened by becoming extinct. Already 140 domestic animal species are legally protected, only this nobody can effectivelyto control can (even in reservations), the wide-spread corruption is added. Around surviving to secure the Indonesian government already explained 64,000 km in the entire archipelago ² as protected areas. That corresponds nearly the size of ¾ the island to Java. Some these nature parks gives it also on Sumatra. The most well-known are the Gunung Leuser national park in the north, the Rimbo Panti and Lembah Harau of protected areas with Bukittinggi and the Kerinci Seblat - national park in the south. They become of the P.H.P.A.(Perlindungan =Protection, Hutan = forest, Pengewetan = preservation, Alam = nature) administers. With 176 different mammals, Sumatra presents 194 reptiles -, 62 amphibians - to 320 kinds of bird large variety at animal and also vegetable life, as much as on noneother island of Indonesia.

Due to the equatorial situation Sumatra was covered in recent time of tropical rain forest. Only in the colonial age and strengthened for the 50's the evergreen forests were back-pushed toward wide Waldrodungen into the inaccessible mountain regions.In the schools and other initiatives is zaghaft tried, the children, to bring young people and adult adjacents resident first steps toward ecological behavior close in order to prevent a progressing of the deforestation.

The remainders of the overwhelming rain forests Sumatras are in thatwhole world famous, since they accommodate some the most endangered and rarest kinds on earth. They become among other things inhabited of the Nashornvogel (Buceros spp., indon. narrow course), large eye pheasant (bad US pheasants, indon. burung kuau/kuang), Sumatra elephants (indon. gajah) and8 different Primatenarten. The agilen and often aggressive Thomas cap Languren (Presbytis thomasii) with Punkerlook, the pig ape (Macaca of nemes trina) and the Javaneraffe (Macaca fascicularis) - all ranking among the Makaken -, those Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus) and the white hand Gibbons (Hylobates lar, indon. ungko) are likewise often observed. The latters are characterised by a wreath/ring of white hair, which frames the dark face. Always are the always black handsand feet at the top side knows. The 6 - 8 kg of heavy apes occur only in Thailand, on the malaiischen peninsula and Sumatra. The Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaens abelii) is only on Sumatra and a subspecies inTo find Borneo (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) in liberty. One gets only extremely rarely a small subspecies of the Sumatra tiger threatened by becoming extinct (indon. macan), which is characterised by a particularly strong colouring, to face. Also the Sumatra Nashorn (thatWorld smallest Nashornart) are here resident, just as T/plate rack TAP Irish).

3500 plant types were counted in the park. Thus one finds at the Alas and Bengkung river as well as at the Bangko lake the Rafflesia atjehensis and to R.zippelini. In a circulation area north of 1° andsouth the equator also Amorphophallus are sighted titanum, with the largest bloom of the world. Besides there are many endemic Orchideenarten, ferns, Moose etc. pp.



Sumatra (and the surrounding islands) are in altogether 10 provinces divided,whereby Aceh enjoys privileges as special region:


At the Tobasee

round 44 million inhabitant (conditions 2004) live the population density on the island, lie with approximately 100 inhabitants/square kilometers and are lower thereby around 10 times than in the neighbouring Java. The most densely populated regions lie around the cities Medan and Palembang. The centre government promotes (e) the removal of million Javanern in the context of the Transmigrasi - program, which heats the political climate up. Some regions are close at the civil war.

The population is majority of malaiischen origin, it divides on over 50 differentLanguages, which are quite similar each other however. For example, the Minangkabau, which particularly admits by its matrilineare social order is, is the Malaii language in the east , in the gebirgigen west dominated besides the Lampung, the Batak and the Achinesen. In the cities live partially Chinese, Arabs and Indian.

The majority of the population (about 90%) professes itself to the Islam, 8% Christian, the remainder distributes itself on the small buddhistischen, hinduistischen and animistischen municipalities.

meals and beverages

in the larger cities and routistic centers win western high-speed restaurants and their Indonesian counterparts increasingly in soil. In the rural areas still some traditional Esskulturen kept. Nevertheless fish and rice remain still thatHauptnahrungsmittel, even in the mountain regions.

Masakan padang

“Padangessen” is in Indonesia a being certain term and is something for specialists. It is sharp, over exactly to be partly extremely sharply (generous use of Chili). This peppering comesfrom times, when still no cooling possibilities existed. It predominantly originates from the moslemischen kitchen from the region Padang and uses therefore mainly fish (ikan), chicken (ayam) and cattle (indon. sapi). There is lamb more rarely (indon. domba), goat (indon. kambing) andBuffalo (indon. banteng/kerbau), only duck isolates (indon. bebek) or pigeon (indon. merpati). Pig (indon. babi) only the dog applies with the Muslims as impure, (indon. anjing) stands still lower - also one eats although within some ranges.Traditionell werden die ausgesuchten Speisen mit verschiedenen Soßen auf den Tisch gestellt. Is computed only what is eaten. Since also expensive specialities can be under it, it is advisable to ask before the meal for the price. This tradition losesin routistic areas however increasingly in meaning, then one finds always frequent lists of beverages and feeding. On Indonesian “request is called, not sharply”: “Minta, tidak pedas”.

Masakan batak

over the meal of the Batak writes max Dauthendey,at his time well-known German travel writer, at the beginning 20. Century over the Batak: “Until a few years ago cannibalism prevailed forwards with the Batak. This told me also that the palms of humans - if they are older - besttaste. Above all the left hand is preferred, because the Batakmann with the right rice and with the left time life the vegetable eats. By the vegetable now the left hand becomes spicy and tastes better than those with the timefade right hand. Father and nut/mother were slaughtered, if they were old enough, and fed in the lap of their family. They did not find nothing at all since they rather gönnten themselves their member than the worms in the earth. “

Defiance of their kannibalischenPast consists the Batakessen of vegetarian added predominantly. Particularly sumptuous meals contain Schweinefleisch of fat around the possession conditions to indicate. As if this would not be Frevel enough, must the frightened Muslims tighten that their neighbours, beside the Minahasa in Sulawesi, to thatin Indonesia belong to only races, which eat also dogs.


are beverages beside tropical fruit juices also various alcoholic beverages, so long one not in the very moslemischen north is.

  • Tuak: The bloom of the arene palm is angeritzt andthe withdrawing juice in containers caught. The liquid ferments then some days and develops a moderate alcohol content (less than beer). One drinks usually from bamboo canes. One meets against evening at certain places (indon. tempat tuak), sits around, smokes, talksand drinks. Manufacturers sell the Gebräu from large plastic cans. In order to become drunk, a European must take some quantities to itself, which causes often strong blowing. Not however the intoxication is the main thing with the Tuaktrinken, but cosy sitting together.
  • Arak: from Tuak one burns (distilled). The alcohol content is comparable with our grain. Purely Arak is hardly enjoyable, tastes however completely outstanding in coffee (indon. copy arak) or hot chocolate.
  • Beer (beer): Except in the north and the south Sumatrasit is nearly everywhere available. Beside Beck' s, Heineken and Carlsberg are still the Indonesian marks being seaweed and anchors, which are brewed with Netherlands license, on the market.
  • Coffee from the cat: From the most expensive coffee of the world the kilogram costssome 100 €. Each individual bean was again separated before by a creeping cat (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) eaten and. The sort copy Luwak exclusively originates from Indonesia from the islands Sumatra, Java (Indonesia) and Sulawesi.

Important oil deposits are economics in Sumatra. An important role plays the mining industry, to be promoted among other things coal, gold, bauxite and tin. At agricultural products play among other things india rubber, pepper, coffee, Palmöl and Tobacco a role. A certain value also the tourism in takes in particular in the area of the Tobasees.


the original name Sumatras was Swarna Dwipa (“island of the gold”), it comes from the gold export, already inearly times from the high country Sumatras came. In the first millenium after Christ Buddismus and Hinduismus gained a foothold on the island and merged with faith conceptions of the original farmer culture. On basis of the culture imported from India several realms formed. With itsTo situation at the maritime trade route from India to China soon commercial towns began to flower, the most well-known were Srivijaya in the place of the today's Palembang. In the 11. Century fell parts of the island under javanischen influence and began myself at the same time, on the basis ofto spread Indian dealers, the Islam, itself however only in 13. Century in larger parts of Nordsumatras interspersed. Smaller sultanates developed, most well-known were Aceh in the north.

First trade contacts to Europe developed over Portuguese dealers from small trading bases. Thoseactual colonial conquest began only 1596 with the landing of the Dutchmen on the island. Successively they subjected all sultanates, whereby Aceh only 1905 was completely defeated. In the Second World War the island was Japanese occupied and became thereafter part of the republicIndonesia. Unrest pole Sumatras is however further the region Aceh striving for independence in the north.

sea-quake of 26. Decembers of 2004

large parts of the northwest province Aceh became to 26. December 2004 by the devastating sea-quake in the Indian ocean andthe following Tsunami destroys. Authorities spoke at the beginning of of 2005 of more than 150,000 victims. To official data alone Sumatra die more than 94,000 humans on the particularly heavily met island.
But some days the weight of the disaster became longfrom the javanischen authorities it hushes up why the with difficulty accessible west coast was very late reached only by auxiliary workers.

A Nachbeben to 28. March 2005 with Epizentrum 200 kilometers west before Sumatra caused substantial damages on some islands before Sumatra, demandednumerous victims and re-activated some volcanos on Sumatra.


  • Jürgen Alex: Sumatra - Samosir in the Tobasee - island on the island. In: mtv (Medical grandstand) 4/1980, ISSN of 0343-5237

reports on a journey and barking trichloroethylene TIC

see also


coordinates: 00° 23 ' 44 "S, 101° 46 ' 38 " O


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