Will You Stop Saying “Indo” If You Refer To Indonesia?

I will tell you why you need to

Putu M. Wijaya


Thanks Batman. Credits to DC Comic.

One day at the office.
Coworker: “Copy-nya buatin versi yang Bahasa Indo juga ya…”
Me: “Yeah, sure”

One fine day during traffic rage.
Friend: “Orang Indo tuh suka seenaknya sendiri kalo nyetir”
Me : “…”

Noticed something “not right” from the conversation above?

If you don’t notice something “not right”, I beg you to follow until the end of this article.

Kijang, a long time popular car in Indonesia is a abbreviation from “Kerjasama Indonesia Jepang” (Cooperation of Indonesia-Japan). At the same time “Kijang” is Indonesian word for “deer”. Credits: Wow fact.

Indonesians have known for a long time to be advanced in shortening, from the era of typewriter to Twitter. For example; Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret (Order of the Eleventh March, a historical document) to become Supersemar; Otto Iskandar Dinata (national hero) become Otista; Monumen Nasional (National Monument) become Monas; Bandar Udara (Airport) become Bandara; “Biasa aja” (Just basic) become “B aja” (Just B); et cetera.

Shortening is in our blood, and in recent years there’s a trend to take away the -nesia from Indonesia, leaving just Indo. I often found it in daily conversation (spoken and written) and social media, with speaker/user education level ranging from bachelor degree to elementary school.

Social listening on Twitter. Proof that “Indo” is commonly used to shorten “Indonesia”

From here I feel people are crossed the line, showing their ultimate laziness and ignorance.


Shortening the name Indonesia to Indo it’s not about unpatriotic or not appreciating national hero struggle fights for independence. Indo is just not the right word to represent Indonesia. If we bother to open a dictionary (or Google), we will find that Indo has a completely different meaning.

Based on Cambridge dictionary, Indo, as prefix has a meaning related to India or Indian Subcontinent. The terms coming from the Greeks and Persians who called the land of the river Hindus/Sindhu, Indos, the place of grand rivers, India.