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The Emerald of the Equator

05 Jul 2023
The Emerald of the Equator

Come with us as we look at a banknote from Indonesia. Officially known as the Republic of Indonesia. It is the world's largest archipelagic state with 18,110 islands. Located in Southeast Asia and between two oceans, Indonesia has been given the nickname “The Emerald of the Equator” for its natural and cultural wealth.

This week’s banknote is Indonesia’s 20,000 Rupiah B594f P138f from 2004. This is a paper note with Indonesian text. On the front shows Indonesian coat of arms, Ki Hadjar Dewantara, and mythical statue. The back displays students studying in a classroom at Taman Siswa School of Yogyakarta. The watermark is Ki Hadjar Dewantara and electrotype bank seal.

The Indonesian coat of arms is known as Garuda Pancasila. The main part of the coat of arms is the Garuda which is a golden mythological eagle. On the eagle’s chest is a shield with five emblems that represent Pancasila, which are the five principles of Indonesia’s national ideology. Gripped between the eagle’s legs is a scroll with the national motto: “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” that roughly translates to “Unity in Diversity.”

Ki Hadjar Dewantara was a writer, politian, and leading activist in the Indonesian Independence movement. His family comes the royal house of Pakualaman, and he was one of Prince Paku Alam III’s grandsons. Dewantara advocated for self-rule in the Dutch East Indies and education. He opened the Taman Siswa School which provided education to indigenous commoners.

This 20,000 Rupiah banknote displays coat of arms, Ki Hadjar Dewantara, and children in a classroom in Taman Siswa School of Yogyakarta.

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