The culture of Indonesia has been shaped by long interaction between original indigenous customs and multiple foreign influences. Indonesia is centrally-located along ancient trading routes between the Far East and the Middle East, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity, all strong in the major trading cities. The result is a complex cultural mixture very different from the original indigenous cultures.
Examples of cultural fusion include the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, and the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan; others could be cited.
Balinese dances have stories about ancient Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, while Islamic art forms and architecture are present in Sumatra, especially in the Minangkabau and Aceh regions. Traditional art, music and sport are combined in a martial art form called Pencak Silat.
Dance in Indonesia (Indonesian: Tarian Indonesia) reflects the country's diversity of ethnicities and cultures. There are more than 700 ethnic groups in Indonesia: Austronesian roots and Melanesian tribal forms are visible, and influences ranging from neighboring Asian and even western styles through colonization. Each ethnic group has their own dances; makes total dances in Indonesia are more than 3000 Indonesian original dances. The old traditions of dance and drama are being preserved in the many dance schools which flourish not only in the courts but also in the modern, government-run or supervised art academies.
For classification purpose, the dances of Indonesia can be divided according to several aspects. In historical aspect it can be divided into three eras; the prehistoric-tribal era, the Hindu-Buddhist era and the era of Islam. According to its patrons, it can be divided into two genres; court dance and folk dance. In its tradition, Indonesian dances can be divided into two types; traditional dance and contemporary dance.
In Bali on November 19, 2011 UNESCO announced the traditional Saman dance from Aceh province as a world intangible cultural heritage. Saman dance is unique due to the speed of movement and harmony between dancers.