I had always associated the word "Java" with the programming language or a cup of coffee. It only occurred to me tonight that it is indeed a name for an island as well. Upon reading this Wikipedia entry on Java,
I also discovered Java coffee is coffee made from the beans on the
island. Java is a long, narrow island in the East Indies. It lies
between the Sea of Java and the Indian Ocean. It is one of the largest
islands of the Republic of Indonesia.
island of Java has an area of 48,763 square miles, which is about the
size of the state of Louisiana. Though Java is not very big, it is one
of the most crowded places in the world. Fifty-eight million people live
there, more than 19 times as many as live in Louisiana! Part of the
island is too mountainous for people to make their homes, and near the
coasts there are swamps and thick jungles, so that all of the people are
crowded into a very small place.
The People of Java
people of Java are Malays. They are small and handsome. They have dark
skin and eyes and straight black hair, and they are very graceful.
Groups of dancers from Java have traveled all over the world and
delighted thousands of people with their strange and exciting dances.
The Javanese people are also known for a special kind of shadow play in
which they use puppets that they hold behind a screen, so that shadows
appear on the screen. This is a favorite entertainment in Java.
are many skilled artists here too. They make beautiful jewelry or
silver and gold. They also make a special kind of fine cloth that is
called batik. It is dyed in patterns of bright colors.
of the people of Java are farmers and raise rice, rubber, sugar,
coffee, and many other crops. Things grow so well in Java that the
people are able to grow more than enough food for themselves, so their
crops help feed people of other countries. They also send quinine and
teak wood to other parts of the world. The people of java buy machines
and iron and steel and cloth from other countries, and they use these
things to build up their island.
people in Java work in coal and silver and gold mines, while others
raise kapok trees. Pod from these trees contain a soft, fluffy down that
is used to stuff pillows and mattresses, to make life jackets, and for
Chinese people and Arabs also live in Java. Most of the people are
members of the Mohammedan religion. They speak a Malay language called
What Java is Like
level lands of Java are very fertile and have a lot of rain. There are
many volcanic mountains and some of these great volcanoes are still
active. Sometimes they explode and send forth lava, fire and smoke. Many
people of Java have lost their lives in these eruptions. The weather in
Java is warm, with a temperature of about 80 degrees all year round;
though high up in the mountains it is much colder.
tigers and other wild animals make their home in the jungles near the
coasts of the island. There are many enormous insects and gorgeous birds
are many small streams on the island. The Solo River is the most
important waterway. Boats can travel on this river from one part of the
island to another. Roads lead from Jakarta, the capital city of
Indonesia, on Java Island, to nearly every part of Java, and there are
several railroads and airports.
people in most parts of Java live very simply, but the city of Jakarta
is quite modern. The University of Indonesia is there. It includes
colleges of law, medicine, and agriculture.
Java in the Past
have lived on Java for many thousands of years. This was proved over a
century ago when Eugene Dubois, a Dutch scientist, discovered the bones
of a primitive man believed to have lived between 300,000 and 500,000
years ago. Dubois named this early man Pithecanthropus Erectus, which
means that he stood erect as men do today. This early man is usually
called the Java Man.
two thousand years ago, Java was occupied by Hindus from India. In Java
you can still see the ruins of some of the magnificent religious
monuments and palaces built by Indian princes.
About 550 years ago Mohammedan invaders conquered Java. Later it became the property of the Dutch.