Before Indonesia was officially appointed as the name of this archipelago country, various names had been used to name Indonesia. In Fa Hian memoir, 414, first Chinese visitor to this archipelago, Jawa (or Java in English) was originally from Ramayana poem, a Hindu man,Rakawi Walmiki, wrotten in Sanskrit, and had been existed since 300 BC, which in one of its verses mentioned Jawa Dwipa, Jawa means reward, and Dwipa means island, so Jawa Dwipa means island of reward or island of service. Later, Jawa Dwipa is used to call the archipelago. In old India records, the archipelago was called as Dwipantara, Dwipa means island and antara means across or outside. In Majapahit period, this term then recorded to Nusantara. Nusantara was known by traders from India, Arab, Persia and China, as Swarnadwipa (Sanskrit) means Island of Gold and Sarondiba, Jaza ir al-Jawi (Arab).
Nusantara became official name of the archipelago in the period of Majapahit (13th to 15th century) , but Nusantara name was fading as the fall of Majapahit Kingdom, and in 1920s Ernest Francois Eugene Douwes Dekker, a Dutchman, introduced Nusantara.
Nusantara was defined as beyond archipelago used to call islands outside Java,a nd in Gajah Mada Vow in grand meeting at Majapahit hall known as Palapa Vow or Sumpah Palapa, ‘laman huwus kala Nusantara, isun amukti palapa’ means when islands across the country (as in that period, Majapahit consists of Central and East Java only) are conquered, I enjoy rest’
Historically, according to Dr Setiabudi, the islands across the country, Nusantara was defined in nationalistic by using antara from Malay language, and Nusantara has new meaning ‘nusa between two continents and Oceans’ that Java was included in the modern definition of Nusantara.
Dr. Setiabudi quoted Nusantara from Pararathon book that describes history of Singasari kings and make Majapahit fell. Majapahit test was found in Bali, in the late of 19th century and it was translated by J LA Brandes and published by Johannes Krom in 1920).
As the origin of Nusantara did not have correlation with India, this term became popular among figures of Indonesia independent movement among
Before Nusantara was popular in era of Indonesia independence struggle, a Dutch poet Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887) with pen name Multatuli called Indonesia as Insulinde (Hindia Archipelago) (INsula is island in latin) in his nook Max Havelaar in 1860, and later popularized by Prof PJ Veth. Multatuli used Insulinde as he was fed up of Nederlandsch Indie name given by Dutch. He described that Indonesia archipelago was like belt that circled ewuator with diamonds and emerald.
In the past European considered Asia was only Arab, Persia, India and China. And in their opinion, the land range from Persia to China was Hindia, the South Asia peninsula was called as Forth Hindia and South East Asia was called as Back Hindia, Indonesia archipelago was called as Hindia archipelago (Indische Archipel, Indian Archipelago, Archipel Indian), and the formal name was Indie (Hindia Belanda).
Hindia term was created by Herodotus (484-525BC), a Greek historian. Hindia was used for archipelago by Polemeus (100-178) a geographer, and Hindia was more popular after Portugese led by Vasco da Gama discovered Indus river.
In 1847, published annual magazine in Singapore ‘Journal of Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia (JIAEA), managed by James Richardson Logan (1819-1869) graduated from Edinburg (England). In 1849, George Samuel Windsor Earl (1813-1865) joined the Magazine. Earl wrote in his article in JIAEA Vol 4, in 1850 that its time for Malay society to have distinctive name as Hindia was not suitable and caused confusion with India. In an article “Embracing Enquiries Into The Continental Relations of the Indo-pacific Islanders”, Earl called Western East Indies who were from Proto-Melayu (Old Melayu) and Neutero-Melayu (Young Melayu) as Idunedians and Earl picked name of Melayunesia as the name of Indonesia area, as Malay language was used here.
James Richardson Logan did not agree with Earl, andhe wrote an article in JIAEA Vol 4 ‘The Ethnology of The Indian Archipelago’ and discussed about the name of Indonesia archipelago that was called as Indian Archipelago by Dutch and European, that according to Logan was too long and confusing. Through his writing for the first time Logan suggested term of Indonesia as it was shorter synonym for the Indian Island or The Indian Archipelago. Later Logan actively wrote using Indonesia ter in his writings that many experts in Ethnology and Geography followed Logan and used Indonesia to refer the archipelago. Logan took Indonesia that was not used by Earl, Indunesia and change the U with O for ease of articulation and Indonesia is used until today. Earl was not so fond of Indonesia term as Indunesia(Indonesia archipelago) also refers to Ceylon (Srilanka) and Maldives.
Earl proposed two optional names Indonesia or Melayunesia “…..the in habitants of the Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago Would become respectively Indonesia or Malayunesians” in JIAEA magazine Vol 4 1850 in an article “On the leading characteristict of the Papuan, Australian and malay-polynesian nations”
A professor of Ethnology of Berlin University Adolf Bastian popularized Indonesia name and published a book ‘Indonesia Ordeer Die Inseln Des Malaysichien Archipel’ consisted of 5 volumes. This book discussed his research when he explored Indonesia in 1864-1880. Through this book, Indonesia was more popular among experts and created an opinion that Adolf Bastian was the creator of Indonesia term. Prof Van Vollen Hoven (1917) also popularized Indonesia to replace Indisch (India) and replaced Inlander (local Indonesian) with Indonesier (Indonesian)
Indonesia term was recognized in social science since 1850-1884 and later Indonesia movement leaders used Indonesia for political reason. Indonesia became the new identity of the society to reach Independence and Dutch govt was suspicious with Indonesia term.
First Indonesian used Indonesia term was KI Hajar Dewantara or Suwardi Suryaningrat when he was exiled to Holland in 1913. When he was in Holland, he found a press bureau “Indonesische Pers Bereau’, that made Indonesia was more popular among students and experts in Rotterdam.
A Student from Handels Hooge School(Economic college), Moch Hatta proposed East Indies students organization in Holland to be changed from Indische Vereeniging built in 1908 to Indonesische Vereeniging. Students’ magazine formerly namedas Hindia Poetra replaced with Indonesia Merdeka. Moch Hatta was initiated to change the organization name and magazine with Indonesia term was written in Indonesia Merdeka magazine. He emphasized that “……Indonesia independence is impossible to be called as Hindia Belanda nor only Hindia. As this can create mistaken with real India, for us Indonesia stated a political goal as this symbolizes goal of a country in the future and to reach this each of Indonesia will thrive with all capabilities in the country’
In Indonesia, organizations were named in Indonesia such as:
1. Indonesische Studie Club in 1924 found by Dr Soetomo
2. Partai Komunis Indonesia (Indonesia Communist Party) in1924
3. INDONESISCHE PANVINDERIJ (NATIPIJ) in 1924, scout organization found by Jong Islami Ten Bond.
Indonesia term was getting more popular inside the country in various movement led by National leaders, after INDONESIA was officially annonced as the country name, nationality and language in Sumpah Pemuda or Youngsters Vow in 28 October 1928.
In August 1939, 3 members of Volksraad (East Indies Parliament) Muhammad Husni Thamrin, , Wiwoho Purbohadidjodjo, and Sutardjo Karto Hadi Kusumo proposed a motion to Nedetlandsch-Indies Government for Indonesia as official name replacing Nederlandsch Indie but the Dutch rejected this. Various efforts were done to change Nederlandsch Indie to Indonesia, and Inboorling, Inlande, Inheeimsche with Indonesier but they failed for juridicreasons from Dutch. Indonesiers was only allowed used officially in letters. And Nederlandsch Indie term was gone after the advent of Japanese in 8 March 1942 and changed to To-Indo (East India). Allies destroyed Japan and in 17 August 1945 Indonesia proclaimed Independence and in 18 August Republic Indonesia was born.