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Indonesian Christmas Vocabulary Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Indonesia doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think of countries that celebrate Christmas, as 85% of the population are Muslim. That being said, about 10% are Christians, which amounts to about 20 million people. Plenty of people go to mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and it’s not hard to find Christmas trees or carols in shopping malls all across the archipelago nation. The government even throws an annual Christmas celebration and broadcasts it on TV. Other popular Christmas movies such as “Home Alone” are also commonly shown this month.

Image by faungg's photo from www.flickr.com

Image by faungg’s photo from www.flickr.com

To help get you in the holiday spirit by talking about this holiday in Indonesian, here are 20 useful Christmas vocabulary words:

Malam Natal – Christmas Eve

Hari Natal – Christmas

Selamat Natal – Merry Christmas

pohon Natal – Christmas tree

hiasan – decoration

angkaian bunga bundar – wreath

Kristen – Christian

Yesus Kristus – Jesus Christ

gereja – church

misa tengah malam – midnight mass

Sinterkals – Santa Claus

peri – elf

kereta luncur – sleigh

rusa kutub – eindeer

hadiah – gift/present

kaus kaki – stocking

lagu-lagu Natal – Christmas carols

rumah gingerbread – gingerbread house

per men tongkat – candy cane

manusia salju – snowman

Practice your listening skills by watching this Christmas special from last year:

If that’s too much, then just watch this playlist of Christmas carols in Indonesian. The videos are set up like karaoke so you can even follow along and try to sing in Indonesian!

From all of us here at Transparent Language, we’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or should we say Selamat Natal!


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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.