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Riau facts for kids

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Other transcription(s)
 • Jawi رياو
An-Nur panorama.jpg
014 Candi Bungsu showing Extension (27349649179).jpg
Istana Kerajaan Siak (1).jpg
Pristine and Glazing Water of Santi River, Riau, Indonesia.jpg
Senja di Ulu Kasok Kampar.png
Riau Main Stadium.JPG
Jembatan Tengku Agung Sultanah Latifah.jpg
Anjung Seni Idrus Tintin.JPG
Kemeriahan cian cui.jpg
Gajah Sumatra.jpg
Tesso Nilo National Park banner.jpg
From top, right to left: An-Nur Mosque, Muara Takus, Siak Palace, Sunset view in Ulu Kasok and Green riverside of Kampar River, Riau Main Stadium, Tengku Agung Sultanah Latifah bridge, Idrus Tintin The Malay Art Building Center, Cian Cui Festival in Selatpanjang, Sumatran elephant in the Minas Elephant Sanctuary and Tesso Nilo National Park
Flag of Riau
Coat of arms of Riau
Coat of arms
Bumi Lancang Kuning (Land of the Glorious)
بومي برتواه نڬري برادت
Bumi Bertuah Negeri Beradat (Malay)
(meaning: Ground of Fortunes, Land of Customs)
Location of Riau in Indonesia
Location of Riau in Indonesia
Country  Indonesia
Established 10 August 1957
and largest city
 • Body Riau Regional Government
 • Total 87,023.66 km2 (33,600.02 sq mi)
Area rank 7th
10 m (30 ft)
Highest elevation
1,091 m (3,579 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total 6,657,900
 • Rank 10th
 • Density 76.5068/km2 (198.1517/sq mi)
 • Density rank 24th
Demonym(s) Riauan
Warga Riau (id)
Kaum Riau (ms)
 • Ethnic groups Malay (33.28%), Javanese (29.20%), Batak (12.55%), Minangkabau (12.29%), Chinese (4.13%), others (8.55%)
 • Religion Islam (89.27%), Protestantism (7.87%), Buddhism (1.84%), Roman Catholicism (1.06%), Confucianism (0.08%), Hinduism (0.07%)
 • Languages Indonesian (official)
Malay, Minangkabau, Hokkien (regional)
Time zone UTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
28xxx, 29xxx
Area codes (62)6xx, (62)76x
ISO 3166 code ID-RI
Vehicle sign BM
GRP per capita US$9,252.17
GRP rank 3rd
HDI Increase 0.724 (High)
HDI rank 6th (2018)

Riau is a province of Indonesia. It is on the central eastern coast of Sumatra. Its capital city is Pekanbaru. Riau is rich in natural resources. It has petroleum, natural gas, rubber, and palm oil.


Riau allegedly has been inhabited since the period between 10,000–40.000 BC. Between 5th to 12th century AD, traders and merchants from the Indian subcontinent visited the region to trade with the local people, spreading Hinduism and Buddhism in the process. Therefore, Riau was under the control of several Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms such as the Melayu Kingdom and the Srivijaya empire. In the 14th century, Muslim traders from India and the Arabian Peninsula visited the region, beginning the spread of Islam in the region. By the end of the 14th century, Hindu and Buddhist influence are waning, while Islam influence are growing, leading to the dissolution of many Hindu-Buddhist Kingdoms in Riau. Those kingdoms who still existed transformed itself into an Islamic Sultanates. By the 16th century, there are three great Malay sultanates in the region, namely the Siak Sri Indrapura Sultanate, Indragiri Sultanates and the Johor Sultanate, the latter which would split in the 19th century into the modern Johor Sultanate in the Malay peninsula and the Riau-Lingga Sultanate in the Riau Archipelago. However, by that time Europeans began frequenting the region. first the Portuguese, then the Dutch and the British.

In 1824, the Dutch and British agreed to divide the sphere of influence in the region, with the Malay peninsula falling under the British and Sumatra falling under the Dutch. Soon afterwards, the power of the sultanates in the region began to wane. The sultanates soon became protectorate of the Dutch and was reduced to nothing but a puppet states of the Dutch East Indies, with the Dutch having the authority to intervene in the everydays affair. This happens until 1942, when the Japanese invaded and occupied Riau during the Pacific theater of World War II. After three years of occupation which was marked by atrocities and war crimes, the Japanese surrendered in 1945. The Dutch soon returned to assume control of the region, but left in 1949 after the Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference, in which the Dutch agreed to transfer sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies to the Republic of Indonesia. Since then, Riau has been part of the unitary state of Indonesia.

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