East Java (Indonesian: Jawa Timur) is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and also includes neighboring Madura and Bawean islands. The administrative center of the province is located in Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia and a major industrial center and port.
East Java also hosts a significant population of other ethnic groups, such as Chinese, Indians, and Arabs. In addition to the national language, Indonesian, they also speak Javanese. The major religion in East Java is Islam. This comes from earlier history, when Islam spread from northern cities in Java where many traders from Gujarat, India visited, bringing Islam. The eastern part of East Java, from Surabaya to Pasuruan, then following various cities along the coast line, and turning back in Banyuwangi to Jember, is well known as the "horseshoe area" in context with earlier Muslim communities living there.
East Java's history dates back to the famous ancient kingdoms of Kediri and Singhasari, which is now a city near Malang. The Majapahit dynasty centered at Trowulan, Mojokerto East Java and around East Java, began the foundations of an empire that was to dominate the entire Indonesian archipelago, the Malay Peninsula and part of the Philippines for hundreds of years. This was the beginning of profitable trade relations with China, Cambodia, Siam, Burma and Vietnam. As power in Central Java declined in the 10th century, powerful kingdoms rose in East Java to fill the power vacuum. During the reign of King Erlangga both East Java and Bali enjoyed lucrative trade with the surrounding islands, and an artistic and intellectual renaissance. Parts of the Mahabarata epic were translated and re-interpreted to conform to an East Javanese philosophy and view of life, and it was from this era that East Java inherited much of its temple art. The Eastern Java region was the part of the Mataram kingdom during its peak.
East Java offers many insights into Indonesia's rich cultures and crafts as diverse as the people themselves. East Java is a true melting pot of the country for many ethnic groups. It is understandable that it is cause of its vast area and different kinds of condition between one place and another. The characteristics of its cultural art is also different. Various kinds of the existing culture have their own particular characteristics and certain functions either those in the territory of East Java or in other territories outside East Java.
The dance known as Reog is a very spectacular dance with several dancers wearing bright colorful costumes accompanied by merry gamelan music.
The island of Madura, famous for its bull races (karapan sapi), is also part of the province and has its own traditions, culture and language.
Malang is famous for its dances. Mask dance (tari topeng) has been known by Malang society and this dance is tradition which cannot be left off hand.
Horse trance dancing, or "kuda lumping" in Indonesian, is currently the most popular style of folk art being performed regularly in East Java.