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Indonesians Ranked First in the World's Shortest People

6 March 2023 11:04 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Based on the official worldpopulationreview website, the independent organization World Population Review (WPR) ranks Indonesians in first place with the shortest average height in the world for adults around 158 centimeters.

After Indonesia, the ranks of other countries with the shortest bodies are Bolivia with an average height of 159 centimeters, the Philippines is of 161 centimeters, Vietnam is of 162 centimeters, Cambodia is of 162.5 centimeters, and Nepal is of 163 centimeters. Then, what are the factors or reasons that make Indonesia the first ranked shortest people in the world?

A study from the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology on the human genome found that all Indonesians are immigrants. Indonesians are a mixture of various genetic groups of Homo Sapiens who migrated from Africa for tens of thousands of years via various routes to the Archipelago.

From this migration, the study states its relation to three types of genetics, namely the Y chromosome, the protein structure of nucleic acids in sperm cells (from father to son); mitochondrial DNA, genetics from mother to child; Autosomal DNA that is inherited from both parents, as reported by theconversation.

Then, based on 6,000 DNA samples from various locations in Indonesia, they were used to observe at the haplogroups and linguistics of Indonesian people. As many as 3,700 people with 35 ethnic groups from 6,000 samples are owners of mitochondrial DNA. This genetic owner was found from haplogroups M, F, Y2, and B in western Indonesia.

The people of this haplogroup are mainly speakers of Austronesian languages from Southeast Asia, Madagascar and the Pacific Islands. Meanwhile, in eastern Indonesia, haplogroups Q and P are found for Papuans and Nusa Tenggara people who are non-Austronesian speakers. In the Mentawai and Nias Islands, this haplogroup of peoples is joined by the native people of Formosa, speakers of an Austronesian language.

From these data, it can be seen that the research combines genetic factors with archeology and linguistics so this shows that the ancestors of the Indonesian people came in waves. The history of ancestral migration begins 72,000 years ago when a group of Homo Sapiens traveled south from the African continent to the Arabian peninsula towards India.

The descendants of this first wave of people arrived in what is now the Indonesian archipelago about 50,000 years ago. At that time the peninsulas of Malay, Kalimantan and Java were still connected as one continent under the name Sundaland and this first wave migrated to Australia.

Signs of the presence of Homo Sapiens can be seen through archaeological findings in Sarawak, Kalimantan region, as quoted by Sapiens: A Brief History of Humanity. Then the second migration, which occurred about 30,000 years ago, came from what is now Vietnam. Furthermore, the third migration came from Austronesian speakers from the Formosa area around 5,000-6,000 years ago.

In addition, the spread of Hinduism and the rise of Indian kingdoms around the 3rd to 13th centuries created various haplogroups that are found in small frequencies in Bali, Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra. There is also the spread of Islam from Arabs and the discovery of the O-M7 haplogroup which marks people from China.

With migration and the spread of religion, the genetics of Indonesian society is a mixture of different human groups. The genetic data from the research shows that the Indonesian archipelago was once the center of civilization. In this way, it is this genetic plus linguistic investigation that reveals the structure of the Indonesian population, including its influence on body posture, especially height.

RACHEL FARAHDIBA REGAR

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