Medan (mādänˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 1,730,052), capital of North Sumatra prov., NE Sumatra, Indonesia, on the Deli River, c.15 mi (25 km) from its mouth, where the city's port (Belawan) is situated. The largest city in Sumatra and the fourth largest in Indonesia, Medan is the marketing, commercial, and transportation center of a rich agricultural area containing great tobacco, rubber, and palm oil estates. Coffee and tea are also grown in the vicinity. Industries include the production of machinery and tile, and automobile assembly. Medan, gateway to the beautiful Lake Toba region, is a tourist center, with an international airport; attractions include the Great Mosque (the largest in Sumatra) and the Palace of the Sultan of Deli. The city is the seat of the Univ. of North Sumatra and the Islamic Univ. of North Sumatra. In 1994 the city was the site of labor riots that were rooted in long-standing ethnically based tensions between Chinese business owners and Malay workers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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