INDONESIA Celebrates INDEPENDENCE DAY throughout the Archipelago!

15 Aug 2017

Indonesia proclaimed her Independence on August 17th 1945, This year Indonesia celebrates its 72nd year of the Proclamation of Independence, Every year this historic event is celebrated with numerous exciting events throughout the nation that are aimed at enhancing Unity in Diversity.

1 | The Official Ceremony at Merdeka Palace

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The pinnacle celebration commemorating Independence Day is held on the morning of the 17th August at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, facing the National Monument. The highlight will be the moment when the Declaration of Independence is read out, that was first proclaimed by Soekarno-Hatta at precisely 10am. This is followed by the flag ceremony carried by the Paskibraka, a special flag bearing and flag raising group, recruited from among the brightest eligible students in high school throughout the country. They spent months in training and quarantine, to be able to perform flawlessly during the official ceremony in front of the President and honored guests. A similar ceremony is held at sunset to lower the Indonesian red-and-white flag.

2 | Pitching the Flag on Indonesia’s highest peaks and In the Deep Sea

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In the regions, similar ceremonies are held, In addition, rock climbing communities make it a challenge to raise the Indonesian flag on the highest peaks of the numerous Indonesian volcanoes and mountains, while diving communities will dive deep underwater into pitch the huge red-and white-flags in the Indonesian seas.

3 | Special Massive Discounts in Malls and Participative Events

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To add to the enjoyment, this year, the hundreds of malls throughout the country will offer special 72% Discounts on goods a few days prior and after 17th August. While throughout August, local and International Events are held throughout the country to include all and everyone in the festivities.

4 | Towns and Villages celebrate with Joyful Competitions

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Meanwhile each community in cities and villages will creatively form a committee to design competitions according to their demographics, and taking in the list of participant a few days earlier. The races vary from a seemingly simple, yet technical task of putting a pencil to a bottle, to a grueling balance match on a log. Everyone is in full spirit for a chance of winning many kind of prizes. From simple school supplies to the big screen LCD TV, some areas even have a motorcycle for the grand prize. Nevertheless, a few races remain mandatory in highlighting this anticipated annual red and white festivities, such as listed below:

Eating race: the round kerupuk

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Kerupuk, or crackers are Indonesia’s favorite snacks. It has so many varieties of shapes, color, and ingredients. It is lightweight and crunchy, and usually comes as addition for daily meals. The classic kerupukis white, 20 cm in diameter, spiraled perforated texture with 2 cm of thickness and made of savory flavored starch. The game goes like this: rows of kerupukwill be hung upon a thread of plastic rope, usually slightly higher than the participant’s heights. Participants should race to be the first to finish eating the dangling kerupuk. The twist? Everyone’s hands are tied behind their back! It’s so much fun watching kids compete, and jump to reach the continuously moving kerupuk to win the prize.

Balance race: the marble ball on a spoon

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Kelereng, or marble, is one of the common traditional toys found in rural areas of Indonesia. During Independence Day, Children and adults are lining up to participate in the Marble Race. A marble is put on a spoon, then participants must bite the spoon, and run to the finish line without dropping the ball, with hands behind their back. Sometime the race is done in a team relay, to win bigger prizes. Here, you will see everyone cheering for those trying to focus on balancing the marble on the spoon while remembering to keep on running in the right direction!

Strength race: the rope pull

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Locally known as tarik tambang, this game is played by two teams (2-10 person). Both teams are required to hold each end of the rope, with it’s center point marked with a flag. Lines are drawn in the center of the court, and when the referee shouts “start!”, the pulling race began to test each side’s strength and perseverance. Whomever crosses the center court lines, lose!

Speed race: gunny sack race

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The games involve the iconic karung goni, a durable gunny sack made of jute weave that farmers used to holds grains and potatoes. You have to jump as long and fast as you can to cross the finish lines in these sacks, covering your waist to feet area. It may sound easy, but maintaining speed and balance in a confined sack needs some practice to avoid tripping on the ground. This race is famously named “balap karung”.

Grit race: the pinang pole climb

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Last but surely not least, is the epic panjat pinang. A slender, straight and slippery pinang palm tree is the perfect pole for this race. On top of the pole, the prizes are hung to lure participants to reach and grab them. These days, the pinang is also strengthened by bamboo poles, in order to reach a sturdy stand at around 7 meter high. In a few areas, the poles are even put in the middle of calm river streams, usually only a meter shallow, just to add more challenge. First aid team are usually ready on the sidelines, just in case. This signature Independence Dayrace demands the grit, strength, skill, technique and determination in order to reach the ultimate grand prize.

In addition to those listed above, Independence Day is usually celebrated with various parades: kindergarten children on decorated bikes, marching bands, and costume party with traditional themes So stay tuned for so much attractions on August 17th, be ready with your camera, to capture every second of excitements! Merdeka!

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