Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Happy Birthday Indonesia
This declaration started a five year armed-resistance and diplomatic efforts by the new Republic of Indonesia against the Netherlands who wanted to recapture their East Indies colony from the Japanese, until they finally recognized Indonesia's independence in 1949.
The celebration of Independence Day is a very big event for the people of Indonesia, and it is a public holiday. Its preparations start weeks before the 17th of August. All public buildings are decorated with large banners and lighted designs. Fences around the government offices are draped in red and white streamers. The malls are all decorated in red and white and hold Independence Day sales for the people. Lots of money is spend by the central and regional governments to create a unique series of red and white lighted decorations.
The President, Vice President, Cabinet Ministers, Speaker of the House of Representatives, other officials of the state, and other VIPs including ambassadors of foreign countries, attend the raising of the Red and White flag at the State Palace in Jakarta in the morning.
Public places glitters in red and white and the all over one can see and hear the words "Happy Birthday Indonesia" and "Long Live Indonesia"
Many games are played during the celebration, the most popular being " Panjat Pinang " i.e palm trunk greased with a mixture of clay and oil is erected in a public place. Various prizes like Bikes, TVs etc. are hung at the top and many people would climb over each other struggling to get those prizes.
At the end of the day, many people failed to get the prizes but they are all happy and smiling after the event. Even the crowd are happy watching the event.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia