Saturday, August 17, 2013

Indonesian Independence Day!

Hello Readers,

     This Saturday is Indonesia's Independence Day, so here's a little information about it.  On August 17, 1945, the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence was read, marking the beginning of resistance against the Netherlands.  The Netherlands acknowledged Indonesia's independence in 1949, after nearly five years of armed and diplomatic resistance by the Indonesian National Revolution.  Since then, Indonesia celebrates their Independence Day every year on August 17.
     On August 17, the festivities will begin with the President raising the Indonesian flag at the National Palace.  It's a solemn event, attended by cabinet members, high-ranking military, and families of the current and preceding president, and invited guests.  The raising of the flag is also televised live so the entire nation can witness.                                                                                   Not unlike America's Fourth of July, Independence Day is a huge holiday for the Indonesian people.  Preparations begin weeks in advance with buildings being decorated with banners and lights.  Government offices are draped in red and white streamers, while shopping malls hang red and white decorations while holding sales in anticipation of the holiday.                              
      After the ceremonies, the festivities begin.  The towns are covered in red and white decorations, and "Dirgahayu RI" ("Long Live Indonesia") is written everywhere.  Eating competitions, cooking competitions, races, and games fill the day.  Panjat Pinang is the most popular event of the day: Prizes are hung on the branches of a large palm, and the palm trunk is greased with clay and oil.  Participants attempt to climb the tree to reach the prizes.  While messy, it's a great time for the participants and the spectators.                                                    
     We encourage all of you to celebrate Indonesian Independence!  What better way to celebrate than with an Indonesian Thousand Layer Cake?

Dirgahayu RI!