Events  Indonesia Independence Day
17/08/201400:00 TV5MONDE
Indonesia Independence Day, known locally as Hari Merdeka, is observed annually on August 17 to celebrate their declaration of independence from Dutch colonization in 1945.
 
Using both diplomacy and revolutionary fighters, Indonesia was finally granted independence in 1949. Amazingly, it wasn't until 2005 that the Dutch finally accepted the date for Indonesia Independence Day as August 17, 1945!

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What to Expect on Indonesia Independence Day
 
Indonesian Independence Day is observed from Jakarta to the smallest towns and villages across the 17,000 islands in the archipelago. Vibrant parades, formal military processions, and lots of patriotic flag ceremonies take place across the country. Schools begin training weeks in advance with marching practice for military-like processions that later clog all the main streets. Special sales and celebrations take place in shopping malls and markets.

The President of Indonesia delivers his State of the Nation Address on August 16. Each village and neighborhood holds their own outdoor music, games, eating contests, and creates a festive atmosphere for the occasion.
 
Transportation can slow to a halt during Indonesian Independence Day -- plan ahead and find a place to enjoy the festivities!

The Proclamation of Independence
 
The Indonesian Proclamation of Independence was read in Jakarta at the private home of Sukarno Sosrodihardjo -- the future president -- on the morning of August 17, 1945, in front of a crowd of around 500 people.
 
Unlike the American Declaration of Independence which consisted of over 1,000 words and contained 56 signatures, the 45-word (in English) Indonesian proclamation was literally drafted the night before and contained only two signatures chosen to represent the future nation: Sukarno, the new president, and Mohammad Hatta, the new vice president.
 
The Proclamation of Independence was broadcast secretly across the archipelago and an English version was sent overseas.
 
The actual text of the proclamation is short and to the point:
 
WE THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA HEREBY DECLARE THE INDEPENDENCE OF INDONESIA. MATTERS WHICH CONCERN THE TRANSFER OF POWER AND OTHER THINGS WILL BE EXECUTED BY CAREFUL MEANS AND IN THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME.

DJAKARTA, 17 AUGUST 1945 IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF INDONESIA.


Panjat Pinang Games
 
Perhaps one of the most messy and entertaining parts of Indonesian Independence Day is observing an old tradition known as panjat pinang. A heavily greased pole is erected in the main square of towns and villages; various prizes are placed on top just out of reach. Contestants push, slip, and slide up the pole in an effort to grab a prize. What starts as a vicious competition usually turns into a display of teamwork as people realize just how difficult the seemingly simple climb really is.
 
Prizes in small villages can be simple household items such as brooms and buckets, while some televised events have vouchers for new TVs and even cars at the top!
 
While generally good fun for all, panjat pinang is considered controversial by some because it began as a way for Dutch colonists to enjoy a laugh at the expense of locals.
 
 
 
(Source: About Travel)
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