Indonesian Independence Day was celebrated last week on the August 17th. In Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta and other large cities throughout the archipelago, this historically significant day is celebrated with elaborate parades including marching bands and floats festooned with Indonesia’s red-and-white flag. Considering the growing number of Indonesian friends we have at Monash, of course we needed to throw a celebration for them as well to make them feel at home!
The event started slightly later at around 6pm but we didn’t mind waiting as we were unfolding deeper layers of excitement. It started with an opening speech by the club’s president. The national anthem of Indonesia was sang enthusiastically and much to our surprise, it really did feel like we were in Indonesia for a second.
Back in Indonesia during Independence Day Celebration, flag-raising ceremonies dominate the day, while performers sing the national anthem of Indonesia. Friends and families bond over activities and games and show their culinary chops in cooking competitions featuring dishes from a myriad of cultures.
We were lucky to have experienced the authentic way of celebrating the day as the team managed to pull off a similar celebration sans the flag raising ceremony. A couple of games were played and the first game was called Lomba Makan Kerupuk otherwise better known as the crackers eating competition. Each participant was given a cracker each that was hanging above them and they had to jump and reach for it. The first to eat it entirely wins.
The second game was Lomba Memasukan Pensil Kedalam Botol and it was as easy as racing to insert the pencil into the bottle and it was played in a team of 2 with each participant standing in one line.
The best part of the event was that there was food everywhere!! Everywhere from the guest tables to the registration booth! We were so happy to be a part of the Indonesian Independence Day Celebration. Thank you for having us and Happy Independence Day, Indonesia!
Words by Jemima Darma Raj & Hemala Kanagarethinam Paul
Photos by Celine Yen Qing Chua, Renee Bong Xi Ern & Khosyi Musyaffa Muhammad