Independence Day (Indonesia)

National holiday in Indonesia commemorating the proclamation of Indonesia's independence

Independence Day of Indonesia
Hari Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia
"HUT RI"
Upacara Bendera.jpg
The annual independence day national flag hoisting ceremony held in Merdeka Palace 22, Jakarta
Official nameHari Ulang Tahun Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia
(shortened HUT RI)
Observed byIndonesians
TypeNational
SignificanceMarks the proclamation of independence of Indonesia
Date17 August
Next time17 August 2023 (2023-08-17)
FrequencyAnnual

The Independence Day of Indonesia (In Indonesian formally known as Hari Ulang Tahun Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia shortened "HUT RI", or simply Hari Kemerdekaan, and colloquially referred by the people as Tujuhbelasan, meaning "the Seventeenth") is a national holiday in Indonesia commemorating the anniversary of Indonesia's proclamation of independence on 17 August 1945.[1] It was made a national holiday by government decree in 1946.[2]

Ceremonies and festivities are held throughout the country to celebrate this national day, including the flag hoisting ceremony conducted nation-wide and at Indonesian diplomatic installations abroad, local community competitions, with patriotic and cultural parades.[3] Discounts are offered by participating shopping centres or businesses.[4] On 16 August or the last Friday prior to 17 August, the president of Indonesia addresses the nation at the People's Consultative Assembly.[5]

On 17 August at 10:00 Western Indonesian Time all Indonesian national television networks traditionally broadcast the National Independence Day Ceremony live from the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta. Earlier that day, cities and regencies throughout Indonesia conduct the flag hoisting ceremony at their respective city halls. Streets, public places and public transportation are filled with nationalistic and patriotic decorations and art dominating with the red and white color symbolizing the national flag of Indonesia throughout the month of August.[6]

The obligation to hoist the national flag

According to the Constitution of Indonesia Act Number 24 Year 2009 concerning the National Flag, National Language, State Symbols, and National Anthem Article 7 paragraph 3, it obliges every citizen of Indonesia to fly the national flag in front of their houses as well as on public institutions, office buildings, educational institutions, and on private and public transportation facilities throughout the country, as well as on Indonesian diplomatic offices abroad, on the 17 August.[7] Nowadays, the government requests the public to fly the national flag for a whole month in August (starting from the 1st till the 31st) to commemorate the Independence Day of the country.[8]

Independence day pennant flags known locally as Umbul-umbul

Despite the obligation to raise the national flag, in August, community members also raise red and white pennant flags (Umbul-umbul) and banners along streets and alleys and also decorate the community with shades of red and white as a representation of the colors of the national flag to celebrate and welcome the independence day, a custom which has been in practice for many years.

Flag hoisting ceremony

A flag hoisting ceremony held in the city hall of South Tangerang City on the 17th of August to commemorate independence day
A flag hoisting ceremony held in a school in Indonesia commemorating the Independence Day

On the morning of 17 August, to commemorate Independence Day, the national Flag Hoisting Ceremony takes place at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta hosted by the president of Indonesia accompanied by the vice-president to reenact the declaration of independence proclaimed by President Sukarno in 1945, held at 10.00 AM. It is broadcast nationwide by state and private television and radio stations, and is broadcast live on YouTube by the State Secretariat and a number of Indonesian television networks.[9]

National level

Starting at 09.00 AM Western Indonesian Time, the national independence day ceremony at Merdeka Palace is broadcast live nationally. The ceremony is attended by distinguished guests starting from ambassadors and foreign defense attaches, former Indonesian presidents and vice-presidents, ministers with other government officials, prominent state figures, cultural figures including artists and celebrities, veterans, and other selected invitees from the general public.

The ceremony starts as the tri-services and police Guard of honour enters the palace forecourt at about 9.30 AM to the tune of a military band. The guards of honour are provided by the headquarters battalions of the National Armed Forces, all composed of military policemen and women, with the HQ Detachment of the National Police. As the president and vice-president enters the palace, the Ceremony Commander (Komandan Upacara), usually a colonel, leads the parade in the general salute to the president which is then followed by the remembrance of the proclamation of independence precisely at 10.00 AM accompanied by a 17-gun salute fired from the National Monument (Monas) by the Indonesian Army 7th Field Artillery Battalion. Then, it is followed by the reading of the proclamation of Independence by the speaker of the People's Representative Council, a moment of silence known as Mengheningkan Cipta to remember those who have fallen in duty and then followed by a national prayer read by the Minister of Religious Affairs.

After the national prayer, the core event of the ceremony takes place as the National Flag Hoisting Troop (composed of high school students representing every province) marches into the main palace forecourt to raise the national flag with precision and discipline in drill. As they enter the complex, the national flag is presented to the color company of students and personnel of the Presidential Security Force, and they afterwards march to the flagpole for the raising of the national flag which is later accompanied by the playing of the national anthem Indonesia Raya. After the national flag is raised, a fly-past is conducted by the Indonesian Air Force fighter aicraft right above the Merdeka Palace followed by a joint service national flag flypast thru helicopters of the Armed Forces and Police (introduced in the 2021 parade inspired by the Singapore National Day Parade) and it is followed by an orchestral and musical performance by the Indonesian national orchestra the Gita Bahana Nusantara (under the Directorate of Films, Music, and Media Affairs) presenting Indonesian patriotic and traditional songs. The ceremony then is concluded by a general salute to the president and the honour guards exit the palace forecourt at noon.

At 5 PM Western Indonesian Time, the National Flag Lowering Ceremony takes place at Merdeka Palace hosted by the president and vice-president of Indonesia. The ceremony is usually preceded by marching band, musical and traditional dance performances usually broadcast live since 4 PM. The lowering of the flag is conducted by the second group of the National Flag Hoisting Troop and the national flag is given back to the president by the woman flag carrier after being raised at the palace forecourt at the final measures of the National Anthem.

Regional level

The independence day commemoration ceremony taking place at Banjarbaru City, South Kalimantan

On 17 August, the national flag hoisting and lowering ceremonies are also conducted in every city and regency throughout the country with the local Mayor or Regent as the guest of honor (for the ceremony conducted at the city or regency level), and the provincial governor as the guest of honor (for the ceremony conducted at the provincial capital city level). The flag hoisting ceremony takes place earlier in the morning, which is at 7 AM local time for the regional level before the national level at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta commences. The flag-lowering ceremony is conducted at about 5 PM local time. Many of these regional ceremonies are also live streamed.

International level

On 17 August, Indonesian embassies and diplomatic offices around the world conduct the Flag Hoisting (in the morning) and the Flag Lowering Ceremony (at the afternoon) local time. After the flag hoisting ceremony, Indonesian embassies abroad usually also held some festivities, including cultural performances, music show, singing contests, competitions, and organising tent bazaar; selling Indonesian foods, handycrafts, souvenirs and various products. During this event, bazaar and festivities usually invites Indonesian expatriates and also foreign Indonesian culture enthusiasts.

Other independence day ceremonies

Other than the national and regional flag hoisting ceremonies conducted by the government, schools, private sectors, offices, corporations, and other organizations throughout the country also conducts the flag hoisting ceremony to commemorate independence day. It is usually done a couple of days after 17 August while some organizations or institutions conduct it on 17 August.

Independence day festivities

The Gapura is an archway of an entrance to a residential area in Indonesia. Members of the community usually decorate it to welcome and celebrate the independence day
Panjat Pinang, a popular independence day game in Indonesia

Independence Day is regarded as an important public holiday in Indonesia, and to celebrate independence day, it is filled with joyful community competitions organized by localities throughout the country (locally known as lomba tujuhbelasan meaning "independence day competitions"). After witnessing the National Flag Hoisting ceremony in the morning, in the afternoon people usually participate in such activities. Some areas organize these competitions a couple of days or weeks after 17 August, usually organizing it on a weekend.

Other community competitions are also organized such as this flag race for children
Children are participating in some competition

Traditional games and competitions usually held to commemorate independence day are:

  • Krupuk-eating race, krupuks are hanged on a thread and competitors must race to eat them with their hands behind their backs.
  • Panjat pinang, it is a famous independence day game usually conducted at villages or communities throughout the country. The game is done by using a greased pole and putting precious prizes on top, and participants must climb the pole to get the prizes.
  • Community Marching, known locally as Gerak Jalan is done where participants wear unique uniforms and march in a synchronized manner. This is done to compete between members of a neighborhood and is usually participated by adults.[10]
  • Bicycling carnival, known locally as Sepeda hias is participated by children riding their bicycles decorated in the Independence Day theme with red and white and the winner would be announced for the best decorated bicycle.[11]
  • Marble in spoon race, usually for children. A marble is placed in a spoon that is held in the competitor's mouth. Competitors must balance the marble while walking along the line and race towards the finish line.
  • Sack race
  • Bottle fishing, a nail is tied with a thread that's tied on the waist and hanged from the competitor's behind. Competitors must place the nail bait into the bottle and try to pull or "fish" the bottle.
  • Wooden clog race
  • Musical chairs
  • Tug of war
  • Coin biting
  • Pillow fight
  • Hitting the kendi terracotta jar blindfolded, similar to a piñata
  • Balloon bursting
  • Balloon dance
  • Orange dance
  • Searching for coins in flour
  • Inserting thread into needle race
  • Colouring competition
  • Flag race, usually for children. Several small flags are placed in a container in one side and an empty container is placed on the other side. Each kids must race to place these flags into the empty container one by one.
  • Catching the eel race
  • Sarong football or daster football, a football competition among men, made more difficult by wearing sarong or daster (woman casual home dress, usually worn by moms).

Various sports competitions are also held such as soccer, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, etc.

Independence day carnivals

Independence parade carnival in Bantul, Special Region of Yogyakarta

On Independence Day, parades or carnivals take place on streets in cities and villages across the nation. They might take the form of a modest carnival, organized by local people, where children and sometimes adults wear patriotic clothes, or  traditional ethnic costumes. Some larger parades might be held and organized by provincial, regency, or municipal governments, staged in main thoroughfares of cities.

Some places may hold independence day carnivals not precisely on the 17 August, but usually on a Saturday or Sunday following the 17th. The parade and carnival usually feature marching bands, decorative floats, patriotic parades and cultural carnivals featuring traditional costumes of various ethnic groups of Indonesia.
They usually start in Merdeka Square by the National Monument, parading through capital main avenues; Thamrin and Sudirman avenues, passing Selamat Datang Monument and the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex.

In recent years however, the main national carnival has not been staged in the national capital, but in provinces with regional cities taking turns hosting this national event. In 2017, for example, the national independence carnival was staged in Bandung, West Java.[12]

Year Date Location Theme
2015 22 August Pontianak Hutan
(Forest)
2016 21 August Danau Toba Air
(Water)
2017 26 August Bandung[13] Pegunungan dan Kota
(Mountain and City)
2018 not held
2019 18 August Jakarta[14]

Gallery

Festivities and activities celebrating the Independence Day of Indonesia:

  • A Panjat Pinang game taking place at a neighborhood on independence day

    A Panjat Pinang game taking place at a neighborhood on independence day

  • A children's game commemorating independence day

    A children's game commemorating independence day

  • A tug of war by men commemorating independence day

    A tug of war by men commemorating independence day

  • Sack race, a popular independence day game conducted by children

    Sack race, a popular independence day game conducted by children

  • A volleyball competition commemorating independence day

    A volleyball competition commemorating independence day

  • A Caci war dance from Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara taking place commemorating independence day

    A Caci war dance from Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara taking place commemorating independence day

  • Another popular adult independence day competition known as Gerak Jalan (Marching) competition

    Another popular adult independence day competition known as Gerak Jalan (Marching) competition

  • The popular children's cracker eating competition while their hands being tied to the back

    The popular children's cracker eating competition while their hands being tied to the back

  • A roadside painting to commemorate the independence day, taken in 1992

    A roadside painting to commemorate the independence day, taken in 1992

  • A road-side painting in Jakarta celebrating and commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Indonesia in 1985

    A road-side painting in Jakarta celebrating and commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Indonesia in 1985

Themes

Independence Day themes are announced by the central government to accompany the annual independence day which alternately changes every year.

Year Logo Theme Translation
2005 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 1945, Kita Perkokoh Persatuan Dan Kebersamaan Menuju Indonesia yang Aman, Adil, Demokratis, dan Sejahtera With the Spirit of the 1945 Proclamation, We Strengthen Unity and Togetherness Towards a Safe, Fair, Democratic, and Prosperous Indonesia.
2006 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Tingkatkan Rasa Kebangsaan dan Kebersamaan untuk Membangun Indonesia yang Bersatu, Aman, Adil, Demokratis, dan Sejahtera. With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Increase the Sense of Nationalism and Togetherness to Build a Unified, Safe, Fair, Democratic, and Prosperous Indonesia.
2007 Dengan Semangat Persatuan dan Etos Kerja, Kita Percepat Pertumbuhan Ekonomi dan Penanggulangan Kemiskinan untuk Mewujudkan Keadilan dan Kesejahteraan Bagi Rakyat Indonesia. With the Spirit of Unity and Work Ethics, We Accelerate Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction to Materialize the Justice and Prosperity for the Indonesian People
2008 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Lanjutkan Pembangunan Ekonomi Menuju Peningkatan Kesejahteraan Rakyat, serta Kita Perkuat Ketahanan Nasional Menghadapi Tantangan Global With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Resume Economic Development Towards the Enhancement of People's Welfare, and We Strengthen National Resilience in Facing Global Challenges.
2009 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Tingkatkan Kedewasaan Kehidupan Berpolitik dan Berdemokrasi serta Percepatan Pemulihan Ekonomi Nasional Menuju Indonesia yang Bersatu, Aman, Adil, Demokratis, dan Sejahtera. With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Increase Maturity in Political and Democratic Lives and Acceleration of National Economic Recovery Towards a Unified, Safe, Fair, Democratic, and Prosperous Indonesia.
2010 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Sukseskan Reformasi Gelombang Kedua, untuk Terwujudnya Kehidupan Berbangsa yang Makin Sejahtera, Makin Demokratis, dan Makin Berkeadilan. With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Succeeds the Second Wave of Reformation, to Materialize a More Prosperous, More Democratic, and More Equitable National Life.
2011 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Tingkatkan Kesadaran Hidup dalam ke-Bhinneka-an untuk Kokohkan Persatuan NKRI, Kita Sukseskan Kepemimpinan Indonesia dalam Forum ASEAN untuk Kokohkan Solidaritas ASEAN. With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Enhance Life Awareness in the Diversity to Strengthen the Unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, We Succeed Indonesia's Leadership in the ASEAN Forum to Strengthen ASEAN Solidarity.
2012 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Bekerja Keras untuk Kemajuan Bersama, Kita Tingkatkan Pemerataan Hasil-hasil Pembangunan untuk Keadilan Sosial Bagi Seluruh Rakyat Indonesia. With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Work Hard for Common Progress, We Improve Equitable Development Results for Social Justice for all of Indonesian People
2013 Mari Kita Jaga Stabilitas Politik dan Pertumbuhan Ekonomi Kita Guna Meningkatkan Kesejahteraan Rakyat Let's Keep Our Political Stability and Economic Growth to Improve People's Welfare
2014 Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Dukung Suksesi Kepemimpinan Nasional Hasil Pemilu 2014 Demi Kelanjutan Pembangunan Menuju Indonesia yang Makin Maju dan Sejahtera With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Support the Succession of National Leadership (from the) Results of the 2014 Election for the Continuation of Development Towards a More Advanced and Prosperous Indonesia
2015 Ayo Kerja Let's Work[15]
2016 Logo Dirgahayu 71 RI.jpg Kerja Nyata Real Work[15]
2017 72 RI 2017.png Kerja Bersama Working Together[15]
2018 73 RI 2018.png Kerja Kita Prestasi Bangsa Our Work, Achievement of the Nation[15]
2019 Logo-resmi-HUT-RI-ke-74.png SDM Unggul, Indonesia Maju
formerly Menuju Indonesia Unggul
Superior Human Resources, an Advanced Indonesia
formerly Towards a Superior Indonesia[16]
2020 Logo HUT ke-75 Kemerdekaan RI.png Indonesia Maju Indonesia Advances[17]
2021 76 RI 2021.png Indonesia Tangguh, Indonesia Tumbuh Tough Indonesia, Growing Indonesia[18]
2022 77 RI 2022.png Pulih Lebih Cepat, Bangkit Lebih Kuat Recover Faster, Rise Stronger

See also

  • flagIndonesia portal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Indonesian Independence Day.

References

  1. ^ "Independence Day 2019 and 2020". PublicHolidays.co.id. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ Raliby, Osman (1953). Documenta Historica: Sedjarah Dokumenter Dari Pertumbuhan dan Perdjuangan Negara Republik Indonesia [Historical Documentation: Documentary History of the Growth and Struggle of the Republic of Indonesia] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Bulain-Bintag. pp. 621–622.
  3. ^ Callistasia Anggun Wijaya (17 August 2016). "Jakartans celebrate Independence Day with parade". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Big discounts offered to commemorate Independence Day". The Jakarta Post. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  5. ^ Petir Garda Bhwana (16 August 2021). "President Jokowi's MPR Speech Acknowledges Covid-19 Exhaustion". Tempo.co.
  6. ^ "Sambut HUT RI ke-76, Jalanan Ibu Kota Dihiasi Umbul-Umbul Merah Putih" (in Indonesian). inews.id. 7 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Merah Putih Wajib Dikibarkan Di Setiap Rumah pada Hari Kemerdekaan". hukumonline.com (in Indonesian). 16 August 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Peringatan HUT ke-76 RI, Pemerintah Imbau Pasang Bendera Merah Putih 1–31 Agustus". August 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  9. ^ Watch: The National Independence Day Commemoration Ceremony at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta 2016 – Youtube.com
  10. ^ Watch: a Community Marching taking place to celebrate independence day in Indonesia
  11. ^ Watch: a Bicycling carnival taking place to celebrate independence day in Indonesia
  12. ^ DH, Agung. "Karnaval Kemerdekaan Pesona Parahyangan Digelar 26 Agustus". tirto.id (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Siang Ini Karnaval Kemerdekaan Digelar di Bandung". KOMPAS.com (in Indonesian). 26 August 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Kementerian Pariwisata RI | Karnaval Kemerdekaan/Grand Karnaval Indonesia" (in Indonesian). Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d Retia Kartika Dewi; Akbar Bhayu Tamtomo (23 July 2018). "Infografik: Logo Peringatan HUT RI di Era Pemerintahan Jokowi". Kompas.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  16. ^ Katriana (24 July 2019). "Tema HUT Ke-74 RI terinspirasi visi Presiden" (in Indonesian). Antara. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  17. ^ Nur Fitriatus Shalihah (21 January 2020). Sari Hardiyanto (ed.). "Bertema Indonesia Maju, Logo Peringatan HUT Ke-75 Kemerdekaan RI Resmi Diluncurkan". Kompas.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  18. ^ Fitria Chusna Farisa (17 June 2021). Damianty Meliana (ed.). "Pemerintah Umumkan Logo dan Tema HUT ke-76 RI". Kompas.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 19 June 2021.

External links

  • Youtube: The Full Coverage of the National Independence Day Ceremony at Merdeka Palace Jakarta 2019
  • Special Report – The 73rd Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia in 2018 on YouTube video
  • Youtube: Independence Day Carnival at Bandung, West Java in 2017
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