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Today We Celebrate Our Independence Day  "Today We Celebrate Our Independence Day" is not a part of Prez Thomas J. Whitmoret (Bill Pulman) presidential famous speech on "Independence Day" movie. No way. This is for real. Today we celebrate our Independece Day. 

August 17th will be very special day for all people all across Indonesia. I am Indonesian.  I am proud to be Indonesian. I would like the whole world to know that today our lovely country, Indonesia, celebrate our 73th independence day.

Independence Day in Indonesia is a patriotic public holiday every 17 August to celebrate the foundation of Indonesia as an independent nation. It is also referred to as Hari Merdeka.

Prior to 1945, Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands. When Japan began to expand, Japanese leaders decided to support an independence movement in Indonesia to drive the Netherlands out of its sphere of influence.

Ir.Soekarno and Muhammad Hatta collaborated with the Japanese military to reclaim Indonesia from the Dutch government. When Japan surrendered to the United States in 1945, Sukarno and Hatta feared that their window of opportunity was closing.

On 17 August 1945, Sukarno announced the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence. In Indonesian, the proclamation is known as Proklamasi Kerdekaan Indonesia. Soon after the announcement of the proclamation, Sukarno and Hatta used Japanese weapons and equipment to revolt against the Dutch government in Indonesia.

The Dutch were initially driven out of Jakarta, but reinforcements ensured that fighting would continue until 1949. Weary of bloodshed, the United Nations blocked the Netherlands’ ambitions to go to war by calling for diplomatic measures. After ten weeks of tedious debates, Indonesia was granted its independence and Dutch forces withdrew from East Asia.

Red and White flag. They are the colors of the national flag. Officially the Sang Saka Merah Putih (meaning “lofty bi-color Red and White”). Photo Asep Haryono
Red and White flag. They are the colors of the national flag. Officially the Sang Saka Merah Putih (meaning “lofty bi-color Red and White”). Photo Asep Haryono

Why 17th of August?. What is the history behind the date?
The month of August is special for Indonesia. It was on the 17th of August 1945 that Indonesia proclaimed its independence. The whole month sees many celebrations, the peak of which is on the 17th, Independence Day. Here is what you need to know about Indonesia’s special day!

ndonesia was colonized by the Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Dutch starting in the 16th century. Then it was occupied by Japan in World War II. Independence was a hard won victory for Indonesia. Naturally, the celebration of Independence Day is an event filled with civic pride and nationalism.

Indonesia’s first President, Soekarno, along with his first vice-president Mohammad Hatta, proclaimed Indonesia’s independence on the 17th of August 1945. What followed was a 4-year fight for independence. It only ended after the Dutch recognized Indonesia’s independence on the 27th of December 1949

The month of August will see a surge of the national colors of red and white everywhere. Also, other national symbols will appear. For example, the national emblem, Garuda Pancasila. Government offices and businesses will decorate, some of them elaborately.

If your house has a yard, it is customary to fly the national flag in front of it. Further decorations such as buntings and banners are also common. Cars are decorated with small flags. Naturally you will see street vendors selling these for your convenience. Nowadays LED and other lighted decorations are also common.

Indonesia is a very communal society. Hence, your community may organize communal work (kerja bakti). For example, sprucing up the neighborhood for the special day. This includes trimming plants, repainting community assets and cleaning out gutters. Sometimes there will also be invitation for social work (bakti sosial). This could include visiting an orphanage or helping the less fortunate. It is a great way to help your community and show civic pride.

How the Indonesian Independence celebrate?

Independence Day, or Hari Kemerdekaan, usually starts with a flag rising ceremony. This will be held by every major government office. Most noteworthy of course is the one at the Presidential Palace. This ceremony is usually carried live on TV. In it, the National Flag Hoisting Troop, or Paskibraka, raise the flag in front of the President and other dignitaries. Paskibraka consists of high school students from all around Indonesia.

After the flag rising, people will have traditional contests in their community. The most popular one is the Panjat Pinang. Here an oiled Areca tree trunk or a pole is topped with many prizes. People then try to climb the trunk and win any prize they can grab.

In addition, other popular contests are : 
Lari Karung. Traditional sack racing. Lomba Makan Krupuk. Shrimp cracker eating contest. However, the crackers are hanging from a string. Further, the contestant have their hands tied in the back. Lari Kelereng. Race while holding a marble on a spoon in your mouth. Dropping the marble means losing.

All people of Indonesia conducted those stuffs every where.  We celebrate our Independence day with happy and joy ever.  We loved it so much

As part of the Independence day traditions, there are several things that you should see and watch for example last 16 of August. The President of The Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, delivered annual speech at the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR). This speech reviews the government’s achievement of the past year, and outlines their goals of the coming year.

Brunches. Celebrate with a tumpeng meal! The traditional Javanese rice dish. A feast for all the senses. Remission. Model inmates will receive a reduction in sentence. There are so many interesting things to know more about Indonesia, the world's only tropical paradise. 

Happy Seventeenth of August.  Again I wish Indonesia all the best.   Wishing Indonesia all success and rewarding year ahead. Today we celebrate our independence day 
(Compilations From various references)

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