So Happy to be Independent! – Indonesia Independence Day

Submitted by mumunmumun on 20 August 2010   •  Opinion

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To those that have traveled this country during Indonesia Independence Day, congratulations! You have just saw one of the most festive days of the year simultaneously celebrated throughout our country. Our independence falls on the 17th of August. On this merry day, we have morning ceremonies which, if you’re lucky, could be decorated with traditional dances and singing. This applies especially in remote areas. There are also countless flags and items painted in red and white as our national flag. Then it is followed by numerous silly games for kids and adults that let their inner child out once a year.

Us city folks tend to forget all the symbolic things in life, and rationalize our way through. Stranded in Kisar, a small island just up north from Timor Leste, I am reminded how the Independence day is a big deal no matter how symbolic it is. This year, it’s a bit different in Kisar. Whatdya know? The independence ceremony was also the closing of Sail Banda 2010. I did get to celebrate that too. Thus, the governor is here, making everything super official and festive.

Travel Indonesia: Kisar

So what did I see? An impressive musical play, held by the govenrment. Since Maluku is the warehouse of great voices in Indonesia, the singing was no joke. They also had a story line and dancing too. It was well played, well organized, great quality, and far beyond my expectation for such a small island.

I saw the raising of the flag, all official just like how they did it in the presidents estate. And this time, I get to sit in the guests tent. Fancy! I also heard a song called ‘Gandong’ which is an original song from Maluku, telling a story of one sibling reminding another that they are brothers. Heart the song, especially when all the Maluku people sang along. Gotta look for it soon!

Travel Indonesia: Kisar

I saw traditional dancing and outfit worn by an angry mob. It was the locals that were pissed of since they were ask to dance for the ceremony yet they never got the chance to show it. The government is plain rude. And I got to see traditional dances from Letti, Mola, and Bala (I think). What lacks this day? The silly games which is always entertaining. But I guess I got a lot already.

Travel Indonesia: Kisar

Between the ‘Sail Banda’ flags and the sound system constantly blasting local singers showing their talent, the locals were a tad disappointed. They thought they would be greeting a lot of foreign visitors, participants of the Sail Banda 2010. For some reason, they never showed up. Some say the participants refuse to continue from Bandaneira since the army was involved. Others say, the BMG didn’t let them sail due to the rough Banda Sea. Whatever the reason was, it was sad to see some hopes unrealized. But you hardly see that in the peoples faces.

As I end writing this entry in the middle of the night and chomping down ‘Sukun’ chips which are super yummy and bad for my diet cos I’m snacking so late :p, I can hear singing far in the distance. The party lives on, as should any independence spirit should. Happy Independence day Indonesia! We heart you.

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