Indonesia Independence Day 2013

Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Negara RI (RI stands for Republik Indonesia), or Indonesian Independence Day is celebrated yearly on August 17th to mark the Proclamation (Declaration) of Indonesian Independence on Friday, August 17, 1945. Prior to the proclamation, Indonesia had been colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese for over 300 years. As such, the independence day is also called as Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia or just Hari Proklamasi.

Indonesian Independence Day 2013

The upcoming Saturday, 17 August 2013, Indonesia will celebrate the 68th Independence Day. The celebration is expected to last from about Saturday, 10 August 2013 to Saturday, 31 August 2013.

Indonesian Independence Day 2013 is often called fondly as tujuhbelasan, roughly meaning festival of the seventeenth, just like how American called their Independence Day as 4th of July.

As a maritime / archipelago country, Indonesia often do not have a consistent island count, and thus in school it is usually taught that the country has 17845 islands, which is the number taken from the independence date (17th day of 8th month in the year 1945).

What to expect?

Independence day is a huge celebration in Indonesia. Most businesses and offices are closed on the Independence day, but preparations are started 2-3 months before that. Business and locals are chirping in for activities with donations. Streets and building around the country are decorated with the ornaments such as Indonesian red-white flags and congratulatory banners.

This year, Ramadhan or Bulan Puasa 2013 falls in the month of August, but the Indonesian Independence Day 2013 falls on around 9 days after the end of Ramadhan 2013 (Eid al-Fitr 2013). Thus, the celebration of Indonesian Independence Day 2013 will be more festal than the last three years when Indonesian Independence Day occurred during Ramadhan fasting month.

Visitors can expect to observe lots of interesting activities days around the festival. In almost every villages, town and cities, you can watch sports competitions and free concerts. On the day itself, the main attractions are the town parades, with marching bands, decorated cars and bikes, barongs, and kuda lumpings.

For the locals, one of the most anticipated activity is the panjat pinang game. People groups into a team of 3-6 persons each, to attempt a climb of slippery poles for gifts and prizes on top of the pole. It’s really quite fun to watch.

Panjat Pinang

Panjat Pinang

The Indonesian Independence proclamation text 17 August 1945

in Indonesian

PROKLAMASI
Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.
Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo jang sesingkat-singkatnja.
Djakarta, hari 17 boelan 8 tahoen 05
Atas nama bangsa Indonesia
–tanda tangan Soekarno/Hatta–
Soekarno – Hatta

Note the year is stated as tahoen 05 or year “05″. It is correct. The year 05″ is referring to the Japanese sumera calendar, short form for year 2605.

English translation:

PROCLAMATION
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
SOEKARNO?HATTA

Happy Indonesian Independence Day 2013 !
Selamat memperingati hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia yang ke-68.
Merdeka !

This post is also available in: Indonesian