For the people of Indonesia, Independence Day is celebrated annually on 17th August and it is a time of great national pride.
Following three centuries of Dutch colonial rule and Japanese occupation during World War II, Indonesia gained its independence on 17th August 1945. The official Proclamation of Indonesian Independence was read out by the nation’s first president, Ir Soekarno, some 73 years ago in Jakarta. Re-enactments of this declaration along with flag raising ceremonies now take place in government offices and school across Indonesia to commemorate achieving freedom.
The birth of Indonesia as an independent nation enabled leaders to formulate its own government based on a system known as “guided democracy”. As a vast archipelago with a great wealth of natural resources, Indonesia today is home to approximately 266 million people from many different ethnic groups. The national motto of “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” meaning “Unity in Diversity” has long defined Indonesia through a concept of solidarity.