Indonesian independence from the Dutch occurred on August 17, 1947, so Thursday, August 17 was independence day. Red and white flags and banners were everywhere reflecting Indonesian’s pride in their country. The interesting thing is that Indonesia is the definition of diversity – 17,000 islands with different culture, language (over 700!), religion, food, dress, music, all spread over an area larger than the US – and they all come together as one on this day. Yes, even religion – to the far east is Aceh, (where VERY strict Muslims live) to the far west of Papua (former headhunters) and in-between areas of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and other deists. Very interesting place!
We are assigned to the Tangerang I Ward and Saturday was their independence day celebration. Food, music, dance – it was great! Each organizations had an assignment to present a song or dance from one of the 34 provinces – Kalimantan, Java, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Bali, etc. and the YSA’s were assigned to perform a Betawi dance. (Betawi is the area of North Java, or Jakarta.) DeeAnn found a traditional Betawi dance on You Tube and taught it over the last few weeks and it went off like a charm! There were 6 YSA’s and us: