Indonesians commemorate 76th year of independence - GulfToday

Indonesians commemorate 76th year of independence


Indonesian Consul General for Dubai and the Northern Emirates K. Candra Negara and wife Madame Novita Nugraheni (eighth from left) with the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia-Dubai lady officers and wives of foreign service personnel at the event. Kamal Kassim/Gulf Today

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Indonesians the world over at more than 276 million including an estimated nine million migrants and overseas workers, commemorated their 76th year of independence, officially known as “Kemerdekaan Indonesia,” from The Netherlands on Aug.17, on Tuesday.

From the scaled-down celebrations – in connection with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) health and safety guidelines – at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia-Dubai, Consul General K. Candra Negara not only honoured two colleagues by way of Jakarta’s “Satya Lencana Karya Satya” and the Consulate General Office’s “Annual Best Employee Award;” but, distinguished as well, four countrymen who have become role models through “exemplary actions” within the 50,000-strong Indonesian community and the diverse society in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujeirah, for 10 to 20 years now.

As indicated in the invitation, the celebrations, in part conducted in the national language Bahasa Indonesia, began at 9am inside one of the two villas of the compound, festooned with the red and white, representing the national flag of the world’s fourth largest country, population-wise. Unlike in the past, the traditional flag-raising ceremony was held “symbolically” with only the 35-strong consular mission and their spouses in attendance.

On the sidelines, the seventh head of the consular mission since established in Feb. 2003, said the theme for this year’s independence day commemoration, was “Indonesia Strong, Indonesia Grows.”

“In this regard, my distinguished guests, allow me to convey some excerpts from Indonesian President’s (Joko Widodo) speech during the Joint Session of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia and the Regional Representatives Council of the Republic of Indonesia, which was held yesterday, the 16th of August 2021, as follows: ‘The COVID19 pandemic has urged us to change, develop new ways and let irrelevant old habits left behind and make an impossible breakthrough. We are forced to develop a new normality and do things which are considered a taboo. Wearing masks, making a social distance, avoid shaking hands and crowds are new habits, used to be considered as taboos. We are grateful that we have the Pancasila as a force...that guides all the people in realising their dreams of independence. Pancasila is a star that directs, moves, becomes a source of inspiration, and becomes a unifying force of all Indonesian people with its Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity, Indonesia’s state motto).”

At the ceremonies, Negara presented to Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre-Dubai head Mohamad Khomaini, Jakarta’s “Satya Lencana Karya Satya” for his 10-year public service. The award recognises the loyalty, dedication, good performance, honesty and discipline of government employees who have rendered 10, 20, and 30 years of service to the nation. He presented the Consulate General Office’s “Annual Best Employee Award” to Protocol and Consular Affairs staff Sri Mujiati, citing best performance by a local hire.

The four Indonesian role models were Nash Mawardi, 15 years in the UAE, country manager of the Indonesian-based oil drilling industry allied company Lancaster Saga, among the most active Indonesian community leaders; Boedi Santiko Titus, 20 years in the UAE, Standard Carpets senior manager and founder of the Filadelfia Christian Community composed of 50 Indonesian families; Utari Giri, 10 years in the UAE and a housewife; and Tutik Rubiayatun Sukiman, 20 years in the UAE, a nurse, and along with husband-nurse Kholidharun, serves at the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention “through the G2G (Indonesian Government-UAE Government Programme).”

Titus and Giri, a Christian and a Hindu respectively, hailed the religious tolerance of the UAE.

In ending his speech and pursuing President Widodo’s call for unity through the global health crisis, Consul General Negara mentioned Indonesian sayings in various dialects. From Minang Region: “Barek samo dipikua ringan samo dijinjang” or “If we work together, w can make our job easier.” From Tatar Pasundan: “Sacangreud pageuh, sagolek pangkek” or “We need to work together with a sense of commitment and consistency.” From Bumi Anging Mamiri: “Reso tema-nginginama-lomo nale-tei pammase dewata” or “Let us work together hand-in-hand and let our faith carry us to attain our goals.” From Bumi Gura: “Bareng bejukung, bareng bebose” or “We work together and enjoy the fruits of our labour.” From Banua Banjar: “Waja sampai kaputing” or “We work together with conviction that neither of us will give in nor quit.”

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