Celebrating the August 17th in 4 Different Cities 4 Years in a Row

OMG! Happy Independence Day from Godafoss, Iceland


Today, August 17th, 2016 marks the 71th Independence Day of Indonesia. Every Indonesian celebrates this day with a huge enthusiasm. My social media timeline has been flooded with pictures of my friends and colleagues with the Bendera Merah Putih – our Indonesian national flag we are so proud of. They brought their proudness to many places around the world! From Labuan Bajo to Iceland.

Seeing their pictures on social media has triggered myself to contemplate how I have been celebrating the August 17th in the last four years.

In 2013, I brought the Merah Putih to Mt. Bromo, Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia. I was on my summer break at that time. My family & I went to Bromo the days before the Independence Day. I prepared a special Ms. OMG (if you doesn’t know who Ms. OMG! is, you probably have to know her through this) with Batik and wrapped her in our Indonesian flag. I took a picture of her with Mt. Bromo at the background. That morning was freezing cold and my hands were shaking while I took the picture.

OMG! Happy Independence Day from Mt. Bromo, Indonesia

In 2014, I went to..the northest country I have ever been, ICELAND! I went there exactly on August and celebrating the Indonesian independence day in Iceland. I told all of my Icelandic friends and every Icelanders I met if that day was Indonesian Independence day. My friend, Birna and her cute little daughter joined me in taking picture with the Merah Putih in front of the largest glacier in Europe.

OMG! I am in front of the largest glacier in Europe

Little Johanna & I were saying, “Happy Independence Day, Indonesia” from Jökulsárlón. Photo credit to Birna Björnsdóttir

In 2015, I went to Mt. Krakatoa, Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia. I sadly forgot to bring both Ms. OMG! and the Merah Putih with me but luckily I managed to capture the Merah Putih with a breathtaking view of the ocean behind it.

How about today?

This morning I had my first ceremony after the last time I had it in high school. I couldn’t count how many years it had been. and what made this ceremony important was…I celebrated it with my new family at the University of Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia, after we had our military camp 2 weeks ago. What my colleagues and I got at the military camp was memorable that we literally practiced the etiquette lessons during this morning ceremony.

I could say that I am a proud Indonesian like most of Indonesians I know. I am proud not only because I was born in Indonesia and hold an Indonesian passport. I am proud because I know I have my heart in this country I have been living for more than 20y. I might not yet made a significant contribution to Indonesia but I am on my way. I am quite naive. I have a big dream about this country and I have a positive thought of how Indonesia will be developed in the future, especially in two areas I have a profound interest in: education and tourism. My huge consideration has been towards the manner and behaviour of Indonesians. Like how to act towards the elders, manner in queuing, giving seats to those in needs, etc. I am no perfect citizen, yet I am trying to be one. I believe every change always starts from ourselves.





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