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Raffles Bali - Celebrating Indonesia Independence Day
August 9th 2023

Celebrating Indonesia Independence Day

Indonesia is a land of heroes. Its long history of struggle for independence is a testament to the bravery and determination of its people. On August 17th, Indonesia celebrates its Independence Day, marking the day when it finally gained its freedom from colonial rule. This day is an occasion to honor the heroes who fought tirelessly to achieve this dream. We will explore some of the most famous heroes who have influenced Indonesia’s Independence Day.


Soekarno is widely regarded as the father of Indonesia’s independence. Born in 1901 in Surabaya, he was a prominent figure in the nationalist movement and worked tirelessly to free Indonesia from Dutch colonial rule. He played a crucial role in drafting Indonesia’s first constitution, which became the foundation for the country’s political system. Soekarno’s vision for Indonesia was one of unity, and he worked tirelessly to unite the diverse peoples of Indonesia under a single banner. His legacy lives on today, and he is still widely revered by Indonesians as a national hero.


Mohammad Hatta was one of Soekarno’s closest allies in the fight for Indonesian independence. Born in Bukittinggi in 1902, he studied in the Netherlands and became involved in the nationalist movement there. Together with Soekarno, he founded the Indonesian National Party, which became the leading force in the struggle for independence. Hatta was a gifted speaker and writer, and he played a critical role in shaping the political philosophy of the new nation. After independence, he served as Indonesia’s first vice president.

Cut Nyak Dien

Cut Nyak Dien was a heroine of the Acehnese resistance against Dutch colonial rule. Born in Aceh in 1848, she was married to a local resistance fighter and played an active role in the struggle. She was a skilled fighter and strategist, leading her own band of fighters against the Dutch. She was eventually captured and sentenced to exile, but her bravery and courage inspired many others to continue the fight for independence. Today, she is remembered as a symbol of Acehnese resistance and a national hero.


Raden Ajeng Kartini was a Javanese noblewoman who became a symbol of the struggle for women’s rights and education in Indonesia. Born in 1879, she was a pioneer in the fight against the traditional practices that kept women confined to the home. She started a school for girls in her hometown of Jepara and wrote extensively about women’s rights and education. Although she died young, her legacy lived on, and her writings became an inspiration to future generations of Indonesian women.

These heroes, among many others, have played a crucial role in the fight for Indonesian independence. Their courage, determination, and sacrifice have inspired generations of Indonesians to continue to strive for a better future. On Independence Day, we honor their memory and celebrate the achievements of their struggle.

In honor of the brave heroes who fought for Indonesia’s independence, the nation celebrates its Independence Day with solemn ceremonies and joyous celebrations. This special occasion is marked with great enthusiasm and pride, as Indonesians from all corners of the country come together to honor their forefathers’ legacy. Even the stunning island of Bali, renowned for its natural beauty and cultural richness, is not exempt from the nationwide fervor, and its vibrant and colorful celebrations are famous throughout the archipelago.

Every year on August 17th, the people of Bali come together to commemorate the day Indonesia gained its independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1945. The day is marked with a range of cultural events, patriotic performances, and flag-hoisting ceremonies.

The celebrations start early in the morning with people gathering in various public places to hoist the national flag, known as the Merah Putih. The flag symbolizes the country’s struggle for freedom and unity, and it is a powerful representation of national pride. The flag-hoisting ceremony is always a grand spectacle, with soldiers and students dressed in traditional costumes performing traditional dances, accompanied by music and chants.

In addition to the public flag-hoisting ceremonies, there is also an official flag ceremony held at the Istana Negara (National Palace) in Jakarta, attended by government officials and members of the public. The ceremony is led by the Paskibraka, a group of young men and women chosen from across the country to represent the next generation of Indonesian leaders. In Bali, many government offices also hold their own flag ceremonies to commemorate Independence Day, attended by civil servants and members of the public. These ceremonies are an important way for the government and the people to come together and show their respect and love for their country.

After the flag-hoisting ceremony, various cultural activities take place across the island. One of the most important traditions is the building of Penjor, which are tall bamboo poles decorated with coconut leaves, fruits, and flowers. These Penjor line the streets and entrances of homes and businesses throughout Bali, symbolizing gratitude and prosperity.

In addition to these cultural activities, there are also various competitions held in Bali to celebrate Independence Day. One of the most popular competitions is the Panjat Pinang, where participants try to climb up a greased pole to reach prizes at the top. This is a fun and challenging activity that requires teamwork, strategy, and physical strength. Another popular competition is the Balap Karung, where participants race each other while hopping inside sacks. This is a hilarious and entertaining event that requires balance and coordination. There is also a traditional kite-flying competition held on Independence Day, where participants showcase their skills in designing and flying kites. This is a beautiful and colorful event that reflects the creativity and ingenuity of the Balinese people.

Overall, Indonesia Independence Day in Bali is a joyous occasion, celebrating the country’s rich culture and history. It is a time for people to come together and show their love and respect for their country, and to honor the sacrifices of those who fought for Indonesia’s independence. As a visitor to Raffles Bali during this special day, you can witness firsthand the beauty and diversity of Indonesian culture, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the Balinese people. It is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Bali.