Some 200 Indonesians gathered yesterday to celebrate Indonesia’s 72nd year since the Proclamation of Independence, offering a series of colorful and lively performances.
Annually celebrated every August 17, the commemoration is normally celebrated with different events that aim to promote unity in diversity.
In Macau, the one-day commemoration featured performances from different migrant groups, including migrants from the Philippines, Vietnam and Timor Leste.
The vibrant celebration kicked off with an Indonesian traditional singing performance followed by a interpretive dance folk from Myanmar.
Organized by the migrant association, Peduli Indonesian Migrant Workers Concern Group, the event featured a performance offered by their compatriots from Hong Kong – who performed one of Indonesia’s famous dances, Reog Ponorogo.
The Reog Ponorogo dance comes from East Java, where it is accompanied by gamelan instruments.
Historically, Reog was used to gather the masses and worked as a communication channel for the rulers.
“It is a very big festival today,” said Jusjus Romlah, president of Peduli.
“This is a celebration of Asian cultural dance, and a celebration of our Independence Day. We invited friends from Hong Kong to join this event,” she added.
According to the association, the group was expecting around 200 to 300 of its compatriots to celebrate their Independence Day.
Peduli also marked its ninth year in the region yesterday.
George Young, an adviser of the association, said that the festival is also one of the ways to strengthen the bond of the community in the region.
“We have a lot of activities, but this is the biggest,” said Young.
Representatives from the Indonesian Consulate General in Hong Kong also came to the city to offer consular services, particularly registration for next year’s election in Indonesia.
General elections will be held in the country in April next year, when for the first time, the president and members of the assembly will be elected on the same day.
The community is encouraged to become registered voters in a bid to minimize the queue for upcoming registrations.
“Most of our compatriots have their day off on Sundays so this is also an opportunity for the consulate to come and promote next year’s elections,” said Young.
Meanwhile, Peduli president noted that high agency fees still remain a concern amongst the group.
According to Romlah, Indonesian associations are doing their best to assist each other in seeking for jobs in order to avoid incurring expensive placement fees.
“We have a group chat where we can help them to be referred to employers we know […] need domestic employees. We help each other find work, in this way, we will not have to undergo high agency fees,” she added.