Monday, July 28, 2008
City of People: Youth Nationalism
Text and pictures by Eki Qushay Akhwan
Before proclaiming its independence on August 17th, 1945, the archipelago that now makes up the Republic of Indonesia was colonized by the Ducth for nearly 350 years (with a brief break when the colony was transfered to the British), then occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army for about two and a half years during the Second World War. During all those years, Indonesians from various parts of the archipelago never stopped resisting the occupation and fighting for their independence. Dutch control over these territories was never an easy one, and total dominance was never achieved until early in the 20th century.
Having to fight long and hard for their independence, Indonesians are characteristically and understandably nationalistic. They have a very strong sense of nationalism. The Independence Day celebration is an occasion that is usually prepared well over a month ahead and involves nearly everybody.
I met these young people at Taman Merdeka (Bandung City Hall Park) today as they were practicing their part of the instruments of the marching band that is going to take part in the Independence Day celebrations. I'll post some more pictures tomorrow.