Dubai: The Indonesian missions in the UAE held simple and indoor but patriotic celebrations marking the 76th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia on Tuesday.
In Abu Dhabi, Indonesian Ambassador Husin Bagis led the embassy staff during the flag raising ceremony while in Dubai, Indonesian Consul General K. Candra Negara led an indoor gathering attended by around 30 consular staff and Indonesian diplomats.
The celebrations were a far cry from previous National Day celebrations — before the pandemic, when diplomatic missions were filled by guests and Indonesian expats as well as cultural performances.
Negara said: “Even in the midst of this pandemic, our spirit remains celebrating in a humble way — together with all Indonesians from Sabang to Merauke, Indonesia’s Independence Day. We are grateful that we have Pancasila as a force of Indonesia’s nation ideology that guides all the people in realising their dreams of independence. Pancasila is a star that directs, moves and becomes a source of inspiration and unifying force of all Indonesian people.”
“In the midst of today’s disruptive world, we dare to change and create new things to develop a Moving Forward Indonesia. We have tried to migrate into ways in this era of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, so that we can work more effectively, more efficiently and more productively,” he added.
Addressing his compatriots in Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Bagis said: “Various tests and obstacles have been successfully passed by our nation.”
“Yet, we also know that we are still fighting to be free from the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we should use this momentum and the spirit of independence as a new milestone for all of us to always fight, strive and pray so that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon pass.”
Love for motherland
Indonesian expats, meanwhile, expressed love of their motherland. Mochammad Arief, an executive pastry chef at a hotel in Business Bay, told Gulf News: “For Indonesians, our Independence Day is always something we all celebrate and anticipate. It connects strangers together in a way that we are all proud to say that we are Indonesians. Though we could not celebrate the way we used to, we are still very hopeful for what the future hold for us.”
Another Indonesian expat, Novaria Barrett, who as a compliance officer in Dubai, said: “My connection with our country and our Independence Day is always strong. It’s important to feel, and remember the place we all call home even though we are far away, and not be able to go home as often as we would like. No matter which of the 34 provinces you might come from, in Dubai we are as one and a strong community. Our Independence Day reminds us all of who and what we are — proud Indonesians.