After two years of pandemic inertia, Independence Day brings euphoria
Young students from SDN Pasar Baru 11 Public Elementary School caused a stir as they ran onto the pitch during a flag ceremony to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence.
Although their smiles were drowned out by the masks they wore, their exuberance managed to shine through.
Red and white flags fluttering right and left in the palms of their hands, they then entered the classroom which had been decorated with red and white patterns to enliven the celebration of the independence of the Republic.
Tita, one of the students waiting to be picked up, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been two years since she felt the excitement of the holiday celebrations. independence in his school.
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This year, due to the improving COVID-19 situation, she was finally able to celebrate the day with her friends.
In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic had left many yearning for Independence Day festivities.
For two long years, school children joined in the independence ceremony in front of the television and saluted the flag displayed on the screen. This year, they finally managed to attend the flag raising in person.
Even as it struggles to recover from the pandemic, Indonesia has managed to restore several activities suspended for two years. This seems to be a sign that with the younger generation, Indonesia is ready to go from strength to strength.
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Independence Day celebrations
According to SDN Pasar Baru 11 Deputy Principal Aris W., 2022 is the first year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that the school has held a series of celebrations to mark Indonesia’s independence.
The students’ enthusiasm is reflected in their creativity and passion for decorating the classroom, he added. In addition to the red and white decorations, the students also created crafts.
The students who joined the marching band were seen training for the march they organized on Tuesday August 16, 2022, a day before the Independence Day anniversary.
Marching band troops led the march through the Pasar Baru area, with rows of students wearing professional attire, such as army and police uniforms, doctor’s uniforms, as well as traditional clothing from provinces across the country.
With students representing various professions and traditions of the country, the march conveyed the message of synergy and unity in Indonesia and echoed the spirit of independence. It was a testament to the value of diversity that is instilled from an early age.
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On Wednesday August 17, teachers and students at the school held a flag ceremony for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Although the typical Independence Day competitions did not take place, this year’s celebration was truly memorable due to the enthusiasm shown by the students, Aris revealed.
Meanwhile, singer Vidi Aldiano, who performed patriotic songs Kebyar-Kebyar and Merah Poutih at Merdeka Palace as part of Independence Day celebrations, remarked that the atmosphere at the palace was very festive.
Perhaps because there hadn’t been such celebrations for two years that all the guests showed up in their best light to witness the flag-raising ceremony, Aldiano said.
Agreeing with Aldiano’s statement, Mersa, a visitor from Depok, said the atmosphere inside Merdeka Palace was full of excitement.
Mersa was one of two thousand locals who managed to get a slot to watch the ceremony directly at the palace.
“It was really exciting. I didn’t expect (the event) to suddenly turn into a dangdutan (Where campurari, a contemporary Indonesian musical genre). I feel really satisfied. There was also plenty of food. There was a goody bag full of food and souvenirs,” she said.
Farel Prayoga, a child singer who also performed at the palace, managed to make President Joko Widodo laugh and left a deep impression on the guests.
The moment when some ministers, senior officials of the Indonesian army, navy and air force, as well as public figures left their seats to dance with the young singer from Banyuwangi, east of Java, will remain a unique memory of the commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the independence of Indonesia.
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Recover faster, ride harder
President Widodo, in his August 16 annual state address, said Indonesia had achieved several goals.
For example, he said, Indonesia ranks among the top five countries in the world in terms of vaccination coverage against COVID-19. Additionally, the Indonesian economy grew by 5.44% in the second quarter of 2022.
Meanwhile, in the Pasar Baru area of Jakarta, a mobile fruit vendor named Septian revealed that his sales have increased since the community resumed normal business after the easing of restrictions on public activities (PPKM).
However, he could not estimate the exact amount of the revenue increase. What is clear, he said, is that during the worst phase of the pandemic, he struggled to sell his fruit before evening.
Now, with the increase in public activities, especially with students returning to school, he finds it easier to sell fruit.
A sense of joy accompanied Indonesia’s journey to recovery. The sweet result after two years of restrictions has finally started to be felt by people from all walks of life.
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