Independence Day

August 17th is Indonesian Independence Day. Traditionally, every offices and schools will conduct a flag salutation ceremony in the exact day. But the celebration is started from the beginning of the month where many games are played within neighborhood, office, or school level. Back in Indonesia, I have taken part in ‘alternative’ Independence Day celebration by conducting flag salutation ceremony underwater.

So now I am curious what kind of celebration or ceremony that Indonesian people have abroad? I miss last year ceremony which I can’t recall why. But at least I have a chance this year. The ceremony will be held in each Indonesian embassy/ general consulate. For people who live in northern part of Germany, the nearest general consulate is in Hamburg.

The flag salutation ceremony will be conducted at 09.45AM. And since the train to Hamburg is around 1.5 hours long so if I want to attend the ceremony from the beginning, I have to take the 07.28AM train! This means that I have to wake up early in Sunday; something that rarely happened. But what the heck, experiencing is worth than anything.

So there I am, starting to catch the 07.28AM train. Not many people from Bremen come along at that time. I guess they just want to attend the gathering after the ceremony; which is the No.1 reason actually: having Indonesian meals!

The ceremony is held at the backyard of the general consulate office. Probably around 60 people take part on it. This is the situation before the flag salutation ceremony.

And this is the situation during the ceremony.

After about an hour, the ceremony is over and then continued with some shows like singing and dancing. More people are coming as I predicted. But for sure, people like me who attend it earlier are start getting hungry. There are some snacks provided, but not as we expected. They are just regular chocolate breads and not Indonesian snacks :( Me and my friends are very disappointed in this. We have thought that we’re going to eat risoles or lemper, but all our dreams are then smashed :(

So we’re not so eager in eating the snacks. We then put our hope for the lunch. However, the lunch time doesn’t even start at 01.00PM!!! Can you imagine how hungry we are? I guess this is intentionally managed so we oblige to put attention to the performances. Imagine if the lunch has been provided, surely nobody will care about the performances!

In waiting for the lunch time, me and my friends decide to sit around the dining table so we can move fast once it started. But apparently that’s a useless decision. Because when the lunch time really starts, people just flooding the table and the very long queuing line suddenly follows. I am so amazed how people can really move so fast! Look how long this line is. This is so crazy!!!

At first, I feel a bit pessimist to start queuing. But then I don’t have to, because my friend who already queuing, ask me to just join her ;) If you are wondering whether other people complain about it, well there’s no complaint cause they also do the same thing anyway! So starting in the middle of the line doesn’t mean you will get faster.

And since we are queuing so long, me and my friends decide to take more than 1 plate because the meals are served in a restricted way. It means that you can’t take it by yourself especially for the main course. For sambal, krupuk, and rice; you are allowed to take as much as you want. So even if you can carry 3 plates, then the meals are still enough for everybody else.

So, each of us take 2 plates. But since my other 2 friends have husband, they give the other plate to their husband. And I don’t know what to do with my extra plate until one of my friends said that he thinks he wouldn’t eat because the queuing line is so long. Then my extra plate goes to him.

The food itself is so good especially it’s very hot and spicy! I decide to add more rice in order to make it balance between the rice and the other stuffs. Later on, I see that the rice is gone and they have to cook extra while the people still in pretty long queuing. So crazy! My friend teases me that the rice is gone because I take more than it’s supposed to ;)

And after chatting and mingling with others, we finally go home at around 04.00PM. So now I know what kind of ceremony that Indonesian people have abroad. Not so much different like in Indonesia but surely people would love to come for the food ;)


sefa firdaus said...

waaaaaaaaa dia punya blog juga :))

iya As, memang nasinya kurang gara-gara dirimu nambah nasi :))
kayak aku dong, nambah lauk :D

felicia said...

waduuuhh bangga banget g ngeliat perjuangan elu untuk ikut upacara ..ehh.. untuk makan nasi plus sambel.. :P

nada said...

Dear Asti... In some way, I can say we are close now! My name is Ivana and I am a 32 yo journalist going to live in Bremen... I found your blog and it is sooo helpfull! I read the most part of the posts. I am going to live at Luisental - Are you still there? - and I found at your blog important tips about everything!!! Yes... I bought some melamine stuff here and I am going to take it with me!!! Also I have an idea about the space and how the apartment is organized!!! Tks a lot :D I have thousand of questions about day-by-day and if you have patience and time, it will be a pleasure to chat :)

asti said...

Dear Nada,
Where are you from? Anyway just feel free to contact me. Just leave your email. I won't publish it.