The Indonesian expat community in the UAE marked the 77th Independence Day of Indonesia with various activities.
Earlier in the day, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a congratulatory message to Indonesian President Joko Widodo. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, also sent similar congratulatory messages to President Widodo.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Embassy in Abu Dhabi led the celebrations with a flag hoisting ceremony and singing of the national anthem on Wednesday morning. Husin Bagis, Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE, presided over the ceremony, with officials and staff from the embassy and a few community members in attendance. Later, they enjoyed traditional food.
In the run-up to the occasion, an array of events was held from July 2 to August 7, including sports competitions like badminton, chess, table tennis, activities like karaoke singing and fishing etc. A bowling tournament brought more than 100 Indonesians together.
The embassy also held a webinar titled ‘Building Nationalism Towards Golden Indonesia 2045’, ‘Indonesia Spice Up the World’ promotion at Lulu hypermarket, live entertainment and a diplomatic reception. A two-day Indonesian Film Week in Manarat Al Saadiyat featured five films: ‘Laskar Pelangi’, ‘Lewat Djam Malam’, ‘Kartini’, ‘Uang Panai’, and ‘KKN di Desa Penari’. Hundreds of Indonesian expats and nationals from 14 countries enjoyed these movies.
Ambassador Bagis underlined that the embassy has been hosting activities to bring the community together and strengthen a sense of solidarity.
“Every year, we definitely carry out a series of activities to commemorate the independence of the Republic of Indonesia as an effort to instill nationalism and love for the homeland in Indonesian citizens who are residing in the UAE. In addition, there are several activities carried out to promote various cultures, products, and the potential possessed by Indonesia to the Indonesian Embassy’s partners in the UAE, including diplomatic circles, business people, and especially local people,” Bagis said.
The Indonesian expats expressed their happiness at participating in various activities, which served as a medium for gathering and particularly as a remedy to deal with homesickness.
“I hope that all Indonesian citizens in the UAE can take part in realising an advanced, prosperous, and peaceful Indonesia. Let’s continue to support and pray for Indonesia to recover faster and rise stronger, as stipulated in the slogan of the 77th Indonesia Independence Day,” Bagis concluded.
By the evening, more than a dozen landmarks, including Burj Khalifa (7.45 pm) and ADNOC HQ, and other buildings are expected to be lit in the Indonesian flag’s colour of red and white light display – a sign of the close relations between Indonesia and the UAE.
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