17 August: Indonesia Independence Day 2022 and its Significance

17 August: Indonesia Independence Day 2022 and its Significance

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17 August is observed annually as Indonesia Independence Day. It commemorates the anniversary of Indonesia’s proclamation of independence on 17 August 1945. It was made a national holiday by government decree in 1946.

The theme of Indonesia Independence Day 2022

17 August is observed annually as Indonesia Independence Day. The theme of Indonesia Independence Day 2022 is “Recover Faster, Rise Stronger.” Same for 2021 was “Tough Indonesia, Growing Indonesia.”

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Quick facts about Indonesia’s Independence and proclamation

Here are quick facts about the Indonesia Independence and proclamation:

  • Before the reading of the Indonesian proclamation of independence, the text that was supposed to be read by Soekarno could not be found. Fortunately, it turned out that Sayuti Melik had made another copy. So, Soekarno finally read the copy of the manuscript.
  •  Soekarno had malaria symptoms before reading the proclamation text. Only 2 hours away before the reading of the Indonesian proclamation, Soekarno was still fast asleep in his room with a very high body temperature.
  • The original Indonesian flag was made from a white bed sheet and a red cloth from the Soto roadside stall. But it turned out that Soekarno’s wife named Fatmawati sewed the first red and white flag using the cloth given by a Japanese commissioned officer.
  • Indonesian independence had been proclaimed in 1945, it took a long time for both Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta to be crowned as Indonesian national heroes.
History of Indonesia Independence Day

Until 1945, Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands. To drive the Netherlands out of its sphere of influence, during WW II, Japanese leaders supported the independence movement in Indonesia.

Achmed Sukarno and Muhammad Hatta collaborated with the Japanese military to reclaim Indonesia from the Dutch government. Sukarno and Hatta feared that their window of opportunity had closed when Japan surrendered to the United States in 1945.

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Sukarno announced the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence on August 17, 1945. In Indonesia, the proclamation is known as Proklamasi Kerdekaan Indonesia. In the immediate aftermath of the proclamation, Sukarno and Hatta used Japanese weapons and equipment to revolt against the Dutch government in Indonesia.

At first, the Dutch were driven out of Jakarta, but reinforcements ensured that fighting would continue until 1949. Due to a fear of bloodshed, the United Nations called for diplomatic measures to prevent the Netherlands from entering into war. The Dutch forces withdrew from East Asia after ten weeks of tedious debates. The United States of Indonesia was founded in August 1949.

OV Digital Desk