The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo waves to the audience from his motorcycle on the stage of the 2018 Asian Games Opening Ceremony, Saturday. The stunt garnered praise from netizens and made number one in Twitter's trending topics. (INASGOC via Antara/Dhoni Setiawan )
The opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium (GBK) in Jakarta created quite a hype on social media, Saturday evening.
Several key moments from the grand event, directed by television veteran Wishnutama, include President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's grand motorcycle entrance, which captured the attention of those attending the event at GBK, as well as around the world via television and streaming services.
Prior to the President’s entrance to the stadium, a video was shown of the President on his way to the opening ceremony. Jokowi and his entourage were shown to be stuck in traffic. The President then got out of the car and took a motorcycle to get through the traffic.
On the way to the stadium, the President skillfully maneuvered the motorbike through Jakarta’s small roads. Although in a rush, he still gave way to schoolchildren waiting to cross the road.
Finally, as he reached the stadium, the President rode across the stadium, waving to the audience who wildly cheered, before finally exiting the arena, and moments later appearing in the VIP box.
The grand entrance wowed netizens, and Twitter erupted with compliments for Jokowi as well as NET Mediatama as the TV station that produced the video.
'In case you missed it, the Indonesia President arrived on a bike!' https://t.co/Aw3X7GCc3q— Totlani Krishan (@kktotlani) August 18, 2018
This comment tho, hahahahahahahahahah.— 오디네이리존아 (@rowlowjona) August 18, 2018
That's said "was Indonesian President an idol too?" because Mr. Jokowi rode a motorcycle in the opening ceremony of Asian Games. pic.twitter.com/v1laXNxUf7
Twitter user @reyeolie captured the Korean Twitter trends, which shows President Jokowi’s popularity among Koreans.
Indonesia is still trending in Korea and reached 10k tweets👏👏👏— 레다 빨강아-ℓ🐶 (@reyeolie) August 18, 2018
- Mr. Jokowi looks like Yoo Heeyeol
- Mr. Jokowi is so cool with the motorbike
- Opening Ceremony AG in 🇮🇩 is so cool and amazing
And many more...#AsianGames #AsianGames2018 #OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/1UyRV72inV
Another key moment from the opening ceremony was when dangdut singer Via Vallen performed “Meraih Bintang” (Reaching for the Stars). During the singer’s performance, President Jokowi was seen moving his arms along with the rhythm.
Netizens were quick to react, one of them was the President’s son, Kaesang Pangarep.
Walaupun tangannya metal, kena lagu dangdut joget juga pic.twitter.com/n1C74I1m1p— Kaesang Pangarep (@kaesangp) August 18, 2018
Kaesang’s tweet read: “His fingers may form a ‘metal’ sign, but he still sways when dangdut plays,” which obviously poked fun at Jokowi’s widely known love of rock and heavy metal music, genres that are almost the opposite of dangdut music.
Jazz singer Tulus belting the national anthem marked another key moment in the ceremony. Other singers such as Raisa, Rossa and Ryan D’Masiv wowed the audience with their performances, which featured heavy cultural influences from various provinces in Indonesia. Jazz prodigy Joey Alexander delivered a flawless piano performance of “Gending Sriwijaya”, a famous traditional tune from South Sumatra.
GENDING SRIWIJAYA, the song performed by Joey Alexander, was a reminder that Jakarta, the capital, does not stand alone. Palembang also participates in #AsianGames2018— Owren Kwan (@owrenkwan) August 18, 2018
The 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony involved thousands of dancers, choreographed by renowned singer and dancer Denny Malik.
Another renowned choreographer involved in the massive performance was Eko Supriyanto, who has done choreography for world-class superstar Madonna. In the opening ceremony, Eko handled three segments with a total of 1600 dancers.
Ronald Steven and Addie MS proved their musical prowess as music directors, while dramatic costumes designed by fashion designers Dynand Fariz and Rinaldy Yunardi also managed to garner positive reactions.
I KNEW IT!! The headpieces designer must be Rinaldy Yunardi because they were GLORIUSSSS pic.twitter.com/WK7fUpvPFw— 🌵サボテン🌵 (@matteo_han) August 18, 2018
Mahkotanya anggun desain Rinaldi Yunardi bgt, Kerennnn!! #OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018— 옹딥! (@prizky__) August 18, 2018
Praise came from netizens as the show neared its end and finally featured Indonesia-born singer Anggun, who sang the iconic song “Pemuda”, previously popularized by eighties singer Candra Darusman of pop group Chaseiro.
Aside from the performers, the gargantuan set design, which was built by 350 workers, also managed awe netizens.
Gak kebayang gue gimana capeknya nge-set acara asian games. ngurusin panggung teater aja udah ampun-ampunan, lah ini orang-orang bisa bikin gbk sebegitu 'wah'-nya. salut lah sama mereka-mereka yang ada di balik layar!— Nur Kholis Makki (@NurkholisMakki) August 18, 2018
Twitter user NurkholisMakki said in his tweet, “I cannot imagine how tiring it must have been to build this set for the Asian Games. Building a set for a theater performance is already hard work, but these people managed to build GBK to this level of splendour. I salute those who work behind the scenes!”.