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Jakarta Post

A Quiet celebration

Tue, August 18, 2020   /   02:55 pm
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    Deep dive: Visitors take a wefie as divers hold a rehearsal of an underwater flag-waving ceremony at Seaworld Indonesia in Ancol, North Jakarta, on Saturday. The annual event was held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Indonesia's independence. JP/Seto Wardhana

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    Eat, eat, eat: Six-year-old Niky Yekwam from Sorong, Papua, who lives in Leuwinanggung, Depok - West Java, takes part in cracker eating competition on Monday, August 17, 2020. JP/P.J.Leo

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    Fair play promotion: Children take part in games to commemorate Independence Day in Leuwinanggung, Depok, West Java, on Monday, August 17, 2020. The organizers required participants to abide by health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. JP/P.J.Leo

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    Happy kids: Children take part in a parade by riding their decorated bikes in Bintaro, South Tangerang, Banten, on Monday, August 17, 2020 to commemorate Indonesia's 75th Independence Day. JP/ Seto Wardhana

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    Young patriot: Rashan (5) participates in a online commemoration of the Indonesia Independence Day which is held by Al Izhar Kindergarten in Jakarta, on Monday, August 17, 2020. The Commemoration is held online to orevent further spread if the Covid 19 virus. JP/ Seto Wardhana

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    Dance of diversity: Wearing face masks, traditional dancers perform in the Tunjukkan Indonesiamu, Satukan Negeri (Show your Indonesia, Unite the Nation) virtual event in Jakarta, on Saturday, August 15, 2020 organized by Belantara Budaya Indonesia Foundation to celebrate Independence day. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Aquatic anniversary: Environmental activists hold a flag hoisting ceremony in Muara 7 Lake in Pamulang, South Tangerang on Monday to mark the country's Independence Day and promote the preservation of lakes across the country. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Historic countdown: Members of Willys Owners Indonesia (WOI) salute during a commemoration of detik detik (seconds) ahead of Indonesia's independence proclamation at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Jakarta, on Monday, August 17, 2020. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people celebrated this year’s Independence Day, as they were prohibited from gathering in crowds as in previous years. Traders of areca trees, flags and other Independence Day items lost a significant amount of earnings as many neighborhoods as well as private and government institutions did not organize the usual Independence Day events like pole climbing and other games.

Absent, too, were the flag-hoisting ceremonies in schools and offices, a perennial feature in previous years. In the Merdeka Palace, the flag-hoisting team consisted of just eight members, unlike in previous years when there were dozens of people involved.

But there were still many people who did not want to completely forgo the usual cheerful moments of the Independence Day celebration amid this pandemic.

Events such as decorated bike parades, flag games, cracker eating competitions and other events, could still be seen in a number of neighborhoods and tourist spots, although participants still abided by the health protocols. The Jakarta Post presents a number of those events through these images.