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Jakarta Post

President, first lady celebrate Sumatran culture on Independence Day

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 17, 2018   /   05:03 pm
President, first lady celebrate Sumatran culture on Independence Day President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and First Lady Iriana, in traditional Sumatran attire, take a selfie before attending the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Merdeka Palace on Friday. (Courtesy of Presidential Palace/-)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has expressed his wish for maintaining national unity and harmony as the country celebrates its 73rd Independence Day with a flag-hoisting ceremony in the yard of Merdeka Palace on Friday.

Wearing traditional attire from Aceh, Jokowi said before the ceremony that the country's citizens should look forward with optimism, while maintaining peace with each other.

"We have to give more attention to unity and harmony, because political stability and security are the fundamental capital for the country's development," Jokowi told reporters.

Read also: Jokowi defends his infrastructure program

Jokowi declared traditional clothing as the dress code for the annual flag-raising ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Independence Day, explaining that he believed it was important to preserve cultural diversity as part of the country's national identity. In 2017, he wore traditional South Kalimantan attire while leading the ceremony.

Located in the northernmost region of Sumatra, Aceh was once a restive region, as the government tried to quell a separatist uprising led by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The province, which is predominantly inhabited by conservative Muslims, was later granted special status and allowed to implement the sharia.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Iriana, who wore a traditional outfit from the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, which is also known as a conservative province. Last year, the first lady wore a traditional dress from the same province.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his wife Mufidah Jusuf Kalla both wore traditional attire of the Buginese culture from their home province of South Sulawesi. (ris/wit)