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Jakarta Post

Man walks 470 km to meet Jokowi on Independence Day

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 12, 2019   /   02:39 pm
Man walks 470 km to meet Jokowi on Independence Day Mahmudin, 52, is walking 470 kilometers from his hometown in Wonosobo regency, Central Java, to Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta in the hope of meeting President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. (kompas.com/Muhamad Syahri Romdhon)

A 52-year-old man from Wonosobo regency, Central Java, is walking 470 kilometers from his hometown to Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta in the hope of meeting President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as well as to commemorate the country's 74th Independence Day.

Mahmudin, a father of three, left his house on Aug. 7 and aims to reach the palace by Aug. 15 or 16, just in time for the Independence Day celebrations on Aug. 17. 

"This is the fifth day," he said in Cirebon, West Java, on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com. "It will take around 10 days to reach Merdeka Palace."

On his travels, he carries an Indonesian flag, as well as two banners - one for the front and one on his back - describing his goal. 

The banner reads: "Walking from Wonosobo to Jakarta to the State Palace. [I] just want to celebrate the Republic of Indonesia's Independence Day. I hope to meet Mr. President Joko Widodo at the palace. Indonesia is my home."

He said he undertook the journey because he wanted to participate in the Independence Day celebrations with Jokowi and that he wanted to tell Jokowi to continue to preserve the country's harmony and peace as well as help the people become more prosperous.

During his journey, Mahmudin said he would stop at food stalls, gas stations and mosques to rest, and that he took strength from remembering the sacrifices of Indonesia's heroes and freedom fighters.

"It is quite tiring, but it's nothing compared to the struggle of the fighters and ancestors in the past," he said. 

Mahmudin is the second person to undertake such a trip to commemorate this year's Independence Day. 

Previously, an environmental activist from Tulungagung, East Java, named Medi Bastoni had started to walk backwards from his hometown with the goal of meeting Jokowi and ask him for a seedling to plant on Mount Willis as a symbol of the President's care for the environment. (kmt)