The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has marked Indonesian diversity by commemorating the country's 74th Independence Day on Saturday in traditional clothing from a variety of indigenous cultures.
The President was spotted in the predominantly black attire of Klungkung, Bali, complete with wrapped headdress and batik sarong, as he made his way to lead a flag-raising ceremony on Saturday morning on the front lawn of Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta.
The dark color of his costume was a contrast against the white Balinese attire sported by his eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming, and the yellow Balinese dress of his grandson, Jan Ethes Sri Narendra.
The President said he did not have any special reason for choosing the attire of Indonesia's top tourist destination, saying merely that he wished to wear a different traditional costume for each flag-raising ceremony.
"We have held [the ceremony] for five years, and each time [I have worn] different attire from Aceh, West Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Sunda, Java, Betawi, and then Bali, Sasak, Bugis, [I have worn] all these," he said before the ceremony, as quoted by kompas.com.
Jokowi had earlier declared traditional dress as the dress code for the annual Independence Day flag-raising ceremony at the presidential palace, expressing his belief that it was important to preserve cultural diversity as part of national identity.
He wore South Kalimantan dress to officiate the ceremony in 2017, and Acehnese attire in 2018.
Saturday's flag-raising ceremony was Jokowi’s last for his first presidential term after taking office in 2014. The incumbent will be inaugurated in October for his second term, following his reelection in April.
"We have a rich culture of thousands of [kinds of] traditional attire. Later, we will also wear the traditional dress of Maluku and Papua," he said, stressing that he would don the traditional attire of all cultures from across the archipelago. (ars)