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Jakarta Post

Indonesia to hold digital celebration of 75th Independence Day amid COVID-19 concerns

  • Rizki Fachriansyah
    Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 7, 2020   /   10:39 am
Indonesia to hold digital celebration of 75th Independence Day amid COVID-19 concerns Indonesia President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo leads the Independence Day ceremony at the State Palace on Aug. 17, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

In line with most other public events taking place amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia’s 75th Independence Day is to be commemorated digitally on Aug. 17 in compliance with the prevailing health protocols.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said on Monday that the public could expect a different, albeit innovative, celebration of the country’s Independence Day as it would take place entirely online.

“Despite the limitations, the Independence Day celebration will not be less festive. This is because the public will be involved in unleashing their creativity and innovation to keep the [Independence Day] spirit alive,” he told an online press conference on Monday.

Wishnutama went on to say that the annual Independence Day telecast would also feature a 60-minute video displaying public creativity from various parts of the country.

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In addition, the government will encourage public participation in singing the national anthem “Indonesia Raya” by activating sirens at 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 17, he said.

“We will also organize an online video competition with participants from villages across the country. Participants are to promote the beauty and cleanliness of their respective communities,” Wishnutama said, adding that the winners would be determined by several judges and members of a digital verification team.

Presidential Secretariat head Heru Budi Hartono said during the same event that only a handful of state dignitaries would physically attend the annual ceremony at the Presidential Palace, including President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, First Lady Iriana, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin and his wife Wury Estu Handayani.

The government will not recruit any new members of the national flag-hoisting team (Paskibraka) as it will enlist the help of last year’s reserve team instead.

“The Youth and Sports Ministry will not recruit new members in 2020 because we prioritize public safety above all else,” he added.