EBPP Schools Celebrate Indonesia’s 71st Independence Day: Highlights

By Tri Budiyono, David Booth, and Andrea Telfer

Gisteren, in augustus 17th 2016 Ban Village en Oost Bali Poverty Project vierden de 71st Indonesische Onafhankelijkheidsdag.

De dag begon met een vlag ceremonie bij 08:00. De gebeurtenissen vonden plaats niet in de typische plein gebied, waar zij gewoonlijk gehouden rond Indonesië, maar in een droge rivierbedding door gebrek personen in het verre dorp. Deelnemers waren onder meer studenten uit alle 6 EBPP scholen, EBPP bestuursleden, EBPP personeel, Ban hoofd dorp en vertegenwoordiger van Karangasem departement onderwijs, local police and army representatives. The flag ceremony took place with solemn, flag went smoothly, however, the ceremony became very animated when singing the Indonesian National anthem.

We also had two special guests joining us: Volunteer photographer and videographer from Canada-based Photographers Without Borders were in action bright and early up until the closing ceremony at 3.30pm. During the next 2 weeks they will be documenting all of EBPP’s work to produce a series of stunning and distinctive images.

De ochtend was spannend en vol met actie. Kinderen uit de lagere en lagere school waren in de concurrentie doet aardappel zaklopen, schaken wedstrijden, en 100m races. Squeals gelach en gezichten met stralende glimlach overvol de droge rivierbedding. Het was een perfecte start van de dag dat iedereen kijkt ernaar uit om elk jaar.

Optredens vond plaats naast die muzikale acts opgenomen, Balinese dansen, en de positie van drama skits. Our high school students excelled in their drama performances this year with sketches they developed from the main modules of their EMpower extra curriculum programme from July 2015 to June 2016. Starting with a short but very clever drama based on their computer literacy module, our Manikaji students in 7 minutes proudly ‘gave a class’ to 5 ‘neighbours’ who wanted to learn all computers and covered their 12 3-4 hours classes brilliantly. The message they were sending to the audience was that by EBPP teachers empowering them, they have a duty to share their new knowledge with other less fortunate people and become the “agents of change” they committed to be at the start of their EMpower programme.

Eindelijk, and with uncontrollable excitement, everyone rushed over to watch “Pangat Pinang”, a classic Indonesian Independence Day event. Two poles were erected in the field, one for the students and another for the rest of the community. The groups of men stood at the bottom of the poles and tried their best to climb them using one another as stepping stools but sliding down each time since the poles were lathered in butter. It was entertaining for everyone, participants and spectators, with cheers and laughter and screams coming from all directions.

Indonesian Independence Day is special for every Indonesian but, for those in Desa Ban, this event represents something even more than their country’s independence. It gives them a chance to come together as a community and enjoy the time they have, and to evaluate how far they have come over the years.

“There was something different in my heart, my heart felt shaky and proud to see all this, to see a society who lives in a remote area and far from development, but they remain proud to sing Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia) song, with all their limitations. Na 71 years of independence, they are not yet completely free, they are not free from poverty, they are not free from their lack of education and health facilities. But they are on the right path to achieve that.” – Tri

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