With the 72nd anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia approaching (on 17 August 2017), those who love art have a chance to enjoy the collection of paintings owned by the Indonesian state that normally decorates the walls within the Presidential Palace. In the National Gallery of Indonesia (located in Central Jakarta) a total of 48 paintings - created by famous Indonesian and foreign painters including Raden Saleh, Dullah, Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet, Trubus Soedarsono and Lee Man Fong - are displayed to the general public throughout the month of August.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 365,240 confirmed infections, 12,617 deaths (19 October 2020)
19 October 2020 (closed)
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Latest Columns Soekarno
1 June has been a national holiday in Indonesia since 2016. On this day the Indonesian people commemorate Pancasila Day. On 1 June 1945 Indonesia’s first president Sukarno gave a famous speech to the Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia, or BPUPKI), wherein he outlined the Pancasila; the five principles or guidelines that should form the foundation of the huge and diverse nation.
Ki Hajar Dewantara (also known as Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat), 1889-1959, was a writer, columnist, politician and advocator of Indonesian independence from the Dutch colonial power. However, he may be most remembered for his pioneering role in the development of education in the Indonesian colony. A native of Yogyakarta (Java), Dewantara founded the Taman Siswa school in 1922 in Yogyakarta. This school provided education for native Indonesians, whereas previously education was limited to the Dutch colonials and Javanese aristocracy.
Abdul Muis (in old Indonesian spelling Abdoel Moeis), 1886-1959, was an Indonesian novelist, journalist and advocator of Indonesian independence from the Netherlands. As a novelist, Muis is most remembered for being the author of Salah Asuhan (Wrong Upbringing), a novel that is regarded as one of the great pieces of early modern Indonesian literature. As a journalist and freedom fighter, he is remembered for his blunt criticism toward the colonization of Indonesia. As a result he was arrested and spent several years in exile.
Next month it will be the 60th anniversary of the first Asian African Conference, held in the Gedung Merdeka in Bandung (West Java) between 18 and 24 April 1955. This conference, which is also known as the Bandung Conference, is regarded as a milestone as it was the first time an encounter took place among 29 Asian and African countries - many of which had just gained independence from western colonizers - with the aim to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation as well as to oppose (neo)colonialism.
Today, exactly 49 years ago, Indonesian President Sukarno reluctantly signed a decree that gave full authority to army commander General Suharto to restore order, protect Sukarno and safeguard the Indonesian revolution. This decree, which would become the start of a brand new chapter in Indonesian history (the New Order) as it marked the transfer of executive power from Sukarno to Suharto, became known as Supersemar (Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret, or, the Decree of 11 March).
By the mid-1960s, politics and the economy of Indonesia had turned into disaster. After Independence in 1945 (and the cessation of hostilities with the Dutch in 1949), the young nation was plagued by hostile internal politics in which several political forces - consisting of the army, nationalists, Muslims, and communists - opposed each other. For over a decade, Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, had reasonable success in keeping these forces in check by the force of his own personality. However, by the mid-1960s his failure became evident.
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