Delft, The Netherlands (ANTARA News) - A group of students from the School of Indonesia Nederland (SIN) will hoist the flag at the 69th Independence Day commemoration, organised by the Indonesian Embassy at The Hague in The Netherlands, August 17.

The thirteen students from the high school have been felicitated by the Indonesian ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Retno L.P Marsudi, on Friday, August 15, at a ceremony attended by the Embassy staff, teachers and parents.

The flag-hoisting squad from the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague comprises five junior high school and eight senior high school students.

They are Aurelie Britney (14), Kirana Pitaloka (14), Kitana Pires (15), Nadia Delfi Zafira (13) and Nastiti Ayu Sayekti (14).

The senior high school students are Abi As¿ari (16), Ahmad Ghifari (15), Annisa Fadhilah Husna (17), Anwar Permana (16), Fadhila Rosmasari (16), Hagar Masae (17), Radika Febriano (16), and Roichan Fernandes (16).

"I am so proud to be one of the flag-hoisting squad, more so because the ceremony will be held in The Netherlands," Radika, who has the duty as a flag-raiser along with Abi As'ari and Aurelie Briteney, said.

Nadia Delfi Zafira also expressed her pride and gratefulness at being one of the squad who will be on duty at The Hague.

"For me, being a member of the squad is one of the things that I can do to continue the struggle of our heroes. In addition, as a student I do my best to study hard and seriously, so that later I can contribute to Indonesia," Nadia, who has been living in The Netherlands for the past two years, said.

The training that should be done by the squad is heavy, according to them. It started in June and continued till early August until three days before the anniversary on August 17. The squads were trained by Defense Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy at The Hague.

The flag-hoisting squads inauguration ceremony comprised such items as kissing the national flag, the squad¿s oath-taking and having the badge pinned on them by the Ambassador.

He was a bit nervous to run the flag-raising tasks, but his confidence rose after he passed the inauguration ceremony, Radika admitted.

"After kissing the flag, my confidence rose," he said.

Most of the Indonesia Nederland school students have been living there for more than two years since their parents are there. Although they have lived in such a developed country for so long, the feeling of longing for the homeland is inevitable.

"I miss Indonesia so much. I have to finish my studies here so that in the future I can bring something to Indonesia,¿ Nadia said.


According to ambassador Retno the raising of the national flag by the students is a noble mandate, moreover as the Independence Day ceremony is being held in The Netherlands.

"Indonesia and The Netherlands have strong historical ties. We have opposed each other, because they occupied our homeland for a long time. But the relations between Indonesia and The Netherlands has now been well established," the ambassador said.

The different stages of history between the two countries should be a lesson for us to build a better Indonesia, she added.

"The Netherlands is a unique place to learn. By understanding its historical ties with Indonesia, we will understand how we can work in order to make a better Indonesia," the ambassador said.

Indonesia is a big country with a plurality of ethnicities, religions, cultures and customs. These diversities should be valued and respected, even harmonized, she added.

"The harmony of living in a pluralistic society like Indonesia cannot be realized automatically. We are the nation's ambassadors to harmonize this pluralism. Indonesia belongs to all of us," ambassador Retno said.


The Principal of the School of Indonesia Nederland, Budi Wahyu Rianto, said the school, which is located in Wassenaar (about 54 kilometers south-west of Amsterdam), is an Indonesian representative abroad for the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Independence Day commemoration.

"The flag-hoisting squad has become a tradition in The Netherlands. The students are trained by the Defense Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in The Netherlands," Budi said.

He said 17 students served on the squad in 2013, while this year there are thirteen. The number of students depends on the number of secondary students enrolled in the school, and that fluctuates every year.

In the flag-hoisting ceremony that will be held at Wisma Duta at The Hague, the students and teachers will also present national songs.

In addition to engaging in the flag-hoisting ceremony, the students will feature in an art performance at the Pesta Rakyat (People's Fiesta) as one of a series of the celebrations.

"They will perform on the angklung," Budi said, adding that one of the songs that will be played is Kroncong Kemayoran Betawi (Jakarta).

Angklung is a traditional musical instrument from West java that is made of bamboo.

The Indonesian Independence Day celebrations which are organized by the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague, consists of sports activities such as golf and bowling competitions, as well as fun biking that were held from June to early August.

The embassy will also organize a diplomatic reception on August 20. The August 17 celebration will conclude with the Pesta Rakyat (People's Fiesta) event or "Indonesia Day" on September 6. (LWA/BESSR/A. Abdussalam)

Reporter: Libertina Widyamurti Ambari
Editor: Kunto Wibisono
Copyright © ANTARA 2014