Cultural celebration commemorates 76th anniversary of Indonesia's proclamation of independence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Indonesian-Americans came together for a colorful cultural celebration in downtown Chicago Tuesday to commemorated the 76th anniversary of the Asian nation's proclamation of Independence.

"We bring something good for Indonesian people and also the community at large in Chicago here. We bring everything that we can here for our community," said Martino Tangkar, National President of the Indonesian Diaspora Network.

The cultural showcase featured multiple dances, a flag-raising ceremony with color guard and music honoring Indonesian heritage.

"As a nation blessed with more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is home to over 300 ethnic groups," said Meri Binsar Simorangkir with Indonesian Consul General. "Indonesia is committed to contribute its best for the betterment of the world."

Dozens filled the plaza to watch the festivities alongside multiple local and international dignitaries.

"When I hear Indonesia, immediately I feel and think of the fantastic destination that Indonesia is," Paul Van Halteren the honorary consul of Belgium. "But more than anything else the warm welcome hospitality of the Indonesian people."

Adding to the celebration, the State of Illinois and City of Chicago proclaimed the day as Indonesian Independence Day.

"The Indonesian-American community have made significant contributions to the growth, prosperity and development of our city," said one city representative.

Just seeing the beloved sights of his motherland celebrated on a stage in downtown Chicago instilled a strong sense of pride for Tangkar.

"Everybody is very excited and can you see that even though today is a working day, everybody come here," he said.
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