Stockholm (Sunday, August 19, 2018) The Indonesian ambassador's residence in Lidingö, Sweden was filled with the laughter and joy of children and adults alike, as they lined up to participate in a series of friendly competitions to celebrate the 73rd year of Indonesia's independence. 


Pesta rakyat (People's Festival) was kicked off with lomba makan kerupuk, the cracker eating competition that is a common tradition for the independence celebration.  With their hands held to their backs, children eagerly started to snack on the stale crackers that were dangling above them on a thread. 9-year-old Frederick and 10-year-old Ratna came out as the victors.


The second game had similar rules to the cracker eating contest. However the twist was that instead of crackers and children, adult males were challenged to drink milk through baby bottles. Both Indonesian and Swedish men participated in the game, but it was Abraham from Bali that won the final round.


There were several other games, musical performances and dances that were performed during pesta rakyat that was held on August 18. Just a day before, the residence was used as the venue to hold the flag hoisting ceremony to commemorate the Independence day.


A week prior to the festival, a series of sports tournaments were held including futsal, badminton, and ping-pong. The winners were announced during the Pesta Rakyat festival. Ibu Irawati Mamesah was the winner of both badminton and ping-pong.


During his opening remarks, Ambassador Bagas Hapsoro expressed his gratitude to those who have helped in executing the event. Among those were the Indonesian Community, the Association of Indonesian Student in Sweden, the Swedish and Indonesian Society (SIS), Urban Wahlstedt and Gamelan Sukarencana, the Indonesian communities from the cities outside Stockholm, the local bands and the US band, Dharma Wanita Persatuan, and the ukulele group by the Seniors.


Accompanied by Anders Hagardt and Christer Ridström, both were the Chairmen of the Swedish – Indonesian Society (SIS), and Gorda Suryadi.


"Thank you to our Swedish friends for their friendship, I am quite certain that our two countries has been developing the much better relationship. Tack så mycket", concludes Bagas.


(Source: the Indonesian Embassy in Stockholm).