Norwegian Independence Day in Indonesia

The Indonesian Norwegian Business Council (INBC), in co-operation with the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, organized an evening celebration “Snowflakes Over Java” on May 17 at Jakarta Hilton International to mark the Norwegian Independence Day.      INBC members and guests were welcomed by a multimedia video on Norway and INBC – jointly produced by INBC and the Norwegian Embassy – then a speech by INBC president Oivind Hoidalen.      An opening dance “Jakarta” was performed by Joko Sandono of INBC.      The highlight of the evening was a cross cultural theatre/dance performance “Snowflakes Over Java” which was based on Nordic and Javanese legends and performed by the children of Sekolah Dasar Mentari under the direction of Indra Lorentzen, a former premiere danseuse of the National Ballet of Norway.      Kids were given t-shirts and footballs by INBC president Oivind Hoidalen before everybody was invited to enjoy a wonderful buffet dinner and pleasant live music by a talented band.      Proceeds from donations made at the evening will be given to underprivileged children.

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  1. […] Is it really possible to get that intense feeling of pride and joy as most do when celebrating at home? Meeting expectations A newcomer to Singapore, a student who is here for 4 months and two backpackers passing by, all were very impressed by the Singapore events, and happy they got the chance to celebrate this day just here.      “It was a very good atmosphere and I felt very welcome,” one of the backpackers expressed.      She also said that it was especially nice to meet so many Norwegians at once, after 3 months on the road. The only ‘negative’ aspect she could come up with was the hot weather.      It was indeed fantastic weather throughout the whole day. One of the brightest and warmest days in months and this of course made the day even more special. It is beyond doubt that Norwegians are fussy about the weather, coming from a country were there is so much of it, especially on the bad side.      Not only the weather made the day a success, but all those in charge of the different events that took place. The 17th of May-committee had made a varied schedule that had something for everyone. Mrs. Nygaards ‘kransekake’ The programme started off at noon with a reception for the adults, at the lovely home of the Norwegian Ambassador, Enok Nygaard and his wife Rakel Nygaard.      All were welcomed with refreshments and a speech of the day held by the Ambassador, who also read greetings on behalf of the Norwegian Royal Family and the President of Singapore, Mr. Nathan.      The Ambassador’s speech stressed the importance of peace and caring for others, that one should not take freedom for granted these days. He also stressed the strong relations between Singapore and Norway, both being seafaring nations.      After singing the national anthem, guests were served Norwegian ‘snitter’ followed by coffee, tea and cakes. Mrs. Nygaard’s ‘kransekake’ was one of the favourites. Alkaff Mansion in the sun The next stop was a family gathering at the well-known Alkaff Mansion. It is a grand mansion built in the 1920’s situated on a hilltop surrounded by a lush garden. This location and the beautiful decorations really put an extra touch to the celebration.      The traditional happenings set off the 17th of May spirit. Some things are essential on such a day and we got it all – the marching band, happy children with flags, speeches, traditional songs, games for the children and delicious food.      The band, Kirkebakken Janitsjar, played remarkably well, but most of all managed to march up the steep hill in 34 degrees. Hearing those familiar tunes and seeing all the happy people, for a second it was hard to believe you were still close to the Equator. A brave few of the almost 200 people refused to believe just that, wearing their beautiful woollen national costumes (bunad).      The whole event was definitely one for the children and they all seemed to have a great time. They were all well taken care of with a lot going on and plenty of hot dogs, popcorn etc. Probably not very many gave a second thought to being miles away from Norway.      Not many adults had anything to complain about either. Thanks to the committee and all the supporting companies, all indulged themselves in a huge buffet. Shrimps and clowns at the Seamen’s Mission The last happening on the programme was a family gathering at the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission. About 100 people joined, to help finish all the food that had been prepared. Two colourful clowns amused the children, who showed their gratitude by chasing the clowns to the pool. The answer to the question raised in the beginning must be a definite YES! Celebrating 17th of May away from home is indeed a very special thing. It is all about getting together and feeling that one belong somewhere. This writer did so – hope all fellow Norwegians away from home did too.      For more background information about 17th of May, please visit , and for the history and such of Alkaff Mansion, go to      There were also a television team who filmed throughout the day. This will be possible to see at Mediacorp Suria TV-12 Thursday 31st of July at 8:30pm. Read about 17th of May celebration in Indonesia on […]

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