Indonesian students celebrate Independence Day together in Taiwan

Pandemic could not stop Indonesian students living in Taiwan from celebrating Indonesian Independence Day

Indonesian students in Taiwan celebrate Independence Day at "Tuh Baper" event. (PERPITA photo)

Indonesian students in Taiwan celebrate Independence Day at "Tuh Baper" event. (PERPITA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Indonesian students in Taiwan who were unable to be home for their nation’s Independence Day (Aug. 17) came together on university campuses to play traditional Indonesian games instead.

The Indonesian Student Association in Taiwan (PERPITA) held its Independence Day celebrations, known as “Tuh Baper,” on Friday (Aug. 14) in central and southern Taiwan, followed by a final event on Saturday in northern Taiwan.

Indonesian students cheering. (PERPITA photo)

In normal times, most students would be home for the summer and would celebrate Independence Day in Indonesia. This summer, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted Indonesia severely, has forced many students to remain in Taiwan.

The student organization invited students living all over Taiwan to join in and play traditional games, such as “makan kerupuk,” or eat the cracker, and “tarik tambang,” Indonesian for tug of war. Afterward, Indonesian foods were served by sponsoring vendors.

"Tarik tambang," or tug of war. (PERPITA photo)

The traditional Indonesian Remo dance and student performances were also featured at the events. PERPITA provided gifts to attendees in the form of door prizes, another Indonesian custom.

More than 200 students turned out to take part in the festivities. They gathered at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei, National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, and Tunghai University in Taichung.

Participants snacking on Indonesian crackers. (PERPITA photo)

According to the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office (IETO) Representative Fajar Nuradi, the theme of the celebration was “Indonesia Maju,” or "flourishing Indonesia," which he described as a motto for getting through the dark times brought on by the pandemic.

Tallying over 140,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Indonesia has been the hardest-hit nation in Southeast Asia. In deference to epidemic prevention efforts, the official national flag ceremony in Indonesia was held behind closed doors and limited to 20 participants.

Student performing Tari Remo dance from East Java. (PERPITA photo)