IDNAround – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has made it a tradition to don traditional attires on Indonesia’s Independence Day, and his outfit is something that many people look forward to each year.
The Southeast Asian nation marked its 78th independence day on Thursday. The Merdeka Palace in Jakarta opened its doors for the flag-hoisting ceremony and a multitude of festivities.
Jokowi showed up to the ceremony in an “Ageman Songkok Singkepan Ageng”’ attire. This is a traditional wear worn by Royal Commander Pakubuwono Hadiningrat, namely the highest-ranking official at the Javanese monarchy Surakarta Sunanate.
Jokowi appeared in a black outer with a white long-sleeved shirt underneath and a gold sash that draped from his left shoulder. He had a red-and-white woven fabric and a batik cloth wrapped around his torso, coupled with black trousers. The president completed his look with a black bowtie as well as a headdress or songkok.
The Surakarta Sunanate king would wear this traditional wear when he heads out for “Enggar Eggar Soho Tedhak Loji”. This is when the king steps out of the palace –along with his subordinates– on a chariot ride to check on the people. He would then distribute money and food to the people during these trips.
Shortly before the flag-hoisting ceremony, Jokowi greeted the people who had gathered just outside the palace. The “Enggar Eggar Soho Tedhak Loji” is somehow reminiscent of Jokowi’s signature impromptu visits or locally known blusukan. Jokowi would often make time in his busy schedule to visit people’s homes and traditional markets.
Jokowi was also not the only one who dressed up for the ceremony. Almost all attendees wore traditional attire from across the archipelago.
“Take a look around … and see the plethora of traditional attire. This is Indonesia’s strength. If we unite, solid and in unison, that is Indonesia’s great power,” Jokowi told reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony.
Top diplomat Retno Marsudi came to the ceremony in an all-red Mamasa traditional wear from West Sulawesi. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani donned the traditional wear from Soe, East Nusa Tenggara.
Sri Mulyani even came in fifth place at the best-dressed attendee at the ceremony. Jokowi’s son Kaesang Pangarep placed fourth with his North Sulawesi’s Minahasa traditional attire. Both got to take home a bicycle.
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