10/29/2019, 12.02
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Ordinary citizens and religious leaders celebrate national unity at Jakarta Cathedral (video)

by Mathias Hariyadi

The church façade became a large screen for historical and artistic images, part of celebrations for the 91st anniversary of Sumpah Pemuda, the ‘Youth Pledge’. Card Suharyo said he was “very happy to share these moments with other religious leaders”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A crowd gathered at St Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Jakarta last night to commemorate the 91st anniversary of Sumpah Pemuda, the ‘Youth Pledge’, including Catholics, ordinary Indonesians and high-ranking leaders from the country’s various religious communities.

On 27 and 28 October 1928, nationalist youth movements met in central Jakarta for their second Congress, issuing a declaration that proclaimed the ideal of ‘one motherland, one nation, one language’.

The document played an important role in the political and philosophical foundation of the State.

It also highlights the important contribution made by the Catholic Church to national unity, since the historic congress met on its first day at the headquarters of the Katholieke Jongelingen Bond, the building of the Young Catholic Association.

Organised by the archdiocese, the main moment in yesterday's celebrations was the audio-visual show – the first of its kind – before a speech by Card Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop of Jakarta.

For a few minutes, the cathedral’s façade became a large screen onto which were projected historical and artistic images (video 1) that retraced the first steps of what became the Indonesian nation on 17 August 1945.

At the end of the performance, Card Suharyo said he was “very happy to share these moments with other religious leaders” (video 2).

Alongside the archbishop there were the cathedral’s pastor Fr Hani Rudi Hartoko, Dr Anhar Gonggong, a well-known historian and nationalist figure, and Prof Nasaruddin Umar, imam of the big Istiqlal mosque.

“Amid various challenges and opportunities, including concerns and hopes, we are here to commemorate our Sumpah Pemuda," the cardinal said.

“We all know that the National Awakening (Kebangkitan Nasional) of 1908, the Sumpah Pemuda of 1928 and the Pancasila [pluralist doctrine] political platform of 1945 are the historical foundations of our nation and state. Today we commemorate these milestones in Indonesian history.”


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