From bustling towns to remote villages, the 17th of August commemorations of the proclamation of Indonesia’s independence in Bali are always marked with solemn official ceremonies and fun-filled community celebrations. Ubud – a village which seems like a town or a town that acts like a village – and it’s surrounds are no exception. (In today’s context it is also the one major celebration in Bali which includes all ethnic groups and religions in celebration together). We snapped a few pics to share with you.

photos ©Rio Helmi

_RLH6295The fun started even before we got to the football field where all the celebrations in Ubud were centered..

_RLH6362Primary students, winners of a regency wide competition for their made-up police uniforms, standby for a selfie with teachers. 


_RIO4676A slightly baroque gamelan ensemble played national songs

_RIO4712While soldiers polished up girl scouts saluting techniques.


_RIO4760Then things get serious. The 1945 Proclamation of Independence is read out in suitably stentorian tones.

_RLH6438A solemn moment of silence

_RIO4795Even  visiting tourists seem to be carried away by the moment – well at least one of them.

_RLH6472The flag raising squad marches crisply in, junior reporters swing into action.

_RLH6525The Red and White is raised, and the ubiquitous drone catches the scene.

_RLH6579-RecoveredHigh stepping, arms swinging, the squad leaves the arena.

_RIO4849In the afternoon, in Tegallalang, there’s time for fun and games – here a somewhat ribald comic performance by some junior high school kids

_RLH6607-RecoveredThe marching bands take in the buffoonery

_RLH6634-RecoveredJunior high life hack: making do with the mirrors implanted on her friend’s headdress

_RLH6664more Happy Snappy time

_RLH6686-RecoveredA bit of onsite book keeping at the end of a long day.

See you next year.