Today, the 17th of August, marks nearly three quarters of century of Indonesia’s independence. As in other parts of the country, here in Bali celebrations start at the grass roots level and go right up to provincial level. Proceedings go from the solemn and formal, to the down right hilarious and even a bit bawdy. Here are some snap shots from Ubud, Tegallalang and Tampaksiring.

words/photos ©Rio Helmi

Ubud seems to take it self very seriously these days with lots of goosestepping, while crowds are held back by lines of ‘security’. But the odd tourist still manages to slip through to snap a pic.

Above: raising the flag below: parading by the inspector.

Above: One thing that was different this year is that all the students were wearing traditional Balinese dress – as shown here in Tegallalang. Although of course the drum band was excepted (Below).

Meanwhile in Tampaksiring, the local junior high school students put on a blend of modern drum band and classic Balinese but then added a hilarious skit commenting social issues, tourism, and jealousy. Below: an arrogant, snooty Joged dancer makes fun of a vendor.

Below: two saucy widows pull out an unexpected souvenir from the vendors bag (and the officials’ wives in the viewing stand of honor suddenly had stern looks on their faces).

Below and bottom: In Sanding , the classic greased pole with prizes still gets a rise out of the audience – the winners get pride.