by Timea, Co-Director, IHF Banda Aceh
The last week in Aceh has been a very exciting one. 17 August is the national Independence Day in Indonesia with lots of celebrations. In the morning the whole city was gathering in the main park, called Blang Padang, to see the flag ceremony and the traditional Acehnese dance performed by students and soldiers. It was very spectacular and everyone was enjoying it despite the heat.
Later in the afternoon we held a celebration for our students at the center – of course we wanted them to have fun with us, too! We have prepared a lot of activities. We were welcoming them with ice-cold popsickles and everyone got an Indonesian – red and white – flag drawn on their cheeks. We had an arts and crafts corner and we organised a lot of races, such as three-legged race, sackrace and a race balancinga marble in a spoon. But the most popular thing was Makan Kerupuk – eating traditional Indonesian chips off a rope – all the children were crazy about this.
Fortunately both our younger and our older students found the games enjoyable!
Some of the parents stayed with the children for the afternoon – they were making some red and white bracelets for themselves in the arts and crafts corner and have a nice chat in the shades while the children were playing. We could tell that they were having fun, too. Some of them even made bracelets for the co-directors, we really appreciated it.
At the end of the event all the children received a bungkus – a tiny red and white bag – with some cakes and presents. This topped up the event and everybody – we had 70 students attending the event! – went home happy and then attended next week’s classes with high spirits.