Today we celebrate Indonesia�s Independence Day, known locally as Hari Merdeka.

The
day celebrates the former Dutch colony�s declaration of independence from the
Netherlands in 1945. Four years later, in 1949, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
formally granted Indonesia its independence, ending 350 years of Dutch rule in the
Far East.

In the country�s capital of Jakarta and other large cities throughout the
archipelago, this historically significant day is celebrated with elaborate parades
including marching bands and floats festooned with Indonesia�s red-and-white flag.
Flag-raising ceremonies also dominate the day, while performers sing the national
anthem of Indonesia. Friends and families bond over activities like sack racing and
climbing palm trees (panjat pinang) and show their culinary chops in cooking
competitions featuring dishes from a myriad of cultures.

Using whimsical figures and rich colors and patterns, today�s Doodle by guest
artist Aditya Pratama encapsulates the spirit of �unity in diversity� (Bhinneka
Tunggal Ika) the national motto of Indonesia (derived from a 14th-century Javanese
poem) that defines the joy of this landmark day.