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by ira.purnomo on 

Desember 19, 2014
Scary Patriotic Meet-Up in Jakarta's Old Town
halloween meetup

Jakarta, November 1st, 2014

On this very hot day, Polyglot Indonesia - Chapter Jakarta gathered in the North of Jakarta, a district mostly known as the Old Town. Upika, Amita, and Ria, being the people in charge, decided to have a blended theme for this meet-up, considering the Youth Pledge Day on October 28th, and Halloween on October 31st. 

So here we are, meeting up in Bank Mandiri Museum, a heritage building designed by 3 Dutch architects and constructed in 1929. At first, it was housing the Netherlands Trading Society during the colonial period, but after independence, the building was taken over by one bank to another. Since 1999 the building has become an asset to Bank Mandiri, Indonesia’s largest bank as of today, and displaying old banking equipment.

The meeting point was at the Cafeteria of the museum at 2pm, and just a little while after, we were already around 30 people and moved to the Library. There were lots of new faces, so we introduced ourselves in circle. The new local ones mostly knew about the community from Twitter and from TV, whereas the foreigners (one Filipino and one Croatian) were invited by their local relatives. As mentioned in the invitation, some of us dressed up: a voodoo doll, a Hawaiian girl, a wizard, a ninja, a gypsy, a soldier, a couple of Vendetta anarchists, and a couple of masked women.

Moving on to the discussion tables, we were given 3 tasks: discussing about urban legends, what we know about the Youth Pledge, and translating the Pledge into various languages. This time, we had French, German, and English tables to accommodate people. The French table discussed mostly about black magic in Banten, the German table talked about the famous pretty lady from Ancol Bridge and the English table about the legendary white tiger from South Sumatera.

Curious about the stories discussed? For the first story, there is a village of Black Magic in Bojonegara, province of Banten, West Java. Many powerful witchdoctors (“dukun”) live here to serve their clients who attempt to harm another person from a distance, usually using various media such as hair, pictures, dolls, or incenses. Second story, the pretty lady from Ancol bridge (“si Manis jembatan Ancol”). This story was even screened into TV serials (“sinetron”) and movie! But the basic story is about a pretty girl who got murdered and thrown nearby the Ancol Bridge, North Jakarta. Her soul was full of revenge, and therefore her ghost still remains in the same area she died. The last story is about the white tiger, which is well known in Java but actually originated in Sumatera. It is said that the white tiger is actually a weretiger: a human being who can transform himself into a white tiger, especially when he’s angry.

About the Youth Pledge, surprisingly we didn’t know enough to discuss much about it (I guess what we learned in History class in primary school evaporated quickly!)  so some of us got help from Uncle Google. So yeah, it was officially proclaimed on October 28th, 1928 by youth groups from various regions across Indonesia, and presented 3 ideals: one motherland, one nation, one language.

After discussing for 40 minutes, we took a break and then presented our findings in front of everyone else. As for the best costumes, we all voted according to our own opinion, and the winners are… Upika as the voodoo doll, and Hakim as the ninja! Congratulations to you both, keep up your creativity (and please don’t scare kids around!).

At the end of the day, we hope that everyone had fun practicing their language, making new friends, digging into interesting topics, and showing off their costumes! 



To show some results, here is the Youth pledge Text in original and translated versions:


Original Version (Old Indonesian Spelling):


Kami poetra dan poetri Indonesia, mengakoe bertoempah darah jang satoe, tanah air Indonesia.

Kami poetra dan poetri Indonesia mengakoe berbangsa jang satoe, bangsa Indonesia.

Kami poetra dan poetri Indonesia mendjoendjoeng bahasa persatoean, bahasa Indonesia.


English Version:

We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, acknowledge one motherland, Indonesia.

We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, acknowledge one nation, the nation of Indonesia.
We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, uphold the language of unity, Indonesian.


German Version:

Wir, die Jugend Indonesiens, erkennen ein Vatterland, Indonesien.
Wir, die Jugend Indonesiens, erkennen eine Nation, Indonesien.
Wir, die Jugend Indonesiens wahren eine Sprache, Bahasa Indonesia


French Version:

Nous, les jeunes de l'Indonésie, admettons une patrie, l’Indonésie.
Nous, les jeunes de l'Indonésie, admettons une nation, la nation d'Indonésie.
Nous, les jeunes de l'Indonésie, confirmons la langue de l'unité, l’indonésien.

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