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Good friends

Update: August, 23/2014 - 12:00

Indonesia and Viet Nam are good friends.

This friendship goes back sixty years when the two countries made a special agreement to be friends.

Indonesia has now been independent for sixty-nine years.

Religious site: Candi Prambanan/Prambanan Temple, a ninth-century Hindu temple in Central Java.
Religious site: Candi Prambanan/Prambanan Temple, a ninth-century Hindu temple in Central Java. - Photo indonesia.travel

By Mayerfas, Indonesian Ambassador to Viet Nam

On August 17, 69 years ago, Indonesia claimed the right to live as a sovereign state and began the journey to building the Republic of Indonesia.

The meaning of August 17 is twofold. First is to remember the struggle of national heroes in freeing the nation from colonialism.

Second is to contemplate what present generations have done and will do for the betterment of the nation.

August 17 also signifies the unity of Indonesia's people. Indonesia has more than 250 million people, consisting of more than 300 ethnic groups across a vast archipelago of more than 17.000 islands.

Indonesia is blessed with cultural diversity, which is bound by the motto "Unity in Diversity". Together with its breathtaking landscapes and welcoming society, Indonesia offers limitless experience to all visitors.

Travellers will find that the physical features of the people vary from place to place. Let me suggest a visit to the Moluccas, where a different and exciting experience awaits.

And while Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia, the islands of Sulawesi, Sumatra and Lombok will definitely charm you.

Today, Indonesians throughout the world are brought together to commemorate Independence Day. In addition to a flag-hoisting ceremony in the morning across the nation and in Indonesian representative offices abroad, several traditional games are also held to mark national day. These fun games are mostly featured only on August 17.

Although the games may vary from place to place, the most common ones are Panjat Pinang (climbing an areca nut tree or pinang tree), Balap Karung (Sack Race), and Makan Kerupuk (Eat the Cracker). Sometimes the communities also organises traditional costume parades and sporting competitions.

The games and activities bring the Indonesian people closer. While we strengthen national bonds from independence to the present, we also think highly of our relations with our neighbours, especially in South-east Asia.

National Day is the right moment to examine what a nation has achieved.

In the economic field, Indonesia has become the tenth largest economy in the world according to the World Bank.

It has recorded GDP of more than US$1 trillion - 2.3 per cent of the world's total. This demonstrates how Indonesia has maintained positive economic growth amid uncertainties and the downturn in the global economy.

Turning to politics, Indonesia has just organised a general election smoothly and safely. It was labelled as one of the biggest in the world.

Relations between Indonesia and Viet Nam have been fruitful. They reached the most important step last year in the signing of a statement by our two presidents to establish a strategic partnership, which makes Viet Nam Indonesia's only strategic partner in the region.

This relationship has been forged since the beginning of independence in both countries. The profound relationship between our founding fathers, President Soekarno and President Ho Chi Minh, is a perfect example on how well connected we are.

Indonesia and Viet Nam are not only neighbouring countries, but also traditional friends and close partners. Consequently, Indonesia needs Viet Nam and vice versa. This is not only in bilateral relations, but also in regional, international and multi-lateral fora.

In addition to their combined big population of 340 million people, strong ties within the ASEAN family, and abundant natural resources, Indonesia and Viet Nam also share promising emerging markets, political stability, and a desire to develop their nations. This lays a solid foundation for further enhancement of Indonesia-Viet Nam relations.

Moreover, the two nations are preparing to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations next year, a milestone that adds to the significance of the ties between the two nations. — VNS

GLOSSARY

On Sunday, 69 years ago, Indonesia claimed the right to live as a sovereign state and began the journey to building the Republic of Indonesia.

 

A sovereign state is one that has the right to rule itself rather than have another country rule it.

The meaning of August 17 is twofold.

Twofold means "twice as big".

First is to remember the struggle of national heroes in freeing the nation from colonialism.

Colonialism happens when a powerful country takes over a less powerful country, rules over its people and makes money from its resources.

Second is to contemplate what present generations have done and will do for the betterment of the nation.

To contemplate something means to think about it deeply.

August 17 also signifies the unity of Indonesia's people. Indonesia has more than 250 million people, consisting of more than 300 ethnic groups across a vast archipelago of more than 17.000 islands.

Ethnic groups are made up of people of the same race, language, culture and religion.

An archipelago is a group of islands.

Indonesia is blessed with cultural diversity, which is bound by the motto "Unity in Diversity".

When many, different cultures all share one country, there is cultural diversity.

Travellers will find that the physical features of the people vary from place to place.

If features of people vary from place to place, they are different in one place from another place.

Today, Indonesians throughout the world are brought together to commemorate Independence Day.

To commemorate Independence Day means to remember it a way that shows respect.

While we strengthen national bonds from independence to the present, we also think highly of our relations with our neighbours, especially in South-east Asia.

A bond is a force that makes people feel they are part of the same community, or group.

It has recorded GDP of more than US$1 trillion - 2.3 per cent of the world's total.

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product. A country's GDP is the value of all the goods and services it produces.

This demonstrates how Indonesia has maintained positive economic growth amid uncertainties and the downturn in the global economy.

To maintain positive growth means to keep positive growth.

The downturn in the global economy happened when business all over the world slowed down.

Relations between Indonesia and Viet Nam have been fruitful.

Fruitful means productive.

 They reached the most important step last year in the signing of a statement by our two presidents to establish a strategic partnership, which makes Viet Nam Indonesia's only strategic partner in the region.

A strategic partnership is one that has the chance of remaining strong and productive in order to achieve certain aims.

This relationship has been forged since the beginning of independence in both countries.

When relationships are forged, they are created.

The profound relationship between our founding fathers, President Soekarno and President Ho Chi Minh, is a perfect example on how well connected we are.

Profound means deep, intense and of high quality.

Indonesia and Viet Nam are not only neighbouring countries, but also traditional friends and close partners. Consequently, Indonesia needs Viet Nam and vice versa.

Vice versa means and the other way around. In this case it means Viet Nam needs Indonesia.

This is not only in bilateral relations, but also in regional, international and multi-lateral forums.

Bilateral relations are relations between two countries.

Multi-lateral forums are places where representatives from many countries get together to discuss things.

In addition to their combined big population of 340 million people, strong ties within the ASEAN family, and abundant natural resources, Indonesia and Viet Nam also share promising emerging markets, political stability, and a desire to develop their nations.

ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The member states are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

A country with abundant natural resources has many things that can be farmed, or mined, to produce sophisticated goods.

Emerging markets are countries where most people have low to middle incomes.

This lays a solid foundation for further enhancement of Indonesia-Viet Nam relations.

The enhancement of relations means the improvement and strengthening of relations.

Moreover, the two nations are preparing to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations next year, a milestone that adds to the significance of the ties between the two nations.

Diplomatic relations means the official relationship between countries.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      Indonesia became independent in 1945.

2.      India is one of the ASEAN countries.

3.      Indonesia is made of a total of 300 islands.

4.      The traditional Indonesian game known as Panjat Pinang involves climbing an areca nut tree, or pinang tree.

5.      Bali is a popular tourist destination in Indonesia.

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2014

































1. True; 2. False; 3. False; 4. True; 5. True.

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