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Istana Berkebaya: Celebrating Indonesia’s cultural diversity at the Presidential Palace

Istana Berkebaya: Presidential Palace celebrates Indonesia’s cultural diversity with a grand fashion show showcasing traditional and modern kebaya designs.



INDONESIA: The Presidential Palace held a spectacular kebaya fashion show titled “Istana Berkebaya” (Palace in Kebaya) on Sunday (6 Aug) afternoon to commemorate the 78th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.

The event showcased the nation’s cultural diversity in a mesmerizing display of traditional kebaya attire, initiated by the Government of DKI Jakarta in collaboration with the State Secretariat and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is one of the series of events commemorating the 78th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.

President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, along with First Lady Iriana and the ministers, attended the Istana Berkebaya event at the Istana Merdeka Complex in Jakarta on Sunday, August 6, 2023.

“After commencing with recitations, prayers, and the grandest angklung performance, today, on the 78th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, we continue with the spirit of Indonesia’s rich cultural diversity through Istana Berkebaya,” stated Heru Budi Hartono, the Acting Governor of DKI Jakarta, in his address.

In addition to showcasing music performances, dance shows, and cultural stages, the event was graced by the presence of President Joko Widodo and the First Lady, Iriana Widodo. Iriana Joko Widodo, the First Lady, led the fashion parade, which included the wives of cabinet ministers, female civil servants from the DKI Jakarta provincial government, female employees of state-owned enterprises (BUMN), and regional-owned enterprises (BUMD), female ambassadors from friendly nations, Miss Indonesia, and esteemed senior female journalists. Additionally, professional models showcased the elegance of kebaya designs on the runway.

In total, 401 participants walked a 200-meter-long catwalk specially constructed on the grounds of Istana Merdeka.

Addressing the audience, President Jokowi emphasized that the kebaya represents the character of the Indonesian nation, symbolizing grace, gentleness, politeness, and simplicity. The colorful array of kebaya styles on display reflected the country’s unique and diverse cultural heritage.

During the event, President Jokowi wore a traditional Betawi outfit called “sadariah” in black, complemented by a sarong featuring shades of green.

The First Lady, Iriana, looked resplendent in a red “kebaya encim“, a traditional Betawi attire originating from cultural acculturation between Betawi, Malay, Chinese, and Dutch influences in the 19th century.

The attire extended beyond the presidential couple, with nearly all ministers and agency heads donning traditional Betawi attire, adding a sense of unity and pride in Indonesian heritage.

Sadariah & kebaya encim, the traditional Betawi attire.

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