On the eve of the 16th of May, Ambassador Eivind S. Homme and his wife Charlotte welcomed close to 250 guests to the Norwegian residence in Jakarta. Members of the Indonesian Government, NGOs, Private Sector, Academia and Media, the Diplomatic Corps and Multilateral Organizations, a range of Partners and Friends of the Embassy, were invited to celebrate the Norwegian Constitution Day, Norway’s National Day. Among the Guests were Minister Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the Presidents Advisor Hassan Wirajuda, Chairman of Apindo Sofyan Wanandi and Chairman of Kadin Suryo Sulisto.
With a marching band greeting the guests and a huge 17th of May Children’s Parade Painting made by the Jakarta Institute of Arts on display, plenty of Norwegian seafood and cakes, with the smoked salmon and sushi-station being very popular, as well as Indonesian food being served, it was a happy atmosphere of celebration.
Ambassador Homme addressed the audience commemorating the history of the Norwegian Constitution highlighting that Norway has the world’s second oldest constitution still in use, constantly being revised to meet new demands regarding democracy and human rights. Mr. Homme also emphasized the strong ties between Indonesia and Norway, recently illustrated by the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Marty Natalegawa to Norway. The Minister had audience with His Majesty the King, was welcomed by the Prime Minister and held extensive bilateral talks with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre during his 2 days visit last month.
Mr. Homme, celebrating his last Norwegian Constitution Day in Jakarta as Ambassador, expressed his deep gratitude for the cooperation, support and friendship extended to him and his family throughout their four years in Indonesia.
The next day, on the 17th of May, the Constitution Day was again celebrated at the Norwegian residence, now with more than 70 guests; Norwegian families living and working in Indonesia.
Ambassador Homme gave a personal speech extending his thanks to the Norwegians for serving as their ambassador in Indonesia and Timor Leste. “The Homme family rucksack is filled with wonderful memories from the past four years”, said the Ambassador. He conveyed greetings from His Majesty King Harald and the Royal Family to all Norwegians and Friends of Norway in Indonesia and Timor Leste.
Enthusiastic guests were served traditional Norwegian food before they went on parading the neighbourhood streets with the Jotun Marching Band, cheering and waving Norwegian flags. The focus of the Norwegian national day is most of all the youth and children. A day filled with ice-cream-eating and banner-holding youngsters celebrating the signing of Norway’s constitution on the 17th of May, 1814, of our independence, peace and democracy. Jakarta was no exception to this rule.
This year’s 17th of May celebrations were arranged by the Nordic Club and the Embassy, with support from Statoil and Jotun. Sponsors for the 16th May event included Hoegh LNG Asia, Q-Free, Timur Ship Managment and the Norwegian Seafood Council.
17th of May at Timor-Leste
The small Norwegian community at Timor-Leste met early morning for a traditional 17th of May at Beachside Hotel, Cristo Rei in Dili.
Ms. Marianne Damhaug, Deputy Head of Mission of the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta visited Dili from the 14th to the 17th of May to attend the Timor-Leste Development Partners Meeting. She was happy to celebrate the 17th of May together with the Norwegians living in Dili.