Acehnese hold mass dance for Indonesian independence day

A boy dressed in tradional Javanese attire dances as he takes part during the celebration of Indonesia’s 74th  Independence Day at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 17, 2019. — Reuters pic
A boy dressed in tradional Javanese attire dances as he takes part during the celebration of Indonesia’s 74th Independence Day at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 17, 2019. — Reuters pic

BANDA ACEH, Aug 17 — More than 2,000 boys dressed in colourful traditional costumes took part in a mass dance in Aceh to celebrate Indonesia’s independence day today.

The 2019 teenagers, one for each year, lined up playing the tambourine-like Rapa’i and singing a song that recounts the history of Islam in the southeast Asian country.

This year, participants were selected from 140 villages in Aceh province’s Blangpidie district to train for weeks for the independence day celebration.

Thousands of spectators watched and cheered enthusiastically as the boys played their instruments and danced in shifting formations.

“This is very festive, I’ve never seen it before. It was so much fun,” visitor Khairul Bariah told AFP.

The event is held periodically to celebrate various occasions from a successful harvest season to religious days and weddings.

“It was not easy to discipline this many dancers. I hope after this Rapa’i mass dance will be known,” performer Abdul told AFP. — AFP