Each year, on 28 October, Indonesia celebrates ‘Youth Pledge Day’, or in Bahasa Indonesia, ‘Hari Sumpah Pemuda’. This date marks the day back in 1928, when a group of young Indonesian nationalists declared the “Sumpah Pemuda” for the first time. They proclaimed three ideas that went on to underwrite the establishment of the Indonesian republic: one motherland, one nation and one language.
Emphasising the “one language” part of the pledge, the young nationalists declared “We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, uphold the language of unity, Bahasa Indonesia.” Because of this pivotal historical event, in Indonesia, October is often referred to as “Bulan Bahasa” or “Language Month”. During this month, campaigns, competitions and activities are often held to express the love for—and appreciation of—the nation-building role that Bahasa Indonesia has played in uniting Indonesia’s 270 million people into a single country.
As October was fast approaching, bringing with it the euphoria of the Youth Pledge Day and Bulan Bahasa, we wanted to get involved — and we did – by initiating The 2022 Bahasa Sesh Challenge. ACICIS challenged all Australian citizens aged 18 years and over to share their favourite word in Bahasa Indonesia through video form on social media. The grand prize was valued at over $3,000 AUD! Our vision was, that if the challenge went well, there would be lots of words in Bahasa Indonesia floating around on social media, everyone could learn from each and have fun at the same time. Picturesque.