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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Indonesia, Lesson 24 - Labor Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Indonesia Series at IndonesianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Indonesian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 24, Labor Day. In Indonesian, it’s called Hari Buruh.
Labor Day in Indonesia is commemorated each year on May 1. The Labor Day movement in Indonesia is used to voice workers' concerns and aspirations about various issues related to their welfare.
In this lesson, we’ll learn how Labor Day is commemorated in Indonesia.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Labor Day is typically commemorated internationally as a public holiday. Is Labor Day in Indonesia also a public holiday?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. So, keep listening.
Since 1920, Indonesia has recognized Labor Day. However, this tradition was terminated during the period of the New Order for fear of the relation between the labor movement and communism, in Indonesian komunisme, which is forbidden in Indonesia. During the period of the Soeharto regime, any action that commemorated Labor Day was classified as subversive activity. However, after the New Order ended, May 1st began to be celebrated again by workers in many cities.
Since 2006, worker mass mobilization has increased each year on Labor Day in major cities in Indonesia. In 2008, workers, or pekerja, in Jakarta travelled from every corner of the city to gather in the city center. To reduce this mass concentration, crowds moving towards the city center sometimes had to be blocked by authorities. The workers' demands at the time were related to social security, which people felt was too profit-oriented.
When taking this action, this labor parade, or pawai, often blocks most road traffic, causing major delays and disruption. As May 1st approaches, the community anticipates the effect the worker mass mobilization will have on their commute. Often, many people choose to take leave on this day.
Although the action has involved tens of thousands of people in many cities, this labor parade has never led to chaos. Still, the parade always leaves large piles of garbage, or sampah, scattered around places where speeches are centered.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Labor Day is typically commemorated internationally as a public holiday. Is Labor Day in Indonesia also a public holiday?
Although the performance of many civil actions are disturbed by the mass demonstrations of Labor Day, until 2013, May 1st had never been designated a public holiday.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How is Labor Day commemorated in your country? Are the activities safe and controlled?
Leave us a comment telling us at IndonesianPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!