Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – A child singer showed overcame nervousness as he performed a Javanese pop song that got First Lady Iriana and many prominent guests to dance after the 77th independence day flag-hoisting ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday.
As the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, Indonesia finally bids farewell to modest independence day celebrations. Unlike the past two years, the ceremony was livelier than ever.
Traditional dance performances – showcasing Indonesia's diverse culture – enlivened the long-awaited event. The choir group also sang their hearts out to "Hari Merdeka" ('Independence Day') and a medley of Indonesia's traditional songs.
As the ceremony came closer to the end, child singer Farel Prayoga stepped onto the platform to perform "Ojo Dibandingke" ('Don't Compare') by Denny Chaknan feat. Abah Lala before a large crowd of government officials. The audience could not help but smile and cheered as the sixth grader began singing the dangdut hit.
Everyone burst into laughter when Farel changed the original lyrics from 'ku berharap engkau mengerti, di hati ini hanya ada kamu' – meaning 'I hope you understand I only have you in my heart') – to 'I only have Mr. Jokowi in my heart'. The lyrics change even made President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo laugh.
Farel's solo also had everyone dancing from their seats, including the First Lady.
Many even got on their feet and broke into the usual dangdut dance move of having the thumbs pointing upward. Some attendees walked closer to the platform to dance along with Farel.
With such an enthusiastic crowd, it was no surprise that Farel was asked for an encore. Jokowi even requested Farel to sing "Joko Tingkir".
In an encore performance of "Ojo Dibandingke", several ministers – including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir – showed off their dance moves. Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah were also seen joining the dancing crowd.
Later in the day, Jokowi uploaded a video of him and Farel on his social media. In the video, Jokowi reminded Farel to keep up with his studies. "It is okay to sing, but don't forget to study!" Jokowi told Farel.