Indonesia day is an annual event held by the Indonesian community who work, study and lives in Sri Lanka to celebrate their Independence Day with remembrance of the exquisite and dynamic culture of Indonesia. Known for its rich traditions that have been passed on from one generation to the next, Indonesia has grown into a beautiful collection of islands that not only flourished made great progress through the years of growth, but also held on to its cultural roots, embedded in the flora and fauna of the tropical lands.

 

We have been having a strong relationship with Indonesian culture throughout the history. The relationship between the two nations began earlier in 5th century CE, marked by the coming of Hinduism and Buddhism influences from Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to Indonesian archipelago. The Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of ancient Indonesia and Sri Lanka nurtured contacts in the 9th to 12th century CE, during the era of the Srivijaya Empire. During this time, Buddhism was the principal religion of both nations. According to the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia, an Indonesian king visited Sri Lanka presented a baby elephant as a gift.

The interactions between them grew in the 17th and 18th centuries, as both nations fell under the control of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). Sri Lanka was part of the VOC during Dutch period in Ceylon from 1656 to 1796. In the 17th-century, Indonesia was under the control of the Dutch East India Company as well as housing the headquarters for the VOC. It later became a Dutch colony in the Dutch East Indies until World War II. During 18th century, multiple of kings, princes, and warriors from Javanese Mataram, Madura and Sulawesi, who opposed to the Dutch rule of the Indonesian archipelago were exiled to Sri Lanka. The descendants of Indonesian exiles has created the Indonesian—Malay community in Sri Lanka that can trace their ancestry to Java, Madura and Sulawesi. For example, a warrior who fought for Kandy Kingdom named Karaeng Sangunglo was a Bugis nobleman.

Indonesia and Sri Lanka officially established diplomatic relations on 2 August 1952. The relations grow further in 1955, when Indonesia and Sri Lanka, together with India, Pakistan and Burma initiated the Bandung Conference. Since 1962, the status of the Indonesian Consulate office in Colombia has been upgraded as an Embassy. The office has also served as the Indonesian representative office for Maldives as of 2 September 1975