The Embassy in Jakarta kicked off the centennial celebrations in Indonesia on Friday, 5th May by planting the Spruce of the Future together with the Governor of Jakarta, Mr Basuki Tjahaja Purnama in Taman Menteng Park. The theme of Finnish centennial celebrations this year is "Together" and in her speech, the Ambassador of Finland, Mrs Päivi Hiltunen-Toivio told how planting the tree also symbolizes the good relations between Finland and Indonesia.
In his speech, Governor Purnama talked about the importance of education and emphasized the quality of education in Finland. During Mr Purnama's term in office, Jakarta has become greener city. The planted spruces are Indonesian species; however, it resembles it's Finnish counterpart. Planting the Spruce of the Future is a national campaign and protected by the President of Finland, Mr Sauli Niinistö. It commemorates the history of Independence Spruce which was sown in 1917 when Finland declared independence. In 1967, more than 30 000 spruce saplings grown from the seeds of the Spruce of Independence were planted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Finnish Independence.
Besides the members of the Embassy and staff from the Governor's Office, the Deputy Governor for Spatial and Environment, Mr Oswar Mungkasa, Mayor of Central Jakarta, Mr Mangara Pardede and the Head of Department of Forestry, Mr Djafar Muchlisin were also present in the occasion. Representatives of several news outlets were present as well.
After planting the tree, the Embassy members started the annual outing day. First the stuff headed to Jatomi Fitness where everyone had a chance to participate in workout after which more relaxing body balance class was organized. Workout was followed by a three course lunch, which definitely filled the hungriest staff members too. "Planting the tree together with the Governor was the best way to start the day, it was both fun and useful. Working out together was also fun and increased the team spirit. The lunch was also delicious", says Dias, the secretary of Ambassador. "The only problem was that on the next day, everyone's muscles were hurting!", continues Embassy's receptionist Tania.