Celebrating May Day in Indonesia – You may already be familiar with the term May Day. This special day is celebrated in many countries all over the world, including Indonesia. May Day is celebrated every May 1st. The core of this ceremony is to celebrate the success of the labors. We have to appreciate this special day because it requires hard efforts to make it happen.
This all began in the 19th century when there were drastic changes in economy and politics at the moment. Although May Day is celebrated in Indonesia, this is actually originated from the United States and Europe. The main reason for this action is because of injustice felt by the workers. They didn’t agree with the working hours, little wage, and less conducive working environment. It is important to celebrate May Day in Indonesia because it is our way to appreciate their struggles. Do you know when this action started? 1806 was the year in which the workers in the United States fought back. This led to a huge upheaval. It was found that some companies were unfair to force employees working up to 20 hours in a day.
There were 2 people who have a large contribution to this action, which are Peter McGuire and Matthew Maguire. McGuire did strike action with hundreds of thousands of other workers in 1872. He demanded companies to not arbitrarily give heavy workloads for workers. His intention is to make companies reduce working hours for the workers. He also demanded that the government provide overtime pay to workers. That was the beginning of May Day in Indonesia. McGuire is certainly very instrumental in this action. In 1881, he founded an organization to carpenters. He managed those carpenters, and the idea spread to the entire country. He also proposed a holiday for workers.
While May Day in Indonesia is quite festive, the first ceremony took place in New York City. The celebration was attended by about 20,000 workers. The most memorable moment of the event was workers brought banners with “8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest” written on them. Since then, the parade was known throughout the world. Workers from different countries celebrate this special day, some countries even set this day as a national holiday. However, May Day is no longer a holiday in Indonesia. It’s because with the labor action was associated with communism. Communism is contrary to the Indonesian nation. Since Suharto ceased to be president, May Day in Indonesia got its life once again. After the era ended, workers in Indonesia celebrated the day every May 1.