Its not the 4th of July, but it is the 17th of August. In Indonesia that means a day of national pride, celebrating Indonesia’s Independence from the Dutch.
Indonesia attained independence from Holland in a long struggle during the 1940′s. When the Japanese invaded Indonesia in February 1942 the Dutch were forced to flee, or be captured. After the war was over Indonesia made it Declaration of Independence on August 17th 1945, with Sukarno as the first President.
The Dutch had other idea though and returned in March 1946. They fought in many famous skirmishes with the Balinese, including the massacre of Balinese hero Gusti Ngurah Rai, and managed to take back control of Bali. Nations around the world were not sympathetic to the Dutch position and in 1949 they withdrew to allow the formation of The Republic of Indonesia in 1950.
In Seminyak there is plenty of red and white (no blue) and school kids have flags to wave. Its all jolly and probably means a lot more to the locals, than it does to the rest of us. In my neighborhood everything is functioning as normal, however as a national holiday, government offices, schools, banks, and some businesses are closed.