Eleven countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) again proved its unity through sports as it holds the 26th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia from November 11 – 22, 2011. Over 6,000 athletes representing each ASEAN competed not to create foes but to build friendship. Also, Sea Games 2011 will re-live the exchange of Southeast Asia’s rich culture. Another great success can be commended to those who have contributed and prepared for the event. This year’s SEAG is Indonesia’s time to showcase their culture as they become the host for the 12- day sports event.

Indonesia played a major role in making the 2011 SEAG possible together with other ASEAN countries. Considered as the largest archipelago, Indonesia had proven that they are not just big in geographic size but in cultural spirit as well. Indonesia Olympic Committee President Rita Subowo became the director-general for the 2011 SEAG. Moreover, to really make it big, the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports Andi Mallarangeng and the government of Indonesia added more funds and sponsorships. The 26th SEAG and the whole ASEAN were committed to environmental awareness so they ensure smoke-free venues during the games.

The preparation of the host country, Indonesia, will not be complete without the symbolisms, themes, and songs. The official theme song for SEAG 2011 was entitled “Kita Bisa” a Bahasa word which means “Soldier Again”. It was dedicated to all the athletes who will participate in the event. Moreover, “Together We Will Shine” was sung by Agnes Monica of Indonesia, Jacklyn Victor of Malaysia, and Philippines’ very own KC Concepcion in the opening ceremony.

Garuda, the national symbol of Indonesia, became the official logo of the 2011 SEAG. Indonesia’s philosophy was incorporated in Garuda stating “Garuda flight above Indonesia Nature”. Garuda’s embodies the strength of Indonesia while its wings epitomized the country’s glory and splendor. Aside from Garuda, another symbolism was presented to represent the captivating archipelago of the host country. Modo and Modi, inspired by the Komodo dragons, became this year’s official mascots. Modo is a male Komodo dragon wearing the traditional batik sarong. On the other hand, Modi is a female Komodo dragon wearing a red kebaya with batik sash and pants. Both mascots wore one of Indonesia’s national costumes.

A host country is expected to do its best in making an event possible and celebrated. Indonesia was successful in fulfilling its task of making 2011 SEAG possible not only for their country’s pride but for their siblings in the ASEAN community. More than the joy and achievement, Indonesia had an opportunity to re-introduce their country’s intangible heritage and vast creativity. They did not only share their talents and skills but they also share a message – brotherhood.

2011 SEA Games was a sports competition with a core message. 542 gold medals were up for grabs but the true pride was seen from how the host country and its ASEAN siblings work together to build and improve Southeast Asia. SEAG 2011 was also an opportunity for a host country, like Indonesia, to communicate their culture and extend the message of peace and friendship. Another exciting exchange of culture and values will be seen in the next Southeast Asean Games. As Indonesia’s Bahasa language would say, “Terimah kasih, Indonesia!” (Thank you, Indonesia!). Thank you for sharing your wonderful country and for the great hospitality among our athletes.Image

2011 SEA Games official mascot, “Modo and Modi” represents the vast culture of Indonesia.

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