Fill, Meaning & History of the Youth Oath October 28, 1928

The Youth Oath has a very deep meaning for the nation’s history. As we know that in everyday life we often encounter young people who fight for Indonesia by carving many achievements to make Indonesia proud. The same thing was done by the youth in the pre-independence era where they were willing to die for the independence of their beloved country.

The persistence of the youth in fighting for their nation finally produced a sweet result, namely independence for Indonesia. “Sumpah Pemuda” was formed into an Indonesian youth organization that fought for Indonesian independence with great perseverance and enthusiasm.

Background of the Birth of the Youth Oath

Since the arrival of the colonizers, Indonesia’s situation has been very miserable. The colonists carried out a monopoly on trade by violent means. Not only that, the allies also carried out devide et impera  politics so that they could conquer all kingdoms in Indonesia. Even at that time, almost all of the territory that is now Indonesian territory became the rule of the Dutch government.

At that time, the government system was different from the current government system. In the past, the Dutch used a forced cultivation system so that the Indonesian people were getting poorer and more miserable. Indonesia as one of the allied colonies is progressing but its people remain poor because the salaries earned are so low that the people are increasingly destitute.

This condition does not make the youth leaders stand still. Indonesian youths formed an organization to confront Dutch atrocities. At its inception, towards the 20th century there were signs of the revival of Indonesia’s rakyar.

This pride began with the figure of Kartini who aspired to improve the condition of the nation. Kartini’s book entitled “Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang” has had an influence on Indonesian youth and leaders and Dutch students.

In 1906, Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo mulai made propaganda to advance the Javanese people through the expansion of teaching. Thanks to his encouragement, finally on May 20, 1908 for the first time an association called Budi Utomo was founded by Doctor Sutomo and his friends. The establishment of Budi Utomo was also followed by various other associations in various regions ranging from Pasundan, Ambon Association, Sumatra Serekat, Minahasa Association, Religious organizations and many more.

Meanwhile, the Youth Oath was initiated in the II Youth Congress on October 28, 1928 where 2 years earlier the I Youth Congress had been held in Batavia. The First Youth Congress was attended by various representatives from the youth associations of Jong Jaba, Jong Islamieten Bond, Jong Ambon, Jing Bataks Bond, Theosophical Youth, Studerenden Minahasaers, Sekar Rukun and many more.

The main purpose of holding the First Youth Congress is as a form of advancing the unity and nationality of the Indonesian nation and to strengthen the combination between fellow youth associations. But unfortunately, the first Congress was ended without any satisfactory results because there were still many differences of views.

After the I Youth Congress was implemented and did not get satisfactory results, finally a meeting was finally held again to unify the thinking. It was finally agreed that the II Youth Congress would be held.

Born Youth Oath

The Second Youth Congress was held for 2 days, from October 27 to October 28, 1928 in Batavia (now Jakarta). On the first day of the meeting, the II Youth Congress was held at the Katholikee Jongelingen Bond Building. While on the second day, the II Youth Congress was held at the Java Oost Building. Some of the objectives of the II Youth Congress are:

  • Strengthening national awareness and strengthening the unity of Indonesia.
  • Gave birth to the ideals of youth associations throughout Indonesia.
  • Discusses several problems in the Indonesian youth movement.

Just like the I Youth Congress, this second Congress was also attended by many participants. Some of the participants who attended started from Indonesian Student Students (PPPI), Jong Islamieten Bond, Sumatranen Bond, Jong Java, Studerenden Minahasaers, Jong Ambon, Jong Bataks Bond, Pemuda Kaum Theosophy, Pemuda Kaum Betawi, Sekar Rukun and many more. The II Youth Congress was also attended by several representatives of youth of Chinese descent, namely Oey Kay Siang, John Tjoan Hiok and Tjio Djien Kwie.

At the II Youth Congress, a committee was formed from representatives of each association. Here’s the composition of the kepanitiaa:

Chairman: Sugondo Djojopuspito

Vice Chairman: R.M. Joko Marsaid

Secretary: Muhammad Yamin

Treasurer: Amir Sjarifudin

Maid I: Johan Mohammad

Maid II: R. Katjasoengkana

Maid III: R.C.I Sendoek

Maid IV: Johanes Leimena

Maid V: Mohammad Rochjani Su’ud

The Second Youth Congress was also attended by Wage Rudolf Supratman who played the song Indonesia Raya with his violin. The song was sung for the first time at the congress by Dolly Saling who is the daughter of Haji Agus Salim.

Meanwhile, the building that will later become the place where the Youth Oath is read is a student dormitory owned by someone of Chinese descent, Sie Kok Liong. The building is located on Jl. Kramat Raya No. 106 Central Jakarta which is currently enshrined as a Youth Oath Museum.

Contents & Meaning of the History of the Youth Oath


After going through a long process of 2 days, finally on October 28, 1928 the participants of the II Youth Congress agreed to formulate 3 promises which were then called the Youth Oath. The contents of the Youth Oath are:

 First Alenia  reads :

We, the sons and daughters of Indonesia, claim to shed the blood of one, the homeland of Indonesia.

 The Second Alenia  reads :

We sons and daughters of Indonesia, claim to be one nation, the Indonesian nation.

 Third Alenia  reads :

We sons and daughters of Indonesia, uphold the language of unity, Indonesian.

The Second Youth Congress produced the Youth Oath which became a milestone in the history of the Indonesian nation in initiating national consciousness. There is a very famous pledge to remember the struggle of Indonesian history, namely one nusa, one nation and one language.

The Youth Pledge read at the II Youth Congress event was attended by interfaith, tribal and regional youth. Seventeen years later, the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence was born on August 17, 1945.

Meanwhile, the historical meaning of the Youth Oath contained is to teach the values of unity. The Youth Oath proves that the differences that belong to the Indonesian nation can be united as a form of Bhineka Tunggal Ika which means “Different Remains One”.

The Youth Oath contains a lot of positive values that can be applied in everyday life. These values range from the values of patriotism, deliberation to reach consensus, mutual cooperation, kinship, harmony, love of the homeland, responsibility, cooperation to peace-loving.

The Youth Pledge should be used as an inspiration for the younger generation in Indonesia now to take this beloved country towards better change. That’s a glimpse of the history of the short youth oath that should be known by all Indonesians. Because it is the most important moment in Indonesia’s journey to achieve its independence, it is not surprising that every October 28th is celebrated as Youth Day. This commemoration is set to remind again of Indonesia’s struggle for independence.