Melati Symbol of Remembrance

The Melati is an initiative of the 15 August 1945 Commemoration Foundation and the Indies Remembrance Centre. In 2015, the Netherlands commemorated the capitulation of the Japanese in South-East Asia 70 years earlier. This day marked the official end of the Second World War for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On this day we stand in silence and commemorate all victims of the Japanese occupation in Asia, civilians as well as members of the armed forces.

A symbol of Remembrance and Commemoration

The idea of giving the Commemoration its own identity stemmed from the desire to bring the annual Commemoration meeting on 15 August more to life within (and outside) the Indies community. This was to be in the form of a recognisable symbol which people would wish to wear at the Commemoration, just as now occurs at the 4 May Commemoration (the flame). People would then feel more connected with the message, with each other and with the Indies heritage. The symbol had to have a link with ‘Indies’, without being too anecdotal or sentimental. The goal was to find a combination of emotion – memories, recognition – and strength – pride in individual roots and identity. Moreover, the design also had to appeal to a younger generation. The choice was a symbol in the form of a white flower: the Melati, the Indies jasmine.

Why a white flower?

A flower represents emotion, growth and development, tenderness and mortality. A single white flower serves as a symbol for the family member who is no longer. White flowers stand for innocence and purity, but also for grief and absence. A flower is also a symbol for awakening and awareness.

Why a Melati?

The Melati is a typical Indies flower. It is a flower from the motherland which cannot flourish easily in the Netherlands. It symbolises life and its beauty but at the same time the spirit world and death. Just as a smell brings back a long-forgotten memory, so is the image of this flower a symbol of not forgetting. For a shared past that must be given a safe place in our hearts. A flower – a symbol – which immediately creates a (subconscious) link with the Indies. The Melati was supported by the vfonds.

Melati pin webshop

Melati, the Indies jasmine, is a symbol of remembrance worn on 15 August. It can be ordered as a lapel pin.
Order a Melati pin