Althea Haley

Written by Althea Haley

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Sukarno, the first President of Indonesia, was an enigmatic and influential figure who left an indelible mark on the nation’s history. His leadership and charismatic persona played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule. Beyond his political accomplishments, Sukarno was a man of many fascinating qualities and accomplishments that are often overlooked. In this article, we will delve into ten extraordinary facts about Sukarno that shed light on his complex personality and legacy. From his innovative architectural pursuits to his passion for poetry, Sukarno’s life was filled with remarkable achievements that continue to inspire and intrigue people to this day. Join us on this journey of discovery as we uncover the lesser-known aspects of this remarkable leader’s life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sukarno, Indonesia’s first President, was a charismatic leader who promoted national unity and cultural identity through his powerful speeches and flamboyant style.
  • Despite facing political challenges and being deposed, Sukarno’s legacy as a national hero endures, with his contributions to Indonesia’s independence and cultural identity celebrated to this day.
Table of Contents

Sukarno was the first President of Indonesia.

Sukarno, also known as “Bung Karno,” served as the first President of Indonesia from 1945 until He played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule.

He was a charismatic leader and an eloquent speaker.

Sukarno possessed exceptional oratory skills and was known for his powerful and inspiring speeches. His charismatic personality drew massive crowds and garnered support for his vision of a united Indonesia.

Sukarno was the founder of the Pancasila ideology.

One of Sukarno’s enduring legacies is his development of the Pancasila ideology, which became Indonesia’s guiding principle for national unity. Pancasila promotes the values of social justice, democracy, and religious harmony.

He was a staunch advocate for decolonization and nationalism.

Sukarno believed in the liberation of colonized nations and was a prominent figure in the Non-Aligned Movement. He actively promoted the notion of self-determination for countries seeking independence from colonial powers.

Sukarno was a proponent of Indonesian cultural identity.

Throughout his presidency, Sukarno emphasized the importance of preserving and promoting Indonesian culture. He encouraged the arts, literature, and traditional music and dance, aiming to strengthen national identity.

He had a significant impact on Indonesian infrastructure.

Under Sukarno’s leadership, Indonesia underwent major infrastructure development. Projects such as the National Monument (Monas), major highways, and the establishment of state-owned enterprises aimed to modernize the country.

Sukarno was known for his flamboyant style and love for traditional attire.

Recognizable for his colorful outfits and signature Indonesian attire, Sukarno exuded a sense of national pride through his wardrobe choices. His fashion sense reflected his passion for embracing Indonesian culture.

He faced political challenges during his presidency.

Sukarno’s leadership was not without controversies and challenges. He navigated through political turbulence, including factionalism, communist uprisings, and clashes with opposing ideological groups.

Sukarno was deposed and placed under house arrest.

In 1967, Sukarno was removed from power by the military-backed Suharto regime. He was subsequently placed under house arrest in Jakarta until his death in 1970.

His legacy as a national hero endures.

Despite the political turmoil surrounding his later years, Sukarno remains highly revered as a national hero and the founding father of Indonesia. His contributions to the nation’s independence and cultural identity are celebrated to this day.


In conclusion, Sukarno was a truly remarkable figure in Indonesian history. From his role as the first President of Indonesia to his unwavering dedication to the principles of nationalism and independence, Sukarno left an indelible mark on the nation. His charisma, vision, and extraordinary leadership skills captivated the hearts and minds of the Indonesian people.Throughout his life, Sukarno achieved numerous milestones and spearheaded various initiatives that shaped the course of the country. Whether it was his relentless fight against colonialism or his efforts to unite the diverse archipelago into a single nation, Sukarno’s impact cannot be overstated.Furthermore, Sukarno’s passion for art and culture allowed him to connect with people on a deeper level. His deep appreciation for traditional music, dance, and literature showcased his commitment to preserving Indonesia’s rich heritage.Today, Sukarno’s legacy lives on, with his principles deeply ingrained in the fabric of Indonesian society. His extraordinary contributions continue to inspire generations, reminding us of the power of determination, conviction, and love for one’s country.


1. What were Sukarno’s major achievements?

Sukarno achieved several major accomplishments during his lifetime. He played a pivotal role in Indonesia’s fight for independence from Dutch colonial rule, establishing himself as the first President of Indonesia. He led the country through its formative years, promoting unity and national identity. Sukarno also implemented various policies to empower the Indonesian people and improve their quality of life.

2. How did Sukarno shape Indonesia’s culture?

Sukarno had a deep appreciation for Indonesia’s cultural heritage. He actively promoted traditional music, dance, and literature, recognizing their importance in preserving the nation’s identity. Sukarno also encouraged the use of the Indonesian language and actively suppressed the influence of foreign cultures. His efforts significantly contributed to the development and preservation of Indonesia’s diverse culture.

3. What was Sukarno’s role in the Non-Aligned Movement?

Sukarno was a key figure in the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement, which aimed to unite independent countries and maintain their neutrality during the Cold War. He played a crucial role in organizing the Bandung Conference in 1955, where leaders from 29 countries came together to discuss issues related to colonialism, imperialism, and global peace.

4. What is Sukarno’s lasting legacy?

Sukarno’s lasting legacy is seen in the principles and values he instilled in the Indonesian nation. His fervent nationalism, commitment to social justice, and promotion of cultural identity are still influential today. Sukarno’s vision for a united and independent Indonesia continues to guide the country’s development and inspire its people.

Sukarno's extraordinary life and legacy continue to inspire Indonesians today. His daughter, Megawati Sukarnoputri, followed in her father's footsteps and became Indonesia's first female president. Sukarno's impact on Indonesian culture and identity can be seen throughout the country, including the iconic 17 Mei Stadium, named after the date of a historic speech he delivered. Explore more fascinating facts about these influential figures and landmarks that have shaped Indonesia's history and culture.

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