Climbing Slippery Pole / Panjat Pinang

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Riau, Riau, Indonesia

Climbing Slippery Pole / Panjat Pinang Riau Reviews

cicie cicie
61 reviews
'The Shame of Yesterday and the Game of Today ? Aug 17, 2013
Every August 17 we celebrate the Indonesia Independence Day. Many parts of Indonesia celebrate with special activities, all citizens participate in some fun games. The most popular and unique game is called Panjat Pinang or “climbing the slippery pole.

The origins of this game go back to the Dutch colonial era in Indonesia. The game was held by the Dutch colonials when big events such as celebrations, weddings, and other activities. Many believe the game was introduced to harass the Indonesian native peoples. The conclusion is reached because of the prize structure. Prizes have been usually foodstuffs, clothing and luxury items. These items were out of the range of Indonesian native people at that time This game was very funny and thus entertaining for the Dutch colonies. History records that while native Indonesian people struggled for the prizes , the Dutch colonials laughed at their efforts. The history of this game now causes some controversy in Indonesia. Some people want the game stopped because it is considered to mock human values. Others think there are noble values such as: working hard, never giving up, working as a team , and entertainment.

Whatever one’s opinions, this game is still entertaining and challenging. The game needs 5-10 strong participants. An Areca nut tree (5m -8m tall) is covered with cow or buffalo fat . At the top there is a variety of prizes. Participants compete by climbing the slippery pole. There are No rules but the challenge of cooperation and strategic . The only way to reach the top is to create a human pyramid around the base of the pole. In this way, the lightest member of the team can climb on the shoulders of his teammates to reach the top. The winner throws down prizes from the top of the pole.

Good or bad, this game is part of the history of Indonesia . I simply record events because we all have our own history, language and culture. This is a history of the game ,good and bad, but now the game is meant to be entertainment . We do not forget the history, but now capture the philosophy of life; work hard, never give up, work teamwork and have fun.

There are no changes in the rules of this game since the Dutch colonial period, only the reasons. My photos illustrate the excitement of the peoples joining , playing and watching this game. The pictures were taken in a small village in Sumatera Island , I was born here and I have special memories about this game . It is not easy to find this game anymore, especially in big cities in Indonesia. Nobody mocks the participants now .,……..it is a game of fun !
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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cotton_foam says:
my late congrats, sis!! this review deserved to be featured!!
Posted on: Oct 04, 2013
rsvpme says:
Congrats on a Two Day feature..Impressive !
Posted on: Oct 01, 2013
ilserita says:
Congrats on the feature, Cicie! :)
Posted on: Sep 30, 2013
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