The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and First Lady Iriana played traditional games with children on Friday at an event called Jam Main Kita (Our Playtime) on the grounds of Merdeka Palace to encourage physical activity and commemorate National Education Day.
Organized by the Indonesian Child Protection Agency (LPAI), Jam Main Kita is part of a social campaign to expose children to traditional games and encourage them to stay physically active.
The movement, initiated on March 25 by the LPAI, together with the Social Affairs Ministry and a number of private companies, also celebrated National Education Day, which falls yearly on May 2.
Antara reported that they first played Ogor Ban, a game in which the players work in teams to push a rubber tire using two sticks. The President, the First Lady and ministers Puan Maharani, Idrus Marham, Nila Djuwita F. Moeloek and Muhadjir Effendy first watched the kids play before joining them.
It only took a minute for the President and First Lady to push the tire to the finish line, and they were applauded by the children.
“That was easy,” Jokowi said, commenting on the game.
Next, they played gobak sodor, a name that some believe derives from the phrase "go back through the door". In this game, which is also referred to as galasin, one team guards a rectangular area that another team must maneuver past. The team whose members can maneuver past the defending team stationed in the square, which is divided into sections, without getting caught wins.
The President and his team defended their sections with ease, and kids from the opposing team were unable to pass. Victory was once again on the side of Jokowi and his team of ministers.
The third game they played was hopscotch. Both the President and the First Lady quickly hopped through the game's squares. The couple had a photo session with the participating children afterwards.
According to a statement released by Johnson & Johnson Indonesia, one of the event’s sponsors, around 500 children, along with 100 teachers and parents, were invited to the event. Other traditional activities were also featured such as stilt-walking, jump-rope games and mancala. (mut)