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Jakarta Post

No 'pinang', bamboo will do for 'panjat pinang' contest

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Tue, August 13, 2019   /  12:52 pm
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'Panjat pinang' (climbing the slippery pole) is one of the competitions held to celebrate Indonesia's Independence.(shutterstock.com/dani daniar/File)

As according to the old Indonesian adage tak ada rotan, akar pun jadi (falling crumb, one must be content with crust). So as there are no pinang (areca palm trunks), bamboo will do. The high price and supply shortage of pinang are the main reasons why many Jakartans are no longer using them to play panjat pinang, a traditional game of climbing lubricated trunks, on top of which various prizes to be taken by climbers are hung. Panjat pinang is conventionally a competition in celebrating Independence Day in Indonesia despite the historical background of such play.  The climbing contest is believed to be originated from the Dutch colonial era, held by the Dutch in celebratory events with participants comprising mostly local people. This year, Indonesia will commemorate its&...