At least for one day, Indonesians, almost simultaneously will drop their gadget and forget Pokemon Go to play another game. It is on Indonesia Independence Day, August the 17th.
For few hours on the day, most people will go out their home and join crowds of their neighbourhood. Not for attending a flag ceremony as usually broadcasted by TV, it is something boring and almost nobody wants to join. Neither do I.
In many places all over Indonesia, people have their own way to commemorate the independence of their country. They gather with their neighbours or family and do some fun games. Yeah, this is the traditional way of Indonesians to celebrate the day of Indonesia Independence.
It is definitely more fun than standing in line and doing nothing if you are invited or asked to join a flag ceremony held by any institutions.
Games mean fun and joyful. Isn’t it the purpose of being liberated that people can have fun and of course prosperity.
I believe so.
Back to the topic, one of the games that is never missed for the event is a very simple and cheap one. No sophisticated tools are needed. No specific skill is required. What is needed only a willingness a festive mood inside.
The game is what is called as “sack race”. In Indonesia it is called “Balap Karung”.
Indonesia’s sack race
It is a simple but funny game. You may cause crowds laugh at you but, hey, isn’t that a purpose of playing a game?
The only equipment needed is a brown gunny sack, usually used for transporting rice. It needs to be a gunny one not flour sack as the later is too thin and easy to tear.
It is cheap as the price is only around 20 cents US Dollar per piece but to find it is not easy in cities.
The rule is simple and easy to understand. Participants are required to reach a finish line as fast as possible. It is usually a 4-6 person contest per race. Rule is decided by an appointed referee, or anyone who is willing to be.
Venue is never a problem. A sack race can be held almost everywhere, from a street in front of your house or in a beach. As long as, there is an empty space of 3×10 meters, the race can be arranged.
Now, how to do the sack race?
As I say it is easy. A participant has to wear the gunny sack provided on start line. Do not wear it in your head as you won’t be able to see anything and it is not easy to breath. Wear it like you wear a pant or saroong.
Hold the edge of your sack otherwise it will sag.
Then, when the referee tells you to go, try as fst as you can as other racers do.
Sorry. I forgot to tell you something.
Do not run. Not only it won’t make you a number one but the sack may trip you and cause you tumbling.
A sack race must be done by jumping like a kangaroo.
With legs limited and bound by a sack, then it is almost impossible to run. You can walk but it will be very, very slow. There is no chance of being a winner by doing small walking.
Being like a kangaroo is the only way.
Yet, you may fall, tumble and get some wound on your elbow or legs. That’s the risk. Also, you may get laughed by spectators and they won’t help you. However, that’s the purpose of having this race, to be laughed at.
It is a fun games and represents the mood of festive of independent human. Being an independent human being should mean freedom and happiness, shouldn’t it? So, don’t be too worry to fall down and get laughed at. It is something you should expect as spectators seem to expect some participants fall.
It is not because they are cruel but a bit happiness in such fun game mean a lot for everybody.
Everybody can join sack race
Literally, everybody can join.
Female or male, old or young, all can participate in a game. Even, if you are foreigners, you will be given opportunities to join, if you want to. Furthermore, it will make the situation more attractive to have someone they know coming from overseas enjoying their tradition.
You will get cheered and supported by almost all in the crowd. Even if you come out as a loser, you will get appreciation from everybody.
If you are interested in, just tell the referee that you would like to participate, he will nod with a big grin on his face.
So, my friend. Whenever you have a chance to visit Indonesia and would like to have a bit more adventure in sack racing, please come near to August the 17th. Then, just go to the crowd you see near to your hotel. You would likely see why I said this was the most favorite game in Indonesia, at least for a day.