Football, badminton or paragliding are commonly played sports around the world. But there are certain traditional sports that are still being played in Indonesia in neighborhoods. Some are connected with festivals, while others are derived from local cultural traditions. Here are a few of them.
Karapan Sapi – Traditional Sports
Karapan sape or Keraben sape from Madura Island, East Java is a traditional sport. Rather like riding a horse, in this event that usually takes place from August to October, the jockey uses a bull to ride. The jockey drives a wooden train, which is tied to a pair of bulls, similar to a chariot race.
Lompat Batu Nias – Traditional Sports
This rock jumping sport has been around since the indigenous period and is a traditional sport in Nias Island. Originally practiced in preparation for war, today, as a sign of maturity and physical ability, Nias young men carry on the tradition and leap over a rock. Successful members are a source of family pride, and gatherings are accompanied by a slaughtered animal offering.
Jemparingan – Traditional Sports
Jemparingan, common in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, is an ancient tradition of archery from the royal empire of Mataram. Jemparingan takes place in a cross-legged sitting position (bersila). In archery sports in general, it is clearly different from the body perspective, which is achieved in an upright position, pulling the bow, and squinting at the target. This archery in the Mataram style is not just a sport, but a spiritual practice as well.
Pencak Silat – Traditional Sports
Pencak silat is a historic martial sport that since the 7th century AD has been part of Indonesian culture. Thus, in martial arts, many warriors of the Majapahit kingdom and Srivijaya were considered to be strong. This is evidenced in the Hindu-Buddhist artifacts and silat horses sculptures at the temples of Prambanan and Borobudur. This sport has been taken to the global arena.
Pathol – Traditional Sports
This is a traditional sports that originated from Sarang, Rembang, Central Java. This sport was a contest from the northern coast of Java to find the best knight who could defend the port of Tuban, which was threatened by pirates and bandits at that time. Pathol wrestling is usually held before the time of the full moon and on a special day such as ceremonies of sea alms.
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