Betawi Traditional Games

Recognizing Traditional Betawi Children's Games

Since the first, Betawi has had a variety of traditional children's games. The game is generally outside the room and to fill spare time. However, some of these traditional games are also often contested at certain moments such as the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, which is commemorated every 17 August. The traditional children's games are part of the cultural products of the Betawi people and other ethnic groups such as Sundanese and Javanese. This is understandable, considering that during the colonial period, Jakarta was placed as the center of government, to commerce. So the interaction between ethnic and ethnic groups in Jakarta, both from within and outside the country, also influences the formation of Betawi culture. Therefore, some of the traditional children's games in Betawi to games in other areas are similar. The difference is the mention and the rules of the game only.
In its development, most of the traditional Betawi children's games are hard to find anymore, some have even been lost. The scarcity is caused by various factors. Whether it's the absence of green open spaces whose beauty is still maintained, the limited time for children to play with their peers, the modernization of development, to the rapid flow of information and communication technology.
Although some have been lost, the traditional Betawi children's games are still remembered. Here are some traditional games typical of Betawi children compiled from various sources.
Jangkungan or Egrang (Stilts)
This game uses two bamboo sticks of varying heights. Can be one and a half meters to three meters, depending on the height of the player. At the bottom of the two bamboo sticks, a piece of wood or bamboo is attached as a footrest. The height of the footing from the ground is around 30 cm or 40 cm. In other areas, this game is popularly called Stilts. How to play it, the two stilt sticks made of bamboo are held by each player's hands in a straight position touching the ground. Then, the left or right foot begins to be stepped on a wooden or bamboo slat attached to the bottom of the stilt. After feeling balanced, the other foot begins to be stepped on as well. After feeling strong and balanced, then walk as usual, with each hand holding stilted bamboo. In the past, games were often contested, especially at the celebration of Indonesian Independence Day. However, due to the limited space, this game is difficult to find.
The Traditional Indonesian Children's Game by Sri Mulyani (2013), tells that the game originated from an incident when someone was picking mangoes in the garden but the fruit was missing. According to local belief,s other creatures disturb and are often called longga-longa devils. So named because the creature is estimated to have a height of 3 meters and to get rid of it, the community makes a stilt in the form of long bamboo and can be climbed by people. The height of the stilt bamboo or stilt was deliberately made high, as high as the ghost.

To start this game, the first step is to find a flat surface. Then with white chalk or charcoal, the playing field is drawn. The picture forms a square box that is stacked or vertically, interspersed with a picture of two square boxes that are placed lengthwise or horizontally. Then draw another square box, and draw two squares arranged horizontally. Finally, draw a semi-circle at the top that resembles a mountain. The boxed sketch will be passed by the players. Special images with one square mean that each player must jump using one leg. While the boxes are drawn in parallel, the player can put both feet.

This game is usually played by more than two people. The way to play is for each child to take a gacoan which is usually in the form of shards of tiles or flat stones. Later the gacoan will be thrown into the box that has been drawn. To start the game, if there are only two players, then it's enough to make a suit. If there are more than two players then hompimpa is done.

The way to play is that each child throws his gaco, starting from the first box.
Then the player will tiptoe into the boxes but must not step on the box in which there is a gaco. After making it to the end, players will try
to return to the original place, then picked up their gaco from the box before the box with the gaco in it. Players will stop playing and take turns with other players if they touch the line, take the wrong gaco, throw the gaco wrong, and are unable to jump with one leg. After successfully placing the gacoan stone to the end, he will get a star. Determining the placement of stars is done by throwing a gacoan stone into the desired box. The challenge for other players is, that if there is an opponent's star, it must not be stepped on or must be jumped. And the winner is determined by the player who collects the most stars.

In some areas in Betawi, this game is often also called Damdas Tiga Batu. While in other areas this game is popularly known as engklek, mountain cloth, sudamanda, or sondamanda.

Gangsingan, Gangsing or Gasing
This game can be played by two players or in groups. This game uses Gangsing or Gangsingan as a game tool. The object is made of wood in the shape of a cone with a nail on the end with a blunt side of the nail. Usually, the wood used comes from tamarind tree trunks, guava,
or sapodilla tree.

The way to play it is by wrapping a piece of string at the end of the nail that goes around the half body of the cone. Then with a certain technique, the gangsing is slammed into the ground by removing the loop of the rope whose end is still on the player's finger. The length of time the gangsing spins on the ground depends on the throwing technique made by each player. The winner is usually determined by the duration of the gangsing round which can last a long time. The Gangsing game has been around in Jakarta since the 1950s. There is a parent organization that accommodates the game called Pergasy or the Indonesian Gasing Association.

Benteng or Bentengan (Fortress)
Fort or fort is a game that requires agility, running speed, and strategy. The essence of this game is to attack and take over or seize the opponent's "fortress". Bentengan is a game that is usually played in teams or groups. Each group can consist of 4 to 8 members. Each group chooses a place as a symbol of its stronghold. Usually in the form of a pole, tree trunk, or pillar.

How to play, first all members of the two groups occupy their respective forts. Next in each group, a hompimpa is held to decide which of the team members will guard the fort. Then the game starts. Each member of the group will try to touch the opponent and make him "captive" or "caught".
Each member of the group must return frequently and touch his fort because the "captain" and the "captive" are determined from the time they last touched the "rook".

The person closest to the time to touch the fort has the right to be the "captain". They can chase and touch opposing members to make prisoners. The winner is the group that can touch the opponent's pillar or pillar or fortress by shouting the word "fort".

Tok Kadal (Lizard)
This game is usually played in groups. One group can consist of 2 to 4 people. This game uses tools made of round wood as much as two pieces. The first wood, about 40 cm long with a diameter of 2 cm and serves as a bat. The second piece of wood is about 15 cm long and 2 cm in diameter and is used as a tool to be hit, commonly called a child.

Before starting, usually, the players will make a hole with a length of about 15 cm and a width of 3 cm with a depth of about 2 cm. Usually, if it is difficult to make a hole because it is difficult to dig the ground, then the players replace it with a pile of two bricks that are placed in a row at a distance of about 3 to 5 cm. The pile of bricks is what will become the place for the "child" of wood before it is taken out and beaten with a wooden bat.

Before starting the game, the suit is made first, which is usually represented by the leader in each group. The player who wins will be the bat who will hit the wooden "kid". And the player who lost in the suit is in charge of being a guard. Then the batting group hits the wooden “kids” as far as possible. After the wooden "child" falls to the ground, then the number of steps is calculated from the place where the "child" fell to the hole using a bat.

As is known, the players who serve as the batting team will try not to let the wooden "child" be caught by other players who are guarding the field. If the child is caught or bales, it is declared dead and the hitter will be replaced by the next player. If not caught, the wooden "child" is thrown at the bat and placed on the two piles of bricks. If the throw hits the bat, it is declared dead and a change of group occurs. But if not hit the game continues.

One hit is worth one time 10, and so on in multiples of 10. The group that gets the most points is the winner. In some areas, this game is called Kalawadi. It is said that the origin of this game was inspired by the behavior of children who were surprised to see a lizard and suddenly hit it until the lizard jumped far.

In Bali, this game is called Masuntik. In West Java, it is known as Gatrik. In Yogjakarta it is known as Benthik. While in West Sumatra it is known as Patok Lele or Patik Lele.

Petak Umpet (Hide and Seek)
In the past, this game was usually played by children in the field when the moon was bright. This game is usually played by more than two people. To start the game, all players will agree on the location where the player will be on guard. It could be under a tree or a pole. After that, all players will do hompimpa to determine who is on guard. When hompimpa, the player whose palm position is different from most other players, will be on guard. While the other players prepare to hide. The player on guard then covers his eyes with both hands while counting to give other players a chance to find a hiding place. The guard then shouted: "Ude, what's the balloon?" If players don't feel safe hiding yet, they will reply: "Belon". On the other hand, if it feels safe in a hiding place, the players will shout "ude". The guard then opened his eyes and looked for other players' hiding places. When found, the guard will say the player's loud name. If the guard misses the name, the player whose hiding place is known has the right to hide again. When the guard looks for the player who is hiding, the player then tries to reach the location where the guard closes his eyes. Upon reaching a tree trunk, or pole, and then touching it, the player must shout: “Ingloo!”. The game continues and will take turns guarding if the guard finds another player's hiding location and says his name.
Kelereng or Gundu (marbles)
In the past, this game was usually played by children on the field, it could be played day or night when the moon was bright. This game is played on a flat surface and is played by two or more people. Gundu or marbles is a game made of small balls sometimes made of clay, marble, or glass. There are several ways to play mounds or marbles. One of them is the so-called main tombok.

There are several ways to play marbles or marbles. For example the game gundu tombok. Before the game starts, the first step is to sketch a circle of chalk, charcoal, or sticks on the ground, with a diameter of about 7 cm. Each player places one pair or bet into the circle. Then the players stand in a row behind a line, to make a draw by throwing the gaco ball as close as possible to the betting pile in the circle. The player whose gaco ball is closest is the one who has the right to play first. But if there is something about the betting pile, he is the one who has the right to play first.

Galasin or Balasin
In some areas, the game Galasin is often called Balasin. Galasin game comes from the words galah and salty. Galah is interpreted as a straight line that is inscribed on the ground as a sign of a salty location or a free guard marker. Players who manage to pass the guarded pole will shout salty as well as a sign that all group members are free to enter. This game is usually played on the field and is done in the afternoon or evening when the moon is bright.
This game is usually done in groups and each group consists of 5 people. To start the game, the group leader will make a suit first, the loser will be on guard and the winner will be the attacker. All members of the group on guard will guard at each line, the goal is that the attacking group cannot cross the line. The attack group will try to break the line and avoid being caught by the guard.
This game is similar to the game of tiles, only it uses a different tool where Gala Asin uses a pole placed on the ground as a sign of a salty area which is a free guard. If the player manages to jump over the pole they will be declared victorious and may not be caught by the guard. The substitution of the group of players will be carried out if the group of attacking players is caught by the guard group.
Tuk-Tuk Ubi or Nenek Gerondong
This traditional game typical of Betawi children is commonly played by more than 5 people. This game is usually played in the afternoon or evening when the weather is sunny and moonlit. The game Tuk-Tuk Ubi or Nenek Gerondong tells the story of an old grandmother, named Nenek Gerondong who asks permission to pull sweet potatoes from the tree. The permission was granted as long as Nenek Gerondong was able to pull the sweet potato with all her might.

The game starts with hompimpa. If there is a player who loses, then he becomes Nenek Gerondong. The other players become "ubi" (sweet potato). How to play, all players who become "yams" and take a squatting position form an elongated line. The player in the front will hold on to a pole or a rather large tree trunk. Then followed by other players who hold tightly to the player in front and so on until the player in the last row. Before Nenek Gerondong pulls the "ubi" or players who have taken a crouching position one by one, she asks permission first and the game will start with the following dialogue:
Nenek Gerondong: Knock-knock-knock
Sweet potato: Who?
Nenek Gerondong: Nenek Gerondong. Can I have sweet potatoes?
Sweet potato: Go ahead, the sweet potato is cooked

After that, Nenek Gerondong began to pull out one by one the players who had lined up. The players who become sweet potatoes, have to fight closely with other players so that they can't be pulled by Nenek Gerondong. The player who is successfully pulled by Nenek Gerondong must help Nenek Gerondong attract other players until the player or sweet potato is completely attracted by Nenek Gerondong. After all the players who played the role of sweet potatoes are released, they will run and hide from Nenek Bump. The first person that Nenek Gerondong finds will be Nenek Gerondong in the next game.
The value learned from this traditional game is to teach children to respect their elders. This game also shows which people are good and bad, and contains values ​​in life such as togetherness, joy, friendship, and the courage to be a leader. In addition, the benefits for children are increasing intimacy with friends of their age, training muscles in pulling sweet potatoes (when attracting friends), practicing communication, and practicing patience.
Wak-Wak Gung or Ular Naga (Dragon Snake)
In the past, this game was popularly known as Wak-Wak Gung. The term was later modified into the game Snake Dragon or Ulabalang. This game is usually done by children aged 6-12 years. The number of players can reach 20 people and is generally played by girls. The more players who participate, the more the game must be played on the field. In this game, Wak-Wak Gung, two guards face each other and hold hands which are then lifted to form a cone, "tunnel" or "hallway" which will be passed by other players. Usually, the two players facing each other will be chosen by acclamation by other players and generally are players who have a higher body posture than other players.

After the two-guard players are selected by acclamation and have formed a cone, the other players will form a long line, while holding hands on the shoulders of other players in front of them. The two guard players are often called "mother hen" or commonly called the moon or the sun. The other players who have formed a line like a "snake" will start walking around, through the "tunnel" that has been made by the two guards' hands.

When walking around and entering the "alley", usually the players will sing a verse like the following:
Wak wak kung nasinye nasi jagung
Lalapnye daon utan
Sarang gaok dipohon jagung

Seleret daon delime
Pato klembing pate paku
Tarik belimbing
Tangkep satu
Pit ala’ipit
Kuda lari kejepit-sipit

There are also other lyrical versions such as:
La ulabang ...
Ulabang panjang buntutnya
Kira-kira barang secabang
Keong masuk jaga lobang
Bang bang tut coko cibang....bang bang tut coko cibang....

Then other versions of the poem such as:
Wak wak gung
Nasinya nasi jagung
Lalapnya lalap kangkung
Pit alaipit kuda lari kejepit
Isi...isi...isi... (diulang-ulang sampai pemain terakhir ditangkap)

Then another modified version as follows:
Ular naga panjangnya bukan kepalang
Menjalar-jalar selalu kian kemari
Umpan yang lezat itulah yang dicari
Ini dianya yang terbelakang

Well, at the end of the song, the hand of the second guard player will go down and trap the players who are in line. Then, the guard would ask the trapped players to vote voluntarily: “Choose the moon or the sun?” After choosing, the player who has been trapped will stand behind one of the guards. And so on until there are no more players around the "aisle" of the hand. In this way, automatically two groups are formed.

Next, the two guards will stand in a row and hold each other using one hand. While the guard's other hand will hold the player who has chosen previously. Holding each other between players using one hand is continued to the player who is in the rearmost position. Similar to the tug of war competition, the two teams who have lined up on both sides, then pull each other until one of them crosses the predetermined boundary line. If the other team can pull the opposing team across the boundary line, it is declared the winner.

This game has high educational value for children. Especially the value of friendship, hard work, freedom of choice, and sportsmanship.

Main Karet (The Rubber Band Jumping Game)
The majority of these games are played by girls. This game uses rubber bands that have been woven or knotted in such a way that they form a stretch of about 5 meters long. This game can be played by more than 5 people and both sides of the stretch of rubber will be held by one person each. This traditional game is simple. Two people holding the end of the rubber band will swing the rubber up and down. Then other players will jump and follow the movement of the rubber rope. If he falls, then he takes turns being the holder of the rubber rope and so on.

There are many variations of this rubber rope game, such as jump rubber, swivel rubber, and yeye rubber. The Rubber Jumping game is played in a way that each player must be able to jump through the rubber without touching the rubber. The height of the stretch to be jumped varies.
The order of heights is as follows:
knee high
An inch above the head
Hands that are straight up

While the Rubber Puter game is played by twirling the rubber band, and players have to jump over the rubber. In this game, jumper dexterity is required to follow the rhythm of the rubber rotation. Before playing, a limit is determined on the number of rubber rounds that the player must jump. If it fails before reaching the agreed number of rounds, the player is declared a loser.
While the Rubber Yeye game is done by jumping over the rubber band with a jump wrapped around the rubber and then the player must try to release the coil again. The player is declared defeated when the rubber is released from the loop, at the stage of wrapping the rubber, and when the rubber does not come out of the loop, at the stage of removing the rubber. In some areas, the Rubber Yeye game is often called skipping rope or Jumping Freedom.

Congklak Playing Boards
This traditional game is generally played by girls. Besides the name Congklak, this game is called Pupload. However, the popular name in Betawi society is Congklak. This game is played by two players using a congklak board and congklak seeds. These congklak seeds are made from the former house of small snails, or it could be a small shellfish house or it could be sapodilla seeds. The thickness of the congklak board is usually about 5 cm to 6 cm with a width of about 20 cm and a length ranging from 60-70 cm. The congklak board consists of 7 holes with a diameter of about 2 to 3 cm and at the ends of both sides of the board, there are holes with a diameter of about 5 cm. To start the game, each hole is filled with 7 congklak seeds. Meanwhile, the two large holes on either side of the end of the board are left empty. As the game progresses, both players will move the seeds from one hole to another in sequence and alternately. How to move the congklak seeds is done by both players, in a clockwise direction. Where one hole is filled by one seed and so on until the seeds held in the player's hand run out. Well, if the last seed in the player's hands falls in a hole that is in the same column as the opponent's hole row and contains congklak seeds, then the player has the right to take it to be placed in the big hole. This term is commonly called "shoot". The game continues until one player loses a seed. But the game can also be stopped when both players want to stop. At that time, players will count the number of seeds they have that have been collected in the big hole. The player who has the most number of seeds is the winner.
Keripik Jengkol (Jengkol Chips)
This game is usually played by 4 people and at least 3 people. The game is a collaboration by maintaining body balance when standing, twisting, and jumping with one leg. Here's the order of how to play Jengkol Chips:
Players face each other
Next the players back to each other
Then the left leg is bent back by interlocking between players

Then all the players jump while playing by bringing or singing the following song:

Keripik Jengkol,
Gado-gado lontong
Kuberi nama
Kuraba … kuraba …
Kuraba jadi patung

And so on and the game can be stopped if a player's leg is loose from his friend's hook or after all players feel tired.

Bujaka - Aplikasi Budaya Jakarta

Jalan Gatot Subroto Kav. 40-41 Lt. 11 dan 12
Kelurahan Kuningan Timur, Kecamatan Setiabudi
Jakarta Selatan
DKI Jakarta, 12950
(021) 252-3164