【From Indonesia】3 Popular Children’s Games from Around the World


Consisting of more than 10,000 islands, Indonesia is known as a nation of multiple races and religions. 85% of the population is Muslim, and this influence is reflected in the education system. In this article, we will introduce you to child-rearing and educational style in Indonesia, as well as 3 games that are popular among Indonesian children.


What is the style of child-rearing and education in Indonesia?

In Indonesia, two ministries manage early childhood education facilities: the Ministry of Education and Culture administers regular kindergartens and regular schools (schola), and the Ministry of Religious Affairs administers religious kindergartens and religious schools (nadurasa). Religious kindergartens and schools provide care and education in accordance with Islamic teachings.

Families interested in education often choose private scholas (regular schools) because they offer an extensive curriculum and full day classes. Public elementary and junior high schools, on the other hand, do not charge tuition, but the classes usually last only half day due to the limited number of schools and teachers.

There are both public and private Madurasa religious schools, but they differ in whether they have prayer time in the morning and before lunch, and whether they also have mosques (temples) and places of worship. At the religious schools students study both Indonesian and Arabic, an important language in Islam, is also a subject of study.

In Indonesia, it is legal to receive a full salary during the three months of maternity leave. Also, it is easy to ask for help in raising children from family members, nannies and even the use of daycare services.

Which games are popular among Indonesian children?

Here are 3 popular children’s games in Indonesia.

Indonesian Rock, Scissors, Paper, “Zoken”

In Indonesian rock-paper-scissors, the thumbs are “elephants,” the index fingers are “people,” and the little fingers are “ants. The elephant defeats the person, but the person defeats the ant, and the ant defeats the elephant. …… The three-way relationship is the same as in Japan.

The World’s Oldest Game, “Congklak”?

“Congklat” is a game for two players and is said to be one of the oldest games in the world. The game starts by the first player taking a shell from the hole of his/her choice and moving it to the next hole. When the last hole is empty, players stop and switch with their opponent. The process is repeated and players try to accumulate as many shells in their own camp as possible. Although the game is simple, it is important for players to come up with a strategy regarding how to move the shells.

The “pen-in-container competition,” a unique game that never ceases to make people laugh

The “pen-in-a-container competition” is one of the more unusual games in Indonesia. Players start by tying a string around their waist and then tying a pen to the end of the string. Next, they place an empty can or plastic bottle on the floor. The goal of the game is to place the pen hanging from your waist into the container without using your hands. The first player to put the pen into the container wins. All players have fun watching the other players struggle to put the pen in their container.

Due to Indonesia’s multi-ethnic environment, children are exposed to a variety of cultural and religious values. This helps children acquire an open perspective and way of thinking.
Sending your child to an international preschool program is a great way to expose your child to a variety of cultural values and languages while remaining in Japan. This experience will help them learn about diversity and the importance of respecting other cultures.