Panjat Pinang – 17 Agustus 2013, Pangkalan Bun, Kalimantan Tengah

For Indonesian Independence Day, many different competitions are organised. ‘Panjat Pinang’ is one of the many competitions which are organised by each local community for its residents. It is held all over Indonesia!
Teams of 5 people get together and work together to reach the top. The pole is so greasy and slippery that the teams have to climb up each other and only use the pole when absolutely necessary! Thus the last team member who gets to the top has the hardest job because that is the part of the pole that is rarely reached and is very slippery. They then have to haul themselves up onto the timber supports up there. As soon as they had got their balance, they would listen to their team down on the ground calling up their preferences for which prize they want.
Once the team had finished choosing the prizes for their team members, they would slide down to the bottom and another team would come forward to try their luck. By the end, when most of the better prizes had already been cut down, the last team took the remainder!
The crowd stood below and shouted encouragement constantly and when each team finally reached the top, the crowd would clap and cheer enthusiastically! It was such a great community event.
Have a look at my video to get an idea of what it looked like!

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