teraju.id, Sungai Jawi – In the afternoon of August 17th 2017 the Indonesian Independence Day in Pontianak reached its climax with the annual holding of “panjat pinang” around the area of the Jawi River.
What makes panjat pinang in Pontianak rather unique is that with the abundance of rivers, the tradition would take place in shallow rivers, like the Jawi River. One of its advantages is for the people taking part to fall into water and thus soften the impact.
Panjat pinang is a tradition to be found throughout the Indonesian Archipelago as to celebrate its independence. Various groups of People, mostly men, try to climb up a very tall pinang tree to capture the flag.
Today, bengkirai trees are used instead and are also smeared with oil to make the competition even harder. Nowadays at the top of the pole there are various other gifts to be found.
The tradition derives from back when Indonesia was still occupied by the Dutch. To demonstrate their goal for independence, Indonesians would climb the flag poles and rip off the blue from the Dutch flag so all left would be the red-white color of modern Indonesia. (Luna)