Ancient Indonesian archery finds mark in the modern world

A local Indonesian archery practice known as jemparingan has been played for centuries and is now seeing a revival.

Ancient, traditional but above all... precise. The local Indonesian archery practice known as jemparingan has been played for centuries in the kingdom of Yogyakarta.

It used to be reserved for nobles and royal family only. But today, everybody can practice it.

The archer Supadmi said "It's a sport and my main goal is to stay healthy, not the prize or the reward "

In the modern era archery is one of the few disciplines where Indonesia excels at an international level -- the country won its first ever Olympic medal at the Seoul Games in 1988.

Another acher, Si Pomo, said "I hope that this traditional archery can go international so that people can learn the philosophy behind it"

Unlike most archery practices the bull's eye of jemparingan is a thin piece of wood -- which represents more than just a target...

Hafiz Preytomo, jemparingan, the tournament organizer said "We call it bandulan or wong wongan. Wong wongan means people, it represents the people. But not actually the people, this is our ego. So we do the jemparingan to beat our ego, not other persons"

Although the popularity of jemparingan has been falling over the decades, a revival is under way as a new generation picks up bows and arrows for the first time -- giving hope for a future of this sport.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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