Do You Know the Indonesian Choosing Game Called Pipo Pipo?

We came across the Indonesian choosing game called "Pipo, Pipo". You can see it played in the video below… (The game looks like a lot of fun!)


We asked Innosanto Nagara who has helped us with Indonesian songs in the past about the rhyme. Here’s what he wrote,

I’m not familiar with that one. There are words I understand but some I don’t. A friend says it’s Manado language (known as Manado Malay) from northern Sulawesi. A quick Google search says it says:

Pipo pipo
laba laba sesedo
samalado ham tere
ham tere pipo

"Laba laba" probably means "spider" as it does in Indonesian Malay, but not sure about the rest.

There is mention of “do you remember this game for those of you born in the 90s” so it may be relatively new. But I’m not sure.

This blog I quote below talks about it. Says they played it but had never heard of it before and were wondering what language it was in – speculating it may be from Papua. It has the lyrics as below. They say the rules are:

1. Everyone put 2 hands on the floor/table
2. Sing the song
3. When the song is over the selected hand makes a fist with the thumb up, and then the next round the selected hand grabs the thumb and puts their thumb up until all hands are stacked.
4. The hands swing around clockwise without breaking
5. The hands collapse one at a time
6. Each hand slaps the hand below it and until the last hand is slapped
7. “the harder you slap the more difficult the game"
On the version in your video, they also have a chant when they’re going down the stack of hands. This is in Indonesian and says:
Ibu beli telor telornnya pecah (number one through all … satu, dua, tiga, empat, lima, enam) etc.
Mother buys eggs and the eggs break (number “one”, “two”, “three” etc.)

If anyone could help identify the language of "Pipo, Pipo" and/or provide a translation, please let us know in the comments below or email me. cd-cover

Many thanks to Innosanto Nagara for helping with the rhyme! Check out Innosanto’s Book and cd of Indonesia Children’s Music. It’s really great!


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at 8:05 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Counting-out Rhymes, Counting-out Rhymes, Countries & Cultures, Indonesia, Indonesian, Indonesian Children's Songs, Javanese, Languages, Manado Malay, Nursery Rhymes, Papua New Guinea, Questions, Readers Questions, Rhymes by Theme. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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