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LOMPAT GETAH

Jump rope; more often known as lompat getah is among Malaysia’s heritage games that is seen to be losing its touch and significance among children these days. Even if they do play similar games, the traditional method of how lompat getah is played has changed. So far, there are two known variants of lompat getah, one the classic skipping rope where many players at once (usually 5) skip simultaneously and sometimes sung together with a Malay children’s folk song. The other is a more traditional and lesser known variant, zero-point. From an observational standpoint, the children that visited the booths had no idea how zero-point was played, which made an interesting outlook at how traditional games are progressing through the years. This is because traditional games are now mostly forgotten due to industrialisation (Hakimeh Akbari et al., 2009).

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Historically, these games are thought to have originated from Malay villages, though there are no strong facts to suggest that. Some blogs think that it was brought in by international traders back then and was shared with the people of Malaya. Even so it is unclear how these games were created. The focus however, should be on the values it holds, that it teaches children many things. The first variant teaches kids to have a strong sense of teamwork and unity. If just one player fails to make the next jump, the game ends. The second stimulates children to think, not just by jumping over, but how to reach certain heights without touching the rope. In fact, lompat getah has shown to improve children’s social and motor skills (Rombot, 2017). Most importantly, lompat getah holds cultural values that requires a hefty preservation before it goes extinct in our Generation Z or in the one that is to come. To quote Aypay (2016), “the culture that is shared at the moment indispensable conveys the past and guides the future” (p. 285). The best example is the folk songs that are sung during the games. As old as it is, it teaches kids the malay cultural values and identity and it is not just reminiscent of the past. It acts as a “guide” on how to be a better person through the moral values from the song. Hence, the dire need of traditional games to not only be understood but also preserved. Thus the huge goal of this course “Appreciation of Nusantara Heritage Art and Culture”. Once it is appreciated, it is preserved.