So September 2021: ‘Squid Game’ guards invigilate civil servant candidates in Indonesia

Supervisors at a civil servant examination donning ‘Squid Game’-inspired costumes. Photo: Justice and Human Rights Ministry
Supervisors at a civil servant examination donning ‘Squid Game’-inspired costumes. Photo: Justice and Human Rights Ministry

We’re quite certain that, like most people around the world, we have exhausted talk about Squid Game more than a month since its release. But it seems some Indonesian ministry officials are still living in September 2021 with this application of the hype from the Netflix mega-hit.

We have, of course, seen malls, restaurants, and cafés tritely making staff wear costumes made famous by the South Korean show in order to capitalize on its popularity. But the cringe was elevated to a whole new level when the government wanted to get in the game, too, so to speak.

Yesterday, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry held a civil servant entrance exam in Surabaya, East Java and employed five invigilators who were fully masked and wore bright pink coveralls a la the guards in Squid Game. To complete the role play, the invigilators held toy firearms and pointed them at participants for the camera.

Photo: Justice and Human Rights Ministry

“We wanted to make the [exam] participants more relaxed and happy,” Krismono, who heads the ministry’s office in East Java, told reporters.

Like in Squid Game, those who pass the ministry’s “challenges” (read: exams) will be given the ultimate reward. Har dee har.

“In this case, those who are successful will be appointed as Justice and Human Rights Ministry civil servants,” Krismono said.

“The difference is, the participants in Squid Game are hopeless people, whereas people who took this entrance exam are those who are full of spirit and enthusiasm.”

At the very least, the ministry did not go as far as making participants wear the green jumpsuits as worn by the hapless characters in the show. Instead, they had to wear clean white shirts, black bottoms, and black head coverings as is customary for civil servant exams.

An exam supervisor leading participants to the examination hall. Photo: Justice and Human Rights Ministry

Well, we wish the participants the best of luck, especially after having endured all this cringe, even if those interviewed by the media said the Squid Game guards were “amusing.”

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