It’s back to school and back to the sad old ways in Indonesia, after 70 students from Tangerang and Jakarta almost engaged in what could have been a deadly inter-school brawl on Monday evening.
The government relaxed pandemic restrictions further this week, allowing some 600 schools in Jakarta to reopen to limited class capacity and stringent health protocols on Monday. Similarly, Tangerang also began reopening schools in recent weeks amid a slowdown in COVID-19 cases.
After their first day back, two groups of high school students — one from a school in Jakarta and another from a school in Tangerang — convened at a skatepark in the satellite city.
As is wont to happen when school pride and rivalry cloud kids’ better judgments, the two groups soon found themselves preparing for battle. Some among them reportedly brought weapons to the scene, including sickles.
Luckily, police arrived at the scene and rounded up some of the students before the brawl erupted.
“They never got to brawl as some of them were apprehended. We summoned their parents and we let them go home after they promised not to do this again,” Tangerang Metro Police Chief Deonijiu De Fatima said in a statement yesterday.
Five students, who were believed to have brought sharp weapons to the park, were detained longer for questioning and are set for psychological counseling.
While teenagers around the world get into fights, in Indonesia and especially around Jakarta there is a culture of school rivalries leading to massive ritualistic brawls called tawuran that can involve dozens of participants and can often turn deadly. In a documentary by Al-Jazeera last year, some of the children interviewed said that brawling is a rite of passage to manhood, while one said that they fight each other “for fun.”
Leave A Reply
You must be logged in as a Coconuts User to comment.