Nostalgia Filter: Senam Kesegaran Jasmani

Or… Physical Freshness(?) Exercise (pardon my brain short-circuit). Randomly I found this Ayo Bersatu exercise video. As I am what I am, I am getting nostalgic about the SKJ I practiced back then and remembering some of the moves. (and basically writing this nostalgia posts doesn’t need a lot of background research, ehe. Looking at this other article full of research I put aside). There are a few people feeling nostalgic with them all over the internet too.


Cover of old SKJ 88 casette (kasetlalu)

SKJ or Senam Kesegaran Jasmani, is basically a series of mass physical exercise routines produced by country. It started in 1984 based on Surat Perintah Menpora (Order of Education and Sport Minister) and comes out rather intermitently (There is a one-year gap between SKJ 93 and 94, but SKJ 93 was five year after SKJ 88). SKJ was previously named according to the year it was produced, but I think after the use of Poco-Poco dance following the Poco-Poco craze, it deviates sometime. The interesting thing about SKJ is that they incoporates a lot of traditional songs as the background music , I think that a nice touch to introduce different traditional songs from different provinces. I think the practice was pretty similar with the one they have in Japan. I think they have something similar with mass exercise hours in radio.

Poco-Poco, which people thought originated from North Sulawesi but actually sung and created by Ambonese and dance picked up from Wayase or Maku-Maku from Maluku (bloggerbugis). It’s an interesting line dance

The routines are arranged based on a full exercise routine, so it starts with the pemanasan heating(?)/ starting stage, peregangan stretching) stage reaching inti (main) stage (repeated twice) in the middle, and the pendinginan cooling stage and pelemasan relaxing stage for last, but in theory there are 3 stages. You can practice the routines while following the background music provided, accompanied by counting from one to eight, in a cycle of two (the way people counted in these routines was so distinct, it was spoofed quite a lot. Basically it’s 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,2-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. rinse and repeat).

When I was an elementary schooler (in kindergarten as well, I think, i forget) it’s compulsory to do this exercise every Friday morning, which is usually THE exercise day in public services and schools in Indonesia. You can also find a lot of people practicing the routine at park or other public places. There was even competitions between government institutions and schools.  I have thought that this was a tradition inherited by the New Order, but apparently the series still exists now, there is even SKJ 2015 (or not? Please tell me. I do find a few SKJ <insert year> videos on Youtube but I don’t know whether there’re original or not). Wow, I feel old. I don’t know whether it’s still compulsory to practive SKJ and whether there are still a lot of people knowing the moves.

The version I remember the most

Back then in my elementary school, you need to line up two-by-two, based on height and gender and exercise following the demonstrators in the front (that a really big honour to be chosen as the demonstrators. Sadly I wasn’t really good at exercising to be chosen as one). After doing it for months, you’d have remembered, but sometimes you forgot. Especially if they’d changed the version of the SKJ. This was also the time when I realised that I wouldn’t have that much chance to grow up tall, haha.

My elementary school! (not really, actually the real one isn’t shown in this photo). Demonstrators will stand in front of the classes on the red-tiled floor. (Kemdikbud)

Hear the counting

As 6 years I spent in elementary school, I think I practiced SKJ 96, SKJ 98, Poco-Poco, and Ayo Bersatu  (edit: have just watched SKJ 88 video and they seem familiar. I don’t trust my memory anymore) (for a brief moment at my last year at school.  I thought it’s pretty weird because of the “Ayo Bersatu” shout in the beginning,). Doing it every Friday, I think it’s a nice way to get student exercising weekly. These SKJ series sure ingrained deep in all who have experienced it when they were students, there was even an Indonesian band naming themselves SKJ 94. Apparently it’s because their music is similar to exercise-type of music (they name it pop electro sporty) which in a lot of people’s mind is synonymous with SKJ. You can guess the age of the members based on their year of choice, haha.

Skutermatic, one of their most famous songs (Hmm, inspired to get this translated)

I think nowadays people can get to know a lot more ways/ dances / songs to exercise to, so maybe it’s not that popular. But if you’re around the same age as me, growing up in Indonesia, you will feel nostalgic with SKJ, right? Right? There is even a Wikipedia page for SKJ if you want to know more. So amongst Zumba, Yoga, and other routines, let’s try to exercise with SKJ sometime!

Following is basically a few SKJ videos I’ve found

The first one, you can see from the video quality
A lot of nostalgic people practicing their old SKJ, as this one

(Source: Wikipedia SKJ page, SKJ@bondanpradipta.blogspot, my memory and not a lot of research. I’m sure there will be a lot of wrongs especially in the history part. )

About Ky

Currently Indonesian university student trying to submit more useful contents to share one's limited knowledge. Rather has wide, shallow interests, the writings will be as sporadic as it can be. Should write more scientific and field related topics, but writing muse says otherwise. Expect more on technical related writings especially softwares and apps, cultures, music, and random things.

Posted on March 28, 2016, in Nostalgizing, Scattering and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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