Letting their hair down
Malang has long been soccer mad, but yesterday [Sun 19 Mar] the East Java city went even loopier.
A week ago Arema FC won the 2017 President’s Cup beating Pusamania Borneo 5-1 in the final round so the 30-year old club had a victory worth celebrating.
Tens of thousands of supporters known as Singo Edan (Crazy Lions) lined the streets around the railway station and the town hall to see their heroes while waving some ambiguous banners: Did they mean being unique or being ostracized with the slogan – ‘no one like us’?
It didn’t matter because the crowd was good natured and in party mood. The police had little to do other than back the volunteer marshals who kept the traffic moving.
A group of blind people held a notice saying even though they are sightless they still back Arema.
Before a lion dance the performers’ whips and costumes were purified in incense smoke – a local ritual predating soccer’s arrival in Indonesia from Europe in the 1930s.
(Pix by Erlinawati Graham)