Morning, World! We Are The First And The Biggest Supporter In Indonesia

Bonek Tribun Timur. Foto: Joko Kristiono/EJ

Nowadays, people are familiar with Ultras in Italy, Hooligans in the UK and Barra Brava in Latin America as representatives of fanatical & militant supporters in the world of football. But you know, there is something hidden behind what appears, who is not defeated in terms of fanatics and militancy to support their devotion club. This is Bonek, the supporter from Persebaya Surabaya. Indonesia legendary club was born since June 18, 1927, the club which is one of the initiators of the Indonesia football federation inception in 1930.

Bonek is a Javanese acronym from Bondo Nekat. Implicitly, Bonek is a circle of supporters who only have the courage to support their favorite team, wherever and whenever Persebaya competes. The origin of Bonek began to emerge in the 80s where at that time tens of thousands of Bonek flocked with the very little grant to Jakarta, which was 800 kilometers away to support Persebaya in the Indonesian League finals. At that time, there were no supporters in Indonesia who dared to go away to the opposing stadium in large quantity except Bonek. What is phenomenal is the fluttering of a giant banner that reads “Kami Haus Gol Kamu” which in English means we are thirsty for your goal. The banner has become phenomenal and continues to be a tagline of support for Persebaya

Uniquely, the Bonek term is not their own name, but from the mass media that gave rise to the term Bonek in their headline’s news. Jawa Pos, a daily newspaper-based mass media that also originates from Surabaya has an important role in the emergence and reporting of Bonek in the 80s until now. Dahlan Iskan, who at that time was leading Jawa Pos, indeed had the desire to bring up the unique attributes of Bonek with this green color. Until the symbol emerged from Bonek, which was given the name “Ndas Mangap” which is also a Javanese acronym, which means a head of the yawn. The symbol represents how heroic Bonek was when he supported Persebaya which is famous for its “low profile high product.”

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Discussing Bonek, they’ve many stories about. Like selling his favorite motorcycle, selling his used clothes, pawning his wedding ring, leaving or being fired from his job to the point of sacrificing his life in support of Persebaya. Or stories about Bonek when seven years of fighting for the forced death of Persebaya by the federation which made Persebaya not compete for approximately three years. Or Bonek stories that are transformed into a new face with their creativity in supporting Persebaya which is now the focus of other supporters.

In addition, the author will narrate more deeply and more broadly in subsequent articles. The author will review both Persebaya’s side, players, the dynamics supporters, and related contours. Pray for the author to have consistency in writing the second, third, hundredth and subsequent articles. But if your curious beat the readers, come to Surabaya, the eastern tip of the island of Java from Indonesia. Feel, enjoy and remember the atmosphere! (*)

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