This is the second in a series of posts on high-leverage ways to learn Indonesian language and culture. The idea is to identify activities that will give an outsized return on investment in the way that they add to your feel for Indonesian culture and language. (See the first post here.)
Good for: 90s synth karaoke vibe and oddly precocious attitude of some the singers given the subject matter; kindship terms and explicit discussion of the cultural value that I’ll call “familial piety”; sentence structures and cadence of speech, particularly in the “kalau aku sih…” dialogue in the middle featuring (Jakarta) slang “dengarin” for dengarkan and the emphatic dong.
Dua Mata Saya
Good for: Sentence structures (“Dua mata saya”); vocab (body parts, specifically kuping, chance to follow the actions and practice kiri dan kanan); oddly un-cute lyric (Tidak berhenti makan); terrifying clowns (reprise edition).
Anak ayam turun (Tekotek kotek kotek)
Good for: Matter-of-fact approach to treatment of animals and their deaths (in both lyrics and video); onomatopoeia; sentence structure (in particular, Anak ayam turunlah empat, mati satu tinggalnya tiga); use of particle -lah for emphasis or to improve scansion; sophisticated melody (?).
Naik Kereta Api
Good for: Vocab (hendak, turut, percuma, penumpang, lekas, penat); sentence structures; composer Ibu Sud is one of the big writers of Indonesian kids songs.
Good for: Shots of “what you do” at Monas and Jakarta sights c.2005; sing along to practice pronunciation and cadence (esp. flattened / non-aspirated consonants); vocab (samping, sedang for present continuous, mengendali).