I was reading the I am a Japanese School Teacher editorials and reading about how he was subject to Kancho, a disturbing Japanese schoolkid pasttime where anime-infested kids would simulate Naruto and try to stick their fingers up other guys’ butts (and grab crotches). There I was, thinking how sick it was, when I realized something.
Back when we were 13, we used to grab crotches. (I don’t know if this practice still continues 8 years later…)
It was in Form 1 and Form 2 (ages 13 and 14) that we’d have this pasttime. For some reason, when school ended, we’d all run down this slope to exit the school premises. Yes, run. On the way, we’d try to grab each other’s balls.
We didn’t grab each other’s balls while standing still, during recess, during class, or any other period. We only grabbed balls when running down the slope. It was the thrill of the chase. It wasn’t a punishable offense!
We didn’t find pleasure in feeling the balls, nor did we linger.
We’d plan beforehand in class to grab this other guy’s balls. Knowing his class would end a bit later, we’d stake out somewhere at the beginning of the slope. He’d be strolling casually, unaware, when boom! Four guys would run out, and he’d run like a chicken. Now he wasn’t shouting in fear. It was fun. The way he went “oyyy! AAA my balls!” while laughing red-facedly meant that he would not report us.
One particular Chinese guy had the best reaction. He’d retort with, “haaa, tomorrow you watch ouuut, I’ll grab your balllrrrllls.” (extra roll of the tongue on the pronunciation of balls.) Although he wasn’t fat, he’d go, “don’t touch my breaaasts” almost gay-ly. Like Rob Schneider in Hot Chick.
The best times were when we double-faced bastards catch up with one guy, just to have him shout, “eh, grab his balls instead lah!” We then turned on our leader. His “OH SHIIIT!“, the expression that followed (since he was nerdy) and running up the slope was super comical. Eventually, he became a popular target.
And no, we never grabbed balls of guys we didn’t know.
Quiet unassuming guys in our gang got it too. Sometimes, after getting grabbed, the guy would retaliate by lashing out to a random attacker. I didn’t get it quite as much, maybe because I knew how to curl, or because I successfully became a right hand man’s right hand man.
It was our way of building camaderie.
Girls had similiar games, like smacking each other’s chests.
There was also bonggol, also known as ragging, tiang, lauk, tempek, one-two, three-four, corner, and other names. It would usually be the victim’s birthday, and we’d crowd around him, singing happy birthday, then throwing flour and eggs at him. The female version involved water. Of course, the flour and eggs were reserved for especially popular people, or people whose birthdays were at the end of the school year. For everyday bonggols, a group of friends would grab the guy, and they’d kick and punch the guy’s back. It might not even have to be the guy’s birthday. We may even skip the birthday song and go straight to the war cry of “BONGGOL!!!”
Again, this was not punishable, because after all that we’d all be smiling and laughing, victim included. We’d never bonggol anybody we didn’t know. To start a bonggol session, he’d have to be a friend; however, if you knew the guy’s name, that would be enough to allow you to legitimately join in the fun.
The best memory I had of this was when my unpopular prefect friend (he wasn’t hated, he was just famous for having a rigid straight posture) was bonggol-ed on his birthday. His class was across the school football field, and I could hear two classes being dismissed, then bonggolling him. Yeah, we heard his birthday song, and wanted in on the fun. So being the good sport that he was, he stood at the intersection, cleaning his glasses, where the rest of us whose class ended later could meet up with him and greet him.
Apparently, my sister was popular enough to have to bring clothes to change on the day before, her birthday, and the day after her birthday. The canteen must’ve sold loads of mineral water bottles those three days.