Rediscover the Charming Tradition of Klotok Boats: Indonesian Heritage in Play

steamboat toys - In the era of modern gadgets and electronic toys, there's a quaint charm to traditional toys that harken back to simpler times. One such gem is the Klotok Boat, a traditional Indonesian toy crafted from zinc, which operates on the principle of steam pressure to propel itself on water.

Crafting these miniature vessels is a straightforward process. Made from sheets of iron or zinc, the pieces are meticulously assembled to resemble small boats or warships, complete with tiny cannons and soldier figures adorning the front.

Playing with the Klotok Boat is equally simple. A space within the boat is filled with cooking oil, which is then ignited. The resulting heat pressure moves the boat forward, accompanied by the characteristic sound of "klotok-klotok."

"The fuel is very simple, just cooking oil and a lighter. As long as there's cooking oil, the boat won't stop," shares Danang, a toy vendor often stationed at the Alun-alun Kota Wisata Batu.

Around the 1990s to the early 2000s, the Klotok Boat emerged as a beloved toy among children. Its affordability and unique appeal, absent in modern toys, made it a favorite during the 90s era. Those in their 20s to 30s may fondly recall the sensation of playing with this distinctive Indonesian toy during their childhood.

Beyond being just a children's toy, the Klotok Boat holds a special place as a source of national pride. It carries a high philosophical value, evident in the unwavering presence of the red and white Indonesian flag on the boat—a mandatory fixture for craftsmen, symbolizing their sense of nationalism.

Today, the number of Klotok Boat craftsmen in Indonesia is dwindling due to the influx of imported toys. Nevertheless, the Klotok Boat remains a cherished toy, deeply entrenched in the memories of 80s-era generations.

"As long as there are mothers giving birth, the Klotok Boat will never vanish," Danang asserts with optimism.

Indeed, each time the Klotok Boat sets sail, it brings joy to children, evoking smiles and laughter as they marvel at its unique charm.(*)

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