Universitas Indonesia Conferences, The 8th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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"We Wil Always Find a Way": Supporting Persebaya and Strengthening Solidarity in the Pandemic Time
Bayoghanta Maulana Mahardika

Last modified: 2022-05-30


The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many habits and rules made by humans. These changes occur in almost every element of everyday life, one of which is recreational activities. Football is known as the most popular sport in the world, as well as in Indonesia. After the temporary suspension of the uncontrolled pandemic, Liga 1 2021/2022 was officially permitted to run from 27 August 2021 to 31 March 2022. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this most popular sport was also affected, especially concerning the new temporary rules involving supporters not allowed to attend the stadium. In pre-pandemic conditions, matches held at stadiums were never separated from the presence of solid supporters. In addition, football matches are also an attempt by supporters to meet each other. Bonek is the name for the supporters of a football club located in Surabaya, namely Persebaya Surabaya and known as one of the most prominent supporters in Indonesia because it is not only spread in the Surabaya Raya area. The activities of football supporters are certainly not limited to inside the stadium when supporting a proud club, but also when gathering with only fellow community members. However, these habits have changed due to the crowd restrictions by the Indonesian government. This study aimed to identify a new way that Bonek did in supporting the Persebaya even though they were not allowed to be present in the stadium. This study used ethnographic approaches, such as participatory observation on selected events and in-depth interviews. The data taken came from the Bonek community domiciled outside the city of Surabaya, namely the Bonek Klaten, Bonek Boyolali, and Bonek Sragen. This research shows that although Bonek were not allowed to attend the stadium due to crowd restrictions, efforts to support Persebaya were made through nonton bareng, which was held at the base camp or culinary centre that can accommodate many people. The statement that was always said is that even though it was limited, gathering with fellow Bonek must always be done because only face-to-face meetings can strengthen the solidarity of a group.


Keywords: football, covid-19, crowd, persebaya, bonek, solidarity

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