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Upin Ipin Phenomena

It's been quite sometimes that i had this idea struck in my head, but i had no idea where to share my idea. But, i remember that i once created a blog long time ago and i forgot the password. After trying to recover my password, i finally am able to access it again. Well, that's a bad introduction right? 
Upin dan Ipin [1]

Within the last 6 - 5 months, Indonesian people have new idolized TV program. It is
Upin dan Ipin, aired on TPI everyday at 15.00. The interesting point is that this program is actually a product of Malaysia. For information, Indonesia - Malaysia relationship was not pretty good last year due to some cultural problems. Yet, this program is widely accepted in Indonesian society. I am then interested in analyzing the reasons why it is successful.

Upin dan Ipin tells about the life of twin brothers (Upin and Ipin). They are may be around 6 - 7 years old. The show tells about their daily activities such as in school, home, and market. They play and study with their peers, quarrel with them, and sometimes they have quarrel with their older sister. In short, the program tells about their daily lives. It is all about kid's life. Look at the picture on the corner left, showing some characters of the program. From the picture, the sense of brotherhood is the thing that it wants to build. No characters showing cruel, angry, hideous face. All characters are smiling, showing their happy expressions as happy children (and adults).

I am then interested in comparing it to some Indonesian TV programs that are dedicated to children. To mention some are
Si Entong (we had it in TPI in 2007 - 2008), and lately we have Si Mamat Anak Pasar. Both programs are aired at 18.00. Both TV programs also tell about kid's life around age 12 - 15. The protagonist kids (Entong and Mamat) are always being teased by the group of naughty children (with a tendency to make kids gangster, if i may say so). Both Entong and Mamat have some mystical power that will always help him escape from the bad deeds of the kids gangsters.

The clear distinction of Upin dan Ipin and Si Entong - Si Mamat Anak Pasar lies in the content. During my observation of watching Upin dan Ipin, I never encountered any physical violence such as hitting, kicking, slapping each other. No physical violence in that show. The show is narrated from a kid's point of view i.e. being innocent, knowing nothing, and acting truly as children. But, it is very much different from Si Entong - Si Mamat Anak Pasar. I encountered many physical violence done among and by the children. Besides, the mystical power possessed by Entong and Mamat adds the superstitions atmosphere of the show. 

Upin dan Ipin [2]

For example, i take a scene of Upin and Ipin in their actions in search of a treasure. In the journey, they are attacked by groups of pirate. Yet, when they want to fight, they do not draw their swords, nor do they shoot arrows. Rather they choose to do Pantun fight (pantun is an original Malay poetry, consisting of four stanza). It is like a rap battle. They do not fight physically but verbally. And fight in here means not fight in a real meaning. In short, it is very educated to children who watch them. What about Entong and Mamat? They surely will use their mystical power to counter and even to revenge to the kids gangsters. It teaches Indonesian children to rely on the superstitious things and to be illogical. A program that have less educational content. 

The success of Upin and Ipin in Indonesia shows that Indonesian people are hungry for an educating TV program, moreover those who are oriented for children. The current TV programs that are full of violence will impact badly to children. Children are in the phase of imitating. And besides their parents and surrounding environments, media (TV) is the other source for them to imitate. Upin dan Ipin 


[1] retrieved from
[2] retrieved from


  1. i agree with you...true true true

  2. Hi! My name is Adam from Les' Copaque Production. Nice article you have there and I enjoyed reading it. It means a lot to us all here.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog. It's a pleasure to be visited by Upin and Ipin's production house. Keep the show going :)

  4. so this is lil bro loves this cartoon so much, even he watches some videos I downloaded for many times. I like how they portray the naughty kids without being so hyperialistic. and the lesson of how we should be able to live peacefully though we are different is important to be thought to our children even since they still can not see those differences. Not only for children but all viewers.

    keep up the good work..:)

  5. Yes yes, it is so true! This cartoon teaches about respecting diversity and pluralism at the same time. It responds to the diverse nature of Malaysian people. I wonder whether Indonesia will ever create such tv program.


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