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Monkey on a Mini Motorcycle

[YouTube Clip]

When Neatorama reader Yoshi Hashimoto (Thanks yoshi!) submitted this YouTube clip, it was like a blast from the past for me. See, I grew up in Indonesia and what the clip shows is a trained monkey in a traditional (and disappearing) kid's show called "Topeng Monyet."

Topeng Monyet means "Monkey Mask". It's a traveling one-man (and one-monkey) circus show. He yells out "topeng monyet" while wandering the streets in a residential area, and you can call him to perform at your house. In a typical show, the monkey is the star: it rides a wooden bicycle, walks around holding an umbrella, wears a mask, and so on.

Topeng monyet monkey riding a wooden bicycle. Photo: Harisichwan [Wikipedia]

As you'll see in the clip, the bicycle has been "upgraded" to a mini motorcycle. The monkey is even smart enough to wait for a break in traffic before zooming about.

As a kid, it was a neat treat to see a topeng monyet show. Whenever my parents called one, the neighborhood kids would gather around to watch. But looking back on it as an adult, I realized that it was a sad deal for the monkey. I don't know how it was trained, though I suspect with a lot of beatings, and when it didn't perform to expectation, the guy would yank the chain hard. (If you watch the clip carefully, you'll see that the monkey is on a very long chain).

This type of show is disappearing in Indonesia. I don't know the reason, maybe it's harder to get a monkey or maybe the city government frowned on the practice. Maybe it's a health scare (monkeys carry rabies and Herpes B, and they've been known to scratch or bite spectators).

Lastly, here's a clip of a more "traditional" topeng monyet show:

[YouTube Clip]

It's still a bike. The dude is just yanking the chain around the monkeys neck really hard pulling the bike along with it. It makes it look like the "motorcycle" is moving on its own.
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I lived in Jakarta as a kid but never saw one of these shows in that time. If I did, I'm sure I would've thought it was fun and amazing at the time myself being so young. Not sure what they do to the monkeys exactly though the second clip seemed to be a little more revealing with the chain. There's no telling what they do when people aren't watching. :/
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Smart enough to wait for traffic.. dude, it's the man waiting for a break in traffic and not pulling on the chain. The monkey is simply watching the cars go by.
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To train the monkey standing with two feet like human.
they tide the neck with rope & hang the monkey so the monkey must standing all day with their feet.
the monkey can't sit or doing anything.

it's an animal's a pity to do something like this.
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the first video was hilarious and highly interesting

the second "traditional" video was the opposite, and in fact was kind of depressing

put together they make for a good cultural snapshot across the face
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Assume that the monkey's hands are tied to the handlebars and suddenly the video is easy to understand.

The 'motorcycle' is not motorized. The guy jerks the lead and the motorcycle goes. The monkey has learned to 'push start' and jump onto the cycle so that it hurts less when the guy jerks the lead. He has also learned that if he lets the cycle fall it will hurt, a lot. And he has learned to jump off and stop the cycle before the lead runs out, for the same reason.
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Hey dude - nice article, I filmed the motorcycle monkey on the street in front of my office on Jl. Tebet Barat Dalam....not sure if the guys will come back again, they didnt make that much money (i gave them 5000rp though which is a lot for them), there is a permanent group in front of Ambasador Mall if you ever come back to visit =)
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dunno bout the abuse thing, but i've watch a documentary about topeng monyet once and each trainer have different style of training, not all of them using chain or stuff that'll hurt the monkey. and so far the one that often shows around my neighborhood also nice to his monkey.
by the way i read this article from in title-Monkeys Ride Mini Motorcycles on Thai Streets.
i thought this was not an oddity here in Indonesia, than when i point the is from indonesia.
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Easily the nastiest thing I've seen online this year. What makes it even more twisted is that it is posted as a piece of entertainment.

The people who do this are sick and anyone that posts this as entertainment is just as bad IMO.

This site is going to the hosts file. If this is any indication at all of what you're willing to post as entertainment I don't want to visit it again by accident.
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This is cruel. Plain and simple. To see what is being done in India to combat similar cruelty toward "dancing bears", please visit
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