Indonesia is special in the world of badminton. Badminton success is celebrated with passion. Failures are tolerated but do not sit well with the most fanatic Indonesian badminton fans.
Badminton is the national sport of Indonesia. Indonesian badminton players are celebrated, admired, and adored with wonderful enthusiasm nationwide. For example, when Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu won gold at the Tokyo Olympics, the Indonesian archipelago erupted with joy. A national celebration ensued. The president declared the first-ever Indonesian Olympic gold medal in any sport as an early birthday gift (ahead of Indonesian Independence Day).
Badminton enthusiasts around the world can’t help but admire, perhaps even envy, the level of popularity badminton has reached in Indonesia. It is what many other countries are striving for.
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Indonesian badminton fans celebrate the sport and their national players
The fantastic support from Indonesian fans, for example, when tournaments are played at the historic Istora Senayan (now called Istora Gelora Bung Karno) in Jakarta, is unparalleled. The atmosphere is like none other. The best part is the involvement of fans even when non-Indonesian players battle it out on the court.
Elsewhere, local fans engage with reserved modesty when foreign players compete against each other. The difference is what the affection is hinged upon. In Indonesia, it shines through that it is for the love of the sport. First and foremost. In most other badminton countries fans’ involvement often has much to do with national pride and support of countrymen, and much less to do with the love of the game.
In my opinion, Indonesian badminton fans are currently the best fans in the world. They’ve proved their intense love for the sport over and over again.
This begs the question, who are the “best badminton fans in the world” contenders? Will fans in Malaysia, India, Thailand, or perhaps France, step up their efforts?
In the meantime, let’s continue to appreciate badminton fans all over the world. They are the cog in the wheel that will help secure a better future for the sport of badminton.