Many years ago, the people of Bali developed a system of construction that allowed for both structural strength and flexibility. At the heart of this system is a lait (long peg) that is tapered in size from one end to the other. The peg is designed to interlock the structural beams, such that, when the earth moves, the joints loosen around the peg to allow for sliding back and forth. When joints loosen after earthquakes, the Balinese tap the pegs gently to make the structure firm and solid again. This song, Dengkleng, and its accompanying game, Tok Lait Kancing, celebrates the local wisdom of this architectural system that—over the years—has saved many lives and prevented homes and buildings from being destroyed.


To play the game, children get in groups of three, sing through the song twice. They first tap the beat with their feet and clap their hands, they then grab hands and circle round, and then make bridges for their partners to go under. Lastly, they stand on their left legs and interlock their right legs while placing their right hands on their friend's right shoulder. They count to three and then hop (dengkleng) three times counting backwards from three. The objective of the game is to maintain your balance throughout the song. The last groups standing, win.

Watch this young girl pronounce the lyrics to

the song Dengkleng