Indonesia has drawn the world’s attention recently because of “Om Telolet Om” phenomenon. This phenomenon has now gone viral not only in Indonesia but also all over the world. The phrase “Om Telolet Om” has been a trending topic worldwide, tweeted and retweeted thousands of times in social media, even by world famous people, such as The Chainsmokers, Oliver Heldens, Major Lazer, Marc Marquez, Obama, etc., and has also spread in the music world as some world famous DJs have created various versions of EDM remix using the phrase. What does the phrase “Om Telolet Om” actually mean? How could it spread all over the world?
“Om Telolet Om” consists of two different words, “Om”: Uncle; acronym to address a man older than us and “Telolet”: The sound of the bus horn. When combined, “Om Telolet Om” means “Sir, Honk the Horn, Sir”. This phrase was originated from kids in Jepara, Indonesia, who usually gather together by the side of the road yelling the phrase or writing it on a big paper, to ask a bus driver passing by to honk the horn. When a bus driver honks the horn, they feel amused and laugh out loud. This simple but entertaining thing soon became a habit done by not only kids but also adults around the town.
“Om Telolet Om” started to become famous worldwide on Tuesday afternoon, December 20, 2016 after Indonesian youngsters spammed prominent celebrities and DJs’ social media accounts with the phrase. Before that, however, several videos about people asking bus drivers to honk “Telolet, Telolet” had previously been viral in Facebook around Indonesia through #Telolet Challenge, which requires people to be as creative as possible in asking the bus driver tooting the horn.
Being inspired by the sound of Telolet horn, some famous DJs have incorporated the horn sample into a song, which made “Om Telolet Om” became even more spreading. Dutch duo Firebeatz is one of the quickest DJ to post the song on You Tube, which has been viewed over 100 thousand times.