Devlog #7 - What is 'Pamali'?


Hello! I’m Aulia.  

In the previous devlog, I have explained about the term sompral and how it is actually related to horror we perceive. After posting it on, one of our backers commented on our kickstarter page that we actually haven’t properly explained the meaning our big title “Pamali”. Yeah we’ve finally realized about it because of the comment (insert emoji) Thank you for reminding us! I will explain about the meaning of Pamali and the relation between Pamali with Indonesian horror. Also, I would like to introduce our new feature which accommodates you to learn about Pamali in our game.


By definition, Pamali is a taboo, prohibition or restriction that should be avoided for social and cultural reasons. Here in Indonesia, Pamali is usually told from older generation to younger generation because they want to teach the younger generation some manners that are considered proper in a cultural perspective. Pamali can also be in a form of words, actions, or even cultural customs. If the certain taboo or prohibition is done, there’s always a consequence that follows.


Let me give you some examples. Sitting in a doorway or playing hide and seek when the sun goes down are considered as Pamali. Our older generation said that sitting in a doorway will make us very hard to meet our love partner and playing hide and seek in the evening will make us kidnapped by a ghost. There are also some Pamali based on cultural customs, such as a younger sister shouldn’t have married first before the older sister. As the consequence, the younger sister should grant any wish of the older ones. Those are the examples of popular Pamali, however, there are still lots of Pamali told by older generation to us. From one area to another area, the Pamali might be different, the word that represents Pamali value itself might also be different. But, the meaning remains the same.

So, from what aspect Pamali is related to the horror we perceive? The consequence from the Pamali is in a form of fear. They tell us not to do certain actions because there must be terrifying consequences that follow. It’s a Pamali to be sompral (link previous devlog?)  in a haunted area, because there’s a consequence that will bring nightmare to you. Because we have that kind of fear, it creates the horror. Children shouldn’t go outside when the sun goes down, or they will get kidnapped by a ghost. It sounds terrible, right? Because of that, the story about the ghost kidnapping children arises, spreads out and becomes the folklore horror.

Therefore, we think that Indonesian horror is heavily influenced by cultural aspect of our daily lives, from the sompral value to pamali value which later creates the folklore that we perceive as folklore horror. We want to introduce this kind of horror to the world through Pamali game. However, not only introducing the horror, we also want the player to learn about Pamali value first-handedly in our game. Because of this purpose, we add a new feature in our game that allow you to explore Pamali more and collect new information regarding Pamali as you play the game. This is not available on the demo version of Pamali, so please wait for our full game!

An exclusive sneak peak on one of our newest feature which will be available on the full version of the game.

I hope my explanation will be enough to finally get the idea of what Pamali is. See you on another devlog! Cheers.

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