I don't think it is necessary to explain about what an eel is. I believe majority of people know about this slim, slippery animal living in mud of river or rice field (at least in Indonesia). It looks like a snake but without a head because its head is connected seamlessly with its body. Its color usually brownish dark grey.
An eel, for many people has only one function which is as a part of their dishes. It's crunchy if you fry it, the common way of cooking an eel. Its small size is too small to make your stomach full, it will take a plate full of fried eel to make you feel full. That's why many prefers take eels as snack than main dishes, unless you combine them with steak or chicken.
It is its main function for Indonesians.
However, few days before Indonesia Independence Day, actually an eel has been assigned another function. It's yearly duty. Eel and its family, if they are still alive during the process can live longer and evade from being fried on frying pan.
The special and specifi function is to make Indonesians laugh.
With additional tools, like a bucket and a glass bottle, eels can make thousands of Indonesian laugh happily and freely, forgetting about their difficult life and no money situation.
Once a year, during the day of Independence, Indonesians usually hold many types of races, just for fun. One of them is "an eel race. No, the race is not like dog race that a dog races with others. It is just a simple race moving an eel from the bucket full of eels and put an eel into the glass bottle.
Easy.. It looks like but it is not. The slippery body of an eel is an obstacle. If you add the tickle in your stomach while you have an eel on your hand, then it can end to a very difficult job to do,
I won't tell you in details. I am not a tutorial bloggers. If you want to know how it feels to join an eel race, just come here in August every year. You will know another function of an eel that can make you burst unstoppable laugh.