A Memorable Cultural Journey: Indonesian Shadow Puppets and Gamelan Music

On Wednesday, June 5, our Year Six students studying Indonesian embarked on a captivating cultural adventure. The day unfolded with two remarkable activities: a traditional “Wayang Kulit” shadow puppet show and an engaging Javanese gamelan workshop.

 

The highlight of the day was the enthralling “Wayang Kulit” performance. Under the skilful guidance of puppet master Pak Sofari, intricately designed puppets came to life behind a screen. These puppets portrayed characters from the ancient Hindu epics—the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The battle between good and evil held the students spellbound, offering a glimpse into Indonesia’s rich mythological heritage.

 

After the show, students had the unique opportunity to explore the artistry and intricacy of shadow puppetry up close. They marvelled at the craftsmanship that goes into creating these beautiful puppets, making this hands-on experience truly memorable.

Following the puppet show, students delved into the world of traditional Indonesian music. Led by Pak Tom and his team of musicians, they discovered the harmonious melodies produced by the Javanese gamelan orchestra. While some initially found it challenging, their determination and enthusiasm allowed them to learn and play the melodies brilliantly. Pak Tom praised their rhythmic coordination and willingness to embrace this new musical tradition.

Students in gemalan workshop

To conclude the cultural immersion, students savoured traditional Indonesian snacks. Bakwan Sayur (Vegetable fritter) delighted their taste buds with its savoury flavours, while Kue Dadar Gulung (Sweet coconut green pancake) provided a delightful dessert. These culinary treats added an extra layer of authenticity to the overall experience.

 

The combined impact of the shadow puppet show and the gamelan workshop left a lasting impression on the students. Beyond entertainment and education, this cultural incursion fostered goodwill, deeper understanding, and appreciation for Indonesia, its culture, and its language. Transcending traditional classroom teachings ignited intercultural connections and appreciation among the students.

Picture of Ibu Jessie Tin

Ibu Jessie Tin

Indonesian Language Teacher

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