Cultural Elaboration: Angklung

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Angklung is West Java's traditional music instrument which is made from bamboos. You need to swing it horizontally to make a sound. Usually the Angklung performers work together as a team to produce the beautiful harmony of each tones. Even for the professionals, they could handle more than 10 tones together in a hand. Super amazing!

One of the best cultural show I've ever watched located in Bandung, at Saung Angklung Udjo. It isn't always about bamboo performance, but they also perform some ethnic tradition of Sundanese from Wayang Golek drama to traditional songs and dance.

Wayang Golek is Sundanese puppets, made by woods in many characters. The stories are usually tell about human being in modern folklore, daily parody, and sometimes educational or political issues.

The Sundanese lifestyle also shown in a theatrical way. The ceremony called "Helaran", when a boy is being paraded on a chair around the village after his circumcision. Many varieties of Sundanese races are assimilated on this ceremony, the children comes together bring their traditional attributes such as colorful umbrellas, flags, music instruments, and leather horse.

They also teach us how to play Angklung in harmony. It wasn't my first experience playing this instrument, I ever learned before in my kindergarten actually. But it was already loooong time ago. So it was such a memories comes back, I miss this atmosphere already. Each audience loaned an Angklung, I can still remember clearly we played "Apuse" song from Papua on that day.

The bamboo's sound makes it special than any other instrument because its so specific. I love the culture itself, whether the community, traditional costumes, language, souvenir galleries, even the peaceful venue. Saung Angklung Udjo is a one-stop cultural workshop and training center to preserve the Sundanese culture. This show is all performed by their talented students.

FYI, they also had incised a lot of international achievements in cultural events across the nation, as well as introducing Indonesian culture to the world. I salute their activities for sure, how could a lot of local children and teenagers in young ages have channeling their talents in positive way, more than toys and hobby. Keep up the good work, guys!

At the end, the performers invites all audience to dancing and singing together in traditional medley. Then from the where I stand, we threw a cultural party like no one was watching...

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