LEARNING FROM MAJAPAHIT BY KIMIKO

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

INTRODUCTION

This writing is one of the selected essays done by undergraduate students of “Organizational Communication” from University of Indonesia, the faculty of social and political sciences, international communication program of public relations 2013.

“It starts with interactions between two worlds: the modern and the tradition. Through conversations and engagements build bridges towards understanding. Accepting differences mean being open to diversity. Open the doors toward collaboration amongst different worlds and of different cultures and arts. Being authentic is as important as being different. Prevention of going obsolete starts with a conversation of differences. It is our job as communicators to build bridges from our roots progressing forward to the present and future. So when everyone else is going global, we are deeply rooted in our local wisdom whilst keeping touch with modernity,” Kandi Windoe

Inspired by the same spirit, Kediri Bertutur takes the undergraduate students on their own cultural journeys. Kediri Bertutur presents Kimiko Kanani Widjaja’s personal writing after taking a look into Indonesia’s history of Majapahit kingdom.

 

LEARNING FROM MAJAPAHIT

Indonesia Overview: The Republic of Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia and is a sovereign state. A sovereign state is represented by a centralized government and holds possession over independent authority over a geographical area. This beautiful nation is made up of 13,466 islands, 33 provinces and over 238 million individuals. Thus, Indonesia is labeled as the fourth country with the most population in the world. In addition to that, Indonesia’s economy (Gross Domestic Product) is ranked the sixteenth largest worldwide. Thus, this country is considered a member of the G-20 major economies. Indonesia is also a founding member of ASEAN.

Indonesia is an archipelago country and its archipelago has been an important element in the trading regions ever since the 7th century. Archipelago, as an overview, is an abundance of islands located in the same area. Kingdoms such as Sriwijaya and later on Majapahit traded items with countries like China and India in said islands. And due to these trades, the rulers of those times eventually became engrossed to the foreign cultures (religion, political ideologies, etc). These influences lead to the saturation of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. On the other hand, Muslim traders popularized the Muslim religion and colonization by the Europeans brought Christianity and Catholicism.

After three and half centuries of colonization by the Dutch, Indonesia finally gained its Independence on the 17th of August 1945. Our country eventually developed a democratic system and its economy started to grow rapidly. There are hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. However, the largest ethnic group that possesses a political dominance is the Javanese. The majority of Indonesians are Muslims but a portion of the population believes in other religions such as Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism (for example, Bali) and Buddhism.

This country has national motto—Bhinneka Tunggal Ika—, which is defined as “Unity in Diversity.” Despite the diverse population, the individuals strive to become one. There will be no “Muslim Indonesians” or “Christian Indonesians” or perhaps “Javanese Indonesians,” but there will only be The Republic of Indonesia.

Indonesia Today: The Indonesians we meet today are quite different from those who have lived during the era of heavy colonization and trades. Nowadays, the individuals are overexposed to the Western culture that they often forget about the national beauty of their own country. The biggest highlight would be the generation of youth. Children and teenagers nowadays are so focused on the technology that has been infused in society that they forget essential aspects such as interpersonal, face-to-face communication and becoming one with Indonesia’s mother nature. As for the children, most of them are born in the electronic era; thus exposing technology to them at an extremely young age. On the other hand, though the number of adults overexposed to technology is not as high as teenagers and children, they have the tendency to focus mainly on expanding their businesses. Expansions would mean going abroad to meet international business partners and going abroad to meet international business partners will sooner or later create an international cultural influence in said adult’s life.

As we may already know, Indonesia’s traditions are often neglected by the current society. How often do we hear of Tari Piring? Or Tari Kecak? Do we hear it as often as we hear ‘modern dance’ or ‘hip hop?’ And what about Wayang? Children nowadays watch puppet shows about Western fairytales such as “Cinderella” or “The Little Mermaid” but most of them would probably give us confused faces when we ask them whether they know what Wayang is or not. And how often do we see dresses made out of batik as compared to dresses made by famous designers form overseas? Children know famous kings such as King Louis the VIV from France, but do they know who king Hayam Wuruk from the Majapahit Empire is?

Indonesia is very blessed for it has a countless number of arts & traditions that bring out the best of our country, but our society has been brainwashed to appreciate cultures from different nations instead. This blurs their vision of Indonesia’s beauty. Another issue that we have in Indonesia today is the fact that there are ‘wars’ amongst different ethnic and religious groups. The simplest example is FPI (Front Pembela Islam), a social association that often burns down churches belonging to Christian Indonesians. Acts like this diminishes the entire point of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. Are we not supposed to become one through our diversity? Our nation came together in order to achieve independence and this is how we are going to repay our ancestors? Through war amongst our own people?

The Magnificent Kingdom of Majapahit: As it has been stated before in the introduction, there were once many kingdoms inhabiting Indonesia. One of the most noted kingdoms is the kingdom of Majapahit, an archipelagic and Hindu-Buddhist empire located in East Java. It stood from roughly 1293 until approximately 1500. This Empire reached its summit of glory during the era of king Hayam Wuruk, who sat on the throne from 1350 up until 1389. Alongside his prime minister, Gajah Mada, they brought the Majapahit Empire into its saturated state. To be more specific, during the era of these two historical figures, the Majapahit Empire dominated other kingdoms from other countries across Southeast Asia; including other kingdoms from Indonesia and also Singapore, Malaysia, Manila and East Timor. The kingdom of Majapahit is considered as one of the most powerful realms in the history of Southeast Asia.

Not only that this Empire was able to take control of a diverse group of kingdoms from different parts of Southeast Asia, but the kingdom of Majapahit also focused on numerous activities to develop arts. A few of these activities are those under the essence of architecture. The Majapahit Empire is known for building temples using bricks. Do not be mistaken; although bricks have been used to create temples for a long time, the Majapahit society was the one to actually master it. In addition to the bricks, this society also utilized vine sap and palm sugar mortar in order to make the temples strong. Examples of temples built by the Majapahit realm are Brahu temple (Trowulan; the capital of Majapahit), Pari temple (Sidoarjo), Jabung temple (Probolinggo) and, of course, the Surawana temple (located near the Kediri area). Some of the temples under this kingdom’s names are preexisting temples that they have renovated. For example, we have the Penataran temple, the largest temple located in East Java ever since the era of Kediri. This temple was actually visited by king Hayam Wuruk himself during his royal trip around East Java. Their infrastructure methods and designs are still practiced by individuals living in Java as well as Bali up until today.

The Majapahit kingdom is also the source of popular Indonesian literatures. Said literatures are actually considered as the Empire’s legacy. For example, in the folklore ‘The Legend of Minangkabau’ from Minangkabau, the prince was highly associated with the Javanese Majapahit kingdom. Other regional legends that are associated with the Majapahit Empire or perhaps king Hayam Wuruk and general Gajah Mada are found in locations such as Aceh, Palembang, Bali and even Brunei. A few of the Javanese legends that we know also originated from the era of Majapahit. Some of these legends include the tale of Sri Tanjung (also known as Kisah Banyuwangi and tells a story about a wife who is exceptionally loyal to her husband) and the epic of Damarwulan (a Javanese legendary hero who appears in the struggles between the Majapahit kingdom and the Blambangan kingdom). These stories flourished even after the downfall of the Majapahit Empire and are inspirations for Wayang, Ketoprak and mask drama performances.

Reuniting our People, Raising the Awareness of the Majapahit Empire and Indonesian Cultures:  The main goal that we need to pay attention to is how we can reunite Indonesians through our culture. Yes, many of us have lost our paths, but that does not mean that we will be lost forever. We must believe that beneath all the intense exposure towards cultures from different nations, there is still that sense of nationalism that lies within. However, it will not be easy to bring that sense of nationalism back to life. Therefore, we need to design a campaign that is so powerful that it will attract the hearts of our people.

I am going to begin by implementing more Indonesian cultures in schools, especially for elementary students because I believe change should start from a very young age. National schools can intensify the Indonesian cultures they are already teaching and International schools can have annual events that are held to educate the students about Indonesia’s richness in diversity. An example of an annual event is actually one that was held in my previous school, Binus International School Simprug. In this annual event, the students are divided into four teams; Majapahit, Sriwijaya, Pajajaran and Mataram. However, my school mainly focused on sports and academic competitions, therefore it did not teach the students much about the history of those four kingdoms none did said competitions teach them about our diverse cultures. Therefore, for this campaign, the schools can create this event with competitions related to the history of Indonesia. The competing groups can perhaps act out a drama/Wayang performance and gather stories from the different Empires. This will expose them to the culture of said Empires and will enrich their knowledge about their history.

Next, our campaign needs to also empower teenagers. Since a large portion of Indonesia’s population is composed of individuals between ages thirteen to nineteen, we need a large event that can include as many participants as possible. Therefore, I would like to suggest that we create an Expo with the name “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.” The slogan of this Expo will be “Reliving the Glorious Empires of the Past.” This Expo is to be held in a large area. Why do we need a large area? It is simply because we will be recreating the once lost beauty of Indonesia that brought us to where we are now. The concept is similar to Taman Mini Indonesia, however we will focus mainly on the kingdoms. Therefore, temples popularized by Empires such as Majapahit will be rebuilt (smaller, of course). Folklores and legends that originated in the past will also be rewritten and retold, but perhaps with more modern words so that the attendees will be able to understand easily. The personnel that will be in charge of supervising the event will be dressed in traditional clothing depending on which kingdom they will represent. Traditional music will be played in order to create the traveling-back-in-time atmosphere.

Teenagers who attend the event will be divided into groups, each with a tour leader, and they will travel around the area and observe the true beauty of Indonesia’s culture. This Expo can also show that, despite the large differences that each kingdoms have, we all managed to eventually become one and free our nation from the Dutch’s colonization. I believe that by getting to know our nation better, teenagers will be able to love Indonesia a little better as well.

For young adults who are often busy with work and business expansions, we can organize seminars. These seminars will focus on the idea of unity through diversity. We will call the seminars “Berbeda, Bersatu, Berhasil” (Different, Become One, Achieve). Not only that the alliteration has a nice ring to it, but it also translates the key message of the seminar quite well. The main lesson that we will teach the attendees is that differences, when embraced, can create an innovation that may benefit Indonesia’s future. To those young adults interested in architecture, another program under our campaign that I would like to suggest is a design competition with the theme “Reliving Majapahit.” For this event, we can collaborate with Google Indonesia, for example, or other companies that are currently trying to increase their brand awareness in Indonesia. Basically, the designs will be very Indonesian. The winner will have their design built between the society and us. The fact that we let the attendees participate, we are destroying the wall of alienation.  Letting them be involved in the flow of activities will boost their motivation.

Limitations and Contingency Planning: No matter how appropriate our plans are, there will always be a tendency that something will go wrong. Therefore, we need to have our own contingency planning. For the school activities, there are possibilities that the students do not understand the system of Indonesia’s kingdoms enough in order to participate in the event. Therefore, we must make sure that the schools have provided adequate lessons prior to the said event so that the students will have a general idea of how it is going to be like. The Expo may just be the biggest challenge for us. First, let us discuss the promotional methods appropriate for this event. How do we promote the Expo? Will we gain enough attendees? Since our target market is composed of teenagers who are heavily exposed to technology, a good way of promoting this event is through Social Media. This means endless tweets on Twitter, updates on Facebook and perhaps an Instagram account that can be used to show sneak peaks of the designs for the Expo. During the day of the event itself, we may have lack of control. This leads us to the next contingency planning. We can let the teenagers themselves participate by becoming the personnel that will help the other teenagers learn about the different kingdoms. They will be trained beforehand and equipped with the appropriate information needed to answer any possible questions. Similarly to the Expo, the seminars can be promoted through the usage of Social Media. Young adults are also somewhat connected to various forms of Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, therefore promoting through said medium may help the message reach a larger range of audience. For the design competition, information and announcements can also be found on the partner company’s website (eg. The link on Google Indonesia’s homepage logo).

The Windup: Indonesia is a nation that is rich in diversity; whether it may be in culture, ethnic groups or even religious groups. Different individuals have different lifestyles and values as well. However, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika was created through the belief that all these differences, despite how big they are, are able to become one. It is true that the Indonesia we know now is quite different from the Indonesia we have read in history books. However, that does not mean that we should sit quiet and let Indonesia become even more westernized over time. After all, do we really need to idolize kings from other countries when we have king Hayam Wuruk, a powerful Indonesian king who ruled many different kingdoms all across Southeast Asia? The Majapahit era taught us to embrace our own culture by developing it. This Empire also thought us that despite the fact that they are from Indonesia, they are able to rule those kingdoms from foreign countries. The way they were able to create an acquisition with foreign Empires shows that despite the differences, we can still become one. It is important that we, as Indonesians, help our country embrace its beauty in order to strengthen our society’s sense of nationalism.

Reference(s)
1. Book(s)
a. Creese, H. (1997). In search of Majapahit: The Transformation of Balinese Dentities. Clayton, Vic., Australia: Monash Asia Institute, Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University.

2. Online Article(s)
a. INDONESIA. (n.d.). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved June 8, 2014, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html
b. Major Problems Facing Indonesia Today. (n.d.). Major Problems Facing Indonesia Today. Retrieved June 8, 2014, from
http://www.africaw.com/forum/f2/major-problems-facing-indonesia-today- t2645/

Sinar Bulan by Sesilia Ken Andansari

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

During her moments reminiscing on her Indonesian roots, Sesilia Ken Andansari creates ‘Sinar Bulan.’ She takes meticulous care in her handicraft of every element in creation. Although she is living in Roden, about 30 minutes away from Groningen (taking the bus), The Netherlands, Indonesia remains in her heart through her pieces of visual art.

She shares her thinking about this piece: “Having lived in the States, Indonesia and the Netherlands has made me wonder of my origin at times. Being a hundred percent Javanese Indonesian, I’ve come to take a liking to Holland. Why? Who knows. This would also explain why my graphic design portfolio looks very European. Minimalistic, conscientious text alignments and white open spaces in abundance. “Why not make an art project for yourself?”, my sister suggested. “Go back to your roots, let your Indonesian roots surface. Single yourself out as an Indonesian graphic artist, living where you are.”

“So voilá, my first Indo piece. An image of a Balinese Legong dancer in a moment of ambiguity. A crossroad in life, full of unanswered questions. This justifies the gloomy tones and shadows. When one door shuts in life, another one opens. Behind the Balinese doorway is the flowing sea. There may be no clear understanding in the now, but only in hindsight. The moon shines her luminous rays, symbolising faith. Moonrays in Indonesian is Sinar Bulan.”

You can the person out of Indonesia, however, you can not take Indonesia out of the person.

Tari Kehidupan by Sesilia Ken Andansari

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

Sesilia spent her highschool period of her life in Kediri, East Java, Indonesia. There are still remnants of Kediri inside of her, a dimension that reveals her Javanese character.

She is now an Indonesian living in The Netherlands. There are moments when she wonders about her heritage roots. In such moments she uses her talent to explore. In that process, she creates a stunning visual graphic art titled: Tari Kehidupan.

“In Javanese belief, we enter life with four attributes: lust, anger, desire and holy deeds. These attributes are triggered by elements that colors our lives through sight, speech, hearing, touch and scent. What do we do when we see people in need? What do we experience when we see something heartwarming? How do we cope during trying times? Mastering our attributes remains the ultimate test. With this, life may seem to be only about survival. To this day, I’ve still yet to learn that there is so much more than just that. It’s about how one dances to the rhythm of life, with all its bright and dark colors. The brief moment that we are granted here, how do we choose to live it? Hence, the thoughts behind ‘Tari kehidupan’, Dance of Life.”

Berbagai kegiatan budaya di Jln. Basuki Rahmat – Jln. Dhoho, Kediri

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

Sejak diadakannya kegiatan Car-Free Day di Jalan Basuki Rahmat – Jalan Dhoho, Kediri, setiap hari minggu dimulai dari jam 05:00 sampai 09:00, maka Kepala Dinas Kebudayaan, Pariwisata, Pemuda, dan Olah- raga (Disbudparpora) Nur Muhyar mengajak masyarakat untuk berpartisipasi ikut meramaikan kegiatan ini dengan berbagai macam acara. “Car Free Day ini sangat bagus,” ujarnya. “Kami ingin masyarakat yang olahraga dan bermain kesenian di acara Car Free Day,” harapnya.

Dengan rasa semangat yang tinggi, diawali dengan upaya teman-teman Kediri Bertutur berkontribusi dalam bentuk kegiatan menggambar bekerjasama dengan Komunitas Drawing Kediri, Mbah War dan Sanggar Anak Carang Gedang. Ternyata dengan adanya percikan kegiatan ini, maka teman-teman meneruskan kegiatan ini pada setiap hari Minggu pagi ikut meramaikan Car-Free Day Kota Kediri.

Berikut ini adalah beberapa foto meriahnya Car Free Day Kota Kediri.

Kegiatan Komunitas Drawing:

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Beberapa kegiatan lainnya adalah: masih dalam nuansa merayakan hari raya Imlek:

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Narasumber: http://www.kedirikota.go.id/read/Berita/2014/12/22/3/6/6584/Kediri%20Car%20Free%20Day.html

Jaranan tidak hanya sebatas penari ‘dadi’

Artikel Kediri Bertutur

Jaranan dikenal sebagai seni rakyat yang digemari oleh masyarakat di Kediri. Para prajurit mempertunjukkan karakter keberanian lelaki mereka melalui gerak-gerik yang gagah. Kuda Lumping/Jaranan/Kuda Kepang adalah seni tari yang dimainkan dengan menaiki kuda tiruan yang terbuat dari anyaman bambu (kepang). Para prajurit biasanya diiringi dengan musik khusus yang sederhana yaitu dengan gong, kenong, kendang dan slompret (alat musik tradisional). Kesenian Jaranan begitu sederhana akan tetapi memiliki daya tarik yang kuat.

Dahulu rakyat menggunakan panggung rakyat sebagai bentuk perlawanan rakyat terhadap penguasa. Bentuk kesenian Kuda Kepang merupakan cara rakyat menyindir para penguasa. Kuda merupakan simbol kekuatan dan kekuasaan elit bangsawan dan prajurit kerajaan yang di saat itu tidak dimiliki rakyat. Tarian Kuda Lumping dipentaskan tanpa mengikuti pakem seni tari yang berkembang di lingkungan kerajaan. Jelas bahwa seni tari Jaranan adalah bentuk perlawanan terhadap kemapanan kerajaan. Dikarenakan seni Kuda Lumping sangat digemari oleh semua kalangan masyarakat maka selain sebagai media perlawanan, Tarian Jaranan digunakan sebagai media dakwah untuk menyebarkan agama Islam, sama halnya melalui kesenian Wayang Kulit.

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Asal usulnya Jaran Kepang terkandung dalam cerita rakyat asli Kediri saat pemerintahan Prabu Amiseno dibawah Kerajaan Ngurawan (salah satu kerajaan yang terletak di Kediri sebelah timur Sungai Brantas). Sang Prabu Amiseno memiliki putri yang sangat cantik nan rupawan bernama Dyah Ayu Songgolangit (Dewi Sekartaji). Banyak raja dari luar daerah Kediri yang ingin mempersuntingnya.

Dewi Songgolangit memiliki adik laki-laki tampan dan terampil dalam olah keprajuritan bernama Raden Tubagus Putut. Untuk menambah wawasan dan pengetahuan, Raden Tubagus Putut mohon pamit pada ayahandanya untuk berkelana dan menyamar sebagai masyarakat biasa. Pengembaraannya membawa Raden Tubagus Putut untuk mengabdi kepada Prabu Kelono Sewandono di Kerajaan Bantar Angin (Ponorogo). Berkat keahliannya dalam olah keprajuritan, maka ia diangkat menjadi patih kerajaan dan diberi gelar Patih Pujonggo Anom.

Prabu Kelono Sewandono mendengar tentang kecantikan Dyah Ayu Songgolangit dan ingin meminangnya, maka diutuslah Patih Pujonggo Anom untuk melamar ke Kediri. Sebelum berangkat ke Kediri Pujonggo Anom memohon petunjuk kepada Sang Dewata agar dirinya tidak diketahui siapa dirinya oleh ayahandanya maupun kakaknya.

Di kerajaan Ngurawan banyak pelamar yang berdatangan diantaranya Prabu Singo Barong dari Lodoyo yang didampingi patihnya Singakumbang (celeng). Dewi Songgolangit terkejut akan kedatangan Pujonggo Anom untuk melamar, karena meskipun dia memakai topeng untuk menyamar, Dewi Songgolangit mengetahui bahwa itu adiknya sendiri.

Dewi Songgolangit menghadap ayahandanya untuk menyampaikan bahwa Pujonggo Anom adalah putranya dan mendengar penuturan itu, maka murkalah sang ayah. Sang Prabu mengutuk Pujonggo Anom bahwa topengnya yang dikenakan wajahnya tidak bisa dilepas dari wajahnya. Pujonggo Anom mengatakan kepada Dewi Songgolangit bahwa lamarannya itu sebetulnya untuk rajanya yaitu Prabu Kelono Sewandono.

Akhirnya Dewi Songgolangit mengeluarkan suatu Patembaya (sayembara) yang isinya: dia menginginkan sebuah titian yang tidak berpijak pada tanah; barang siapa yang dapat membuat tontonan yang belum ada di jagad ini, dan bilamana digelar dapat meramaikan jagad, serta pengarak manten menuju ke Kediri harus “nglandak sahandape bantala” (lewat bawah tanah) dengan diiringi tetabuhan. Barang siapa yang bisa memenuhi permintaan tersebut maka si pencipta berhak mempersunting Dewi Songgolangit sebagai permaisuri.

Pujonggo Anom melaporkan permintaan Dewi Songgolangit kepada Prabu Kelono Sewandono. Karena merasa cukup sulit, akhirnya keduanya bersemedi memohon petunjuk Sang Dewata Agung. Dewata memberikan bahan berupa batang bamboo, lempengan besi serta sebuah cambuk yang disebut Pecut Samandiman. Adapun batang bamboo digunakan untuk membuat kuda kepang yang melambangkan sebuah titian yang tidak berpijak pada tanah, lempengan besi dijadikan tetabuhan yang enak didengar.

Dalam waktu singkat Kelono Sewandono beserta Pujonggo Anom sudah bisa memenuhi patembaya Dewi Songgolangit. Akhirnya pasukan prajurit penunggang kuda dari Bantar Angin (Ponorogo)  menuju Kerajaan Kediri dengan diiringi tetabuhan bisa menjadi tontonan yang belum pernah dilihat oleh masyarakat Kediri. Maka mulailah kesenian itu diberikan nama Tari Jaran Kepang yang terdiri dari empat orang penari yang menggambarkan punggawa kerajaan sedang menunggang kuda dengan tugas mengawal raja. Tarian tersebut diiringi oleh kelompok gamelan yang terdiri dari ketuk, kenong, kempol, gong suwukan, terompet, kendang dan angklung.

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Kemudian datanglah Barong Singo Barong bersama Patih Singakumbang dari Lodoyo yang datang tidak melalui jalan biasa melainkan melalui bawah tanah menuju Alun Alun Kediri.  Barong Singo Barong merasa kedahuluan oleh Prabu Kelono Sewandono, maka marahlah Singa Barong dan terjadilah perang. Singa Barong dan Singakumbang memiliki kekuatan gaib dimana mereka bisa merubah wujud menjadi binatang, Singa Barong menjadi singa dan Singakumbang menjadi celeng. Dalam keamarahannya, dalam bentuk singa dan celeng, Singa Barong dan Singakumbang beserta para pengikutnya menghancurkan segala sesuatu yang menghalang mereka.

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Kelono Sewandono melawan mereka dengan pecut Samandiman, akan tetapi Pujonggo Anom ingat bahwa Singa Barong dan Singa kumbang senang mendengar suara gamelan, maka dimainkannya lagu gamelan. Singo Barong dan Singa kumbang menjadi tenang hingga mereka menari mengikuti alunan gamelan.

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Singa Barong menjadi tunduk kepada Prabu Kelono Sewandono dan sanggup menjadi pelengkap dalam pertunjukkan jaranan yang digelar di Kerajaan Kediri. Dengan bergabungnya Singa Barong dan patihnya Singo Kumbang (celeng) maka genaplah penari jaranan berjumlah enam orang hingga sekarang ini.

Selain seperangkat gamelan, pagelaran jaranan membutuhkan sesaji yang harus disediakan dari sang dalang jaranan yang disebut “gambuh:” antara lain Dupa (kemenyan yang dicampur minyak wangi tertentu kemudian dibakar), Buceng (berisi ayam panggang jantan dan beberapa jajan pasar, satu buah kelapa dan satu sisir pisang raja), Kembang Boreh (berisi kembang kanthil dan kembang kenongo), Ulung-ulung (berupa seekor ayam jantan yang sehat), Kinangan (berupa satu unit gambir, suruh, tembakau, dan kapur yang dilumatkan menjadi satu diadu dengan tembakau). Selanjutnya sang gambuh akan membaca mantera sambil duduk bersila di depan sesaji mencoba untuk berkomunikasi dengan roh leluhur dan meminta agar menyusup ke raga salah satu penari jaranan. Setelah roh yang dikehendaki oleh Sang Gambuh itu hadir dan menyusup ke raga salah satu penari, maka penari itu bisa menari dibawah alam sadar hingga berjam-jam lamanya karena mengikuti kehendak roh yang menyusupinya. Sambil menari, jaranan diberi makan kembang dan minum air dicampur dengan bekatul bahkan ada yang makan pecahan kaca semprong.

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Terkadang tindakan kemasukan roh ke dalam raga ini dinilai sebagai sesuatu yang kurang baik atau kurang dipahami. Tanpa adanya pehaman konteks budaya, maka seni tari Jaranan sering disalahpahami. Saat pengaruh agama Hindu dan Buddha masih kental di jaman kerajaan Jawa, kedekatan diri dengan roh leluhur adalah bentuk harmonisasi dan sinergi antara perilaku manusia dengan kearifan alam semesta.

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Wujud laku spiritual dalam tataran batiniah, dan laku ritual dalam tataran lahiriah menentukan kualitas manusia. Laku ritual merupakan simbolisasi dan kristalisasi dari laku spiritual. Contoh yang baik adalah adanya pemberian sesaji yang memiliki makna tatacara memberdayakan daya hidup agar dapat menjalankan kehidupan yang benar, baik dan tepat. Yakni menjalankan hidup dengan mengikuti kaidah memayu hayuning bawana (mengusahakan keselamatan, kebahagiaan, dan kesejahteraan hidup di dunia).

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Kebanyakkan seni tari rakyat telah lepas dari makna sejarah dan kandungan norma dan nilai pesan. Yang diapresiasi hanyalah sebatas tampilan saja sehingga condong menilai tanpa pemahaman sejarah maupun kandungan budaya.   Jaranan/Jaran Kepang/Kuda Lumping merupakan seni rakyat yang memiliki nilai sejarah dan mengandung nilai ksatria dalam membela yang adil dan benar.
Narasumber:

http://kudasaktikusumo.com/filosofi-kesenian-jaranan/

http://foreverjaranan.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html

Buku “Jaranan: The Horse Dance and Trance in East Java by Victoria M. Clara van Groenendael

KE DI RI

Artikel Kediri Bertutur

“What’s in a name?” itu adalah pertanyaan yang sederhana akan tetapi sangat terbuka penuh makna. Kata KEDIRI bisa berbentuk KE DIRI dimana pemahaman menjadi “kembali ke diri sendiri.” Suatu perjalanan mengolah kembali mata hati. Mata hati adalah mata yang terdapat di dalam hati. Mata hati yang sehat adalah dimana seseorang bisa melihat keagungan Gusti Allah dan Alam Semesta. Mengolah mata hati adalah upaya secara batin untuk bisa mendekatkan hati dengan esensi sang Mahapencipta.

Kata KEDIRI bisa juga ditulis seperti ini: KEDI RI. Ada yang berpendapat bahwa nama KEDIRI berasal dari kata “KEDI” yang memiliki arti “MANDUL” atau “wanita yang tidak berdatang bulan.” Menurut kamus Jawa Kuno Wasito, “KEDI” bermakna “orang kebiri bidan atau dukun.” Ada juga yang menyatakan bahwa Dewi Kilisuci yang bertapa di Gua Selomangkleng itu “KEDI” yang miliki makna “SUCI.” Dengan penuh kesadaran Dewi Kilisuci memilih untuk menjalani kehidupan sebagai seorang pertapa. Kesunyian Gua Selomangkleng (Kediri) dan Pucangan (gunung Penanggungan) lebih menarik perhatian sang Putri daripada memilih hiruk pikuk keduniawian sehingga menolak tawaran untuk menggantikan Prabu Airlangga menjadi ratu di Kahuripan.

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Dalam bahasa Jawa Jumenengan, kata KEDIRI berasal dari kata “DIRI” yang berarti ADEG, ANGDHIRI, menghadiri atau, menjadi RAJA. Ada beberapa prasasti yang menyebutkan kata Kediri atau Kadiri. Dalam Prasasti Ceker tahun 1109 saka / 1185 M berlokasi di Desa Ceker (sekarang adalah Desa Sukoanyar, Kecamatan Mojo), menyebutkan bahwa penduduk Ceker berjasa kepada Raja, sehingga mereka semua memperoleh hadiah, “Tanah Perdikan” (tanah bebas pajak).  Disitu tertulis bahwa, “Sri Maharaja masuk Ri Siminaninaring Bhuwi Kadiri” yang memiliki arti “raja telah kembali kesimanya, atau harapannya di Bhumi Kadiri.”   Prasasti Ceker merupakan anugerah raja kepada penduduk desa Ceker yang telah mengabdikan dirinya guna kemajuan kerajaan dibawah Sri Kameswara.

Prasasti Kamulan di Desa Kamulan, Kabupaten Trenggalek pada tahun 1116 saka menyebutkan nama Kediri, yang diserang oleh raja dari kerajaan sebelah timur, “Aka ni satru wadwa kala sangke purnowo,” sehingga raja meninggalkan istananya di Katangkatang (“tatkala nin kentar sangke kadetwan ring katang-katang deni nkir malr yatik kaprabon sri maharaja siniwi ring bhumi kadiri”). Menurut salah satu tim peneliti dari Universitas Negeri Malang, Muzakir Cahyono, “Kami menduga daerah Kamulan dulunya adalah tanah pardikan, semacam desa yang diberi anugerah (hak otonomi) oleh Raja Kertanegara atau Srengga pada masa Kerajaan Kadiri akhir.” “Prasasti Kamulan identik dengan prasasti-prasasti Srengga (Srengga Lancana) lain yang tersebar di wilayah wilayah selatan Sungai Brantas seperti Blitar, Kediri, Tulungagung dan Trenggalek. Prasasti itu penanda anugerah raja Srengga untuk desa-desa yang diberi status sebagai tanah pardikan dan diberi hak mengelola pajak sendiri,” terangnya.

Menurut penelitian para ahli lembaga Javanologi seperti Bapak MM. Sukarton Kartoatmojo, adanya penyebutan nama Kadiri ada pada tiga prasasti Harinjing yang berada di Desa Siman, Kecamatan Kepung, Kabupaten Kediri yakni  Prasasti Harinjing A tertanggal 25 Maret 804 masehi,  prasasti Harinjing B tertanggal 19 September 921 dan prasasti Harinjing C tanggal 7 Juni 1015 Masehi. Isi dari ketiga prasasti Harinjing adalah tokoh dari desa Culanggi bernamakan Bagawanta Bhari yang memperoleh anugerah tanah perdikan dari Raja Rake Layang Dyah Tulodong. Kiprah Bagawanta Bhari ketika itu, yaitu upaya untuk menyelamatkan lingkungan dari amukan banjir tahunan yang mengancam daerahnya tersebut.
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prasasti-harinjing1Sumber foto:  https://jawatimuran.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/prasasti-kabupaten-kediri/

Ketekunan tanpa mengharap rasa pamrih inilah yang membuat dirinya dijadikan sebagai panutan masyarakat di waktu itu. Dirinya memperoleh gelar kehormatan “Wanuta Rama”, yaitu ayah yang terhormat atau Kepala Desa  dan tidak dikenakan berbagai macam pajak (Mangilaladrbyahaji) di daerah yang dikuasai Bagawanta Bhari, seperti Culanggi dan Kawasan Kabikuannya. Pembebasan atas pajak itu antara lain berupa “Kring Padammaduy” (Iuran Pemadam Kebakaran), “Tapahaji erhaji” (Iuran yang berkaitan dengan air), “Tuhan Tuha dagang” (Kepala perdagangan), “Tuha hujamman” (Ketua Kelompok masyarakat), “Manghuri” (Pujangga Kraton), “Pakayungan Pakalangkang” (Iuran lumbung padi), “Pamanikan” (Iuran manik-manik, permata) dan masih banyak pajak lainnya.

Menurut M.M. Soekarton Kartoadmodjo prasasti Harinjing A adalah prasasti yang ditemukan paling tertua yang menyebut nama Kediri pada Maret 804 Masehi. Saat tersebut Kediri mulai disebut-sebut sebagai sebuah negara atau kerajaan karena merupakan daerah yang mandiri. Dalam prasasti Harinjing juga disebutkan pembangunan sistem irigasi (yang terdiri atas saluran dan tanggul) yang disebut dawuhan pada anak sungai Kali Konto, yakni Kali Harinjing (Lombard, 2000). Kesuburan tanah sekitar sungai Brantas disebabkan adanya endapan material vulkanik dari beberapa gunung berapi yang aktif di bagian hulu sungai, yaitu Gunung Kelud dan Gunung Semeru. Beberapa kerajaan Hindu-Buddha di Jawa Timur berkembang pada kondisi geografis yang didukung sungai Brantas tersebut yang juga didukung oleh peranan aktivitas Gunung Penanggungan. Sistem ekonomi kerajaan-kerajaan seperti Kediri, Singhasari, dan Majapahit yang mencakup perdagangan pun lebih diuntungkan dengan akses penghubung yang lebih cepat dan aman antara daerah pedalaman dengan pesisir. Dengan perkembangan tersebut, maka beralihlah sistem agraris ke maritim. Namun, kerajaan Majapahit mampu memadukan keunggulan agrarisnya dan memperluas kekuatan maritimnya dengan memanfaatkan sungai Brantas sebagai penghubung ke laut lepas. Dengan adanya jalur tersebut, penerapan bea cukai dan upeti pun marak dilakukan ketika masa kerajaan Kediri hingga Majapahit. Dari beberapa perkembangan tersebut mengakibatkan munculnya kejayaan kerajaan Majapahit yang bertumpu pada sungai Brantas.

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Sumber visual:  http://mari-mengetahui-sejarah.blogspot.com/2014/11/sejarah-kabupaten-kediri.html dari tulisan makalah: Arti Penting Sungai Brantas terhadap Kehidupan di Jawa Timur, Nama:  Zulkifli Pelana

Nama Kediri berasal dari kata “diri” yang berarti “adeg” (berdiri) yang mendapat awalan “Ka” yang dalam bahasa Jawa Kuno berarti “Menjadi Raja.” Dari uraian bukti prasasti serta kebesaran sejarah kerajaan Kediri hingga Majapahit diatas, makna kata Kediri berarti mandiri atau berdiri tegak, berkepribadian atau berswasembada.

Belajar dari ketekunannya Bagawanta Bhari yang berupaya menyelamatkan lingkungan dari amukan banjir tahunan yang mengancam daerahnya tanpa mengharap rasa pamrih serta belajar dari sejarah, kehidupan serta budaya, dan ajaran-ajaran norma serta kearifan lokal dari leluhur moyang Nusantara, sangatlah cocok kata KE DI RI memiliki makna yang multidimensi.

Dalam perjalanan ke diri adalah jejak langkah mengasah mata hati. Dalam ilmu Jawa dikatakan bahwa jiwa tunduk pada keraping rahsa/rasa sejati (kehendak Guru Sejati/kehendak Tuhan), serta meredam rahsaning karep (kemauan hawa nafsu negatif). Segenap upaya yang mendukung proses ‘penundukan’ unsur Tuhan terhadap unsur bumi dalam khasanah Jawa disebut sebagai laku prihatin. Maka di dalam khasanah spiritual Kejawenlaku prihatin merupakan syarat utama yang harus dilakukan seseorang menggapai tingkatan spiritualitas sejati. Kembali mengakar, kembali kesejatian diri. KEDIRI

Narasumber:

http://www.kedirikab.go.id/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=180

http://vod.kompas.com/read/2012/01/21/070528/Harinjing.Kisah.Sudetan.Tertua

http://www.antaranews.com/berita/426522/peneliti-temukan-pemukiman-kuno-di-trenggalek

http://swetadwipa.blogspot.com/2014/04/goa-selomangleng-kadiri-pertapaan-dewi.html

https://jawatimuran.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/dewi-kilisuci-dan-kesunyian-selomangleng/

https://m.facebook.com/notes/kediri-lama-pusaka-negara/sejarah-dan-asal-mula-hari-jadi-kediri-25-maret-804-m/497905535577/

http://mari-mengetahui-sejarah.blogspot.com/2014/11/sejarah-kabupaten-kediri.html

tulisan makalah: Arti Penting Sungai Brantas terhadap Kehidupan di Jawa Timur, Nama         :  Zulkifli Pelana, NIM :  4415120305,  Prodi:  Pendidikan Sejarah, Matkul:  Geografi Sejarah

https://jawatimuran.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/prasasti-kabupaten-kediri/

“Finding My Own Journey” by Chantika

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

INTRODUCTION

This writing is one of the selected essays done by undergraduate students of “Consumer Analysis” from University of Indonesia, the faculty of social and political sciences, international communication program of advertising 2013.

The humble beginnings of Kediri Bertutur originated from a cultural journey: “I am fully aware that to reach quality of life does not mean gaining a higher level of status and wealth. In my journey, I am seeking quality of life based on spiritual humanism that moves my very being on this earth. This lesson I can only gain from a cultural journey,” Kandi Windoe.

Inspired by the same spirit, Kediri Bertutur takes the undergraduate students on their own cultural journeys. Kediri Bertutur presents Angelica Chantika’s personal writing after taking the journey to Jogja in November 2014.

FINDING MY OWN JOURNEY BY ANGELICAL CHANTIKA

On November 28 2014, we flew from Jakarta to Jogjakarta for 45 minutes. This was supposed to be a trip where we look for something that should help us on our assignments in order to get satisfying grades. However, personally, this trip was a journey to find myself and going to  different places to learn about several things that I would never get everyday.

This trip I called as a journey because these people whom I met and these different places where I visited are various parts that guided me to find the “new” me that hopefully can make me a much better person in the future, not just for others but also for the sake of myself. These people whom I met on this trip have their own journeys. They have struggled along with the wonderful adventure in order to get to where they are right now, which I think they have reached their success. Seeing them, I also want to create my own journey. To have my own struggles, to have my own happy times. Therefore, this trip was a start of something new in my life.

The trip immediately started after we arrived in Jogjakarta. We went straight to the hotel and settled our belongings. The hotel, for me, was fascinating because its atmosphere was very Javanese. It was not a fancy hotel, however, the ambience of the place made me feel blend in with everything surround me.

Then, we went to Solo which took approximately 2 hours for us to get there. At Solo, we met a group called Plenthe Percussion, who are local musician, at the place where they mostly gather together to create and record their music. Plenthe Percussion had worked with several Indonesian musicians such as Didi Kempot and many more. They also had been to different parts of the world in particular Canada, Hong Kong, Netherlands, etc.

There, we had a long deep conversation with them, getting to know more about their personal lives, their multiple experiences, their difficulties on being noticed by the government and other fascinating stories that they shared with us.

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There are a lot of ideas that I have learnt from them. I now know that specific sound can actually be damaging. In particular hertz, there are sounds that people cannot hear and in counts of times those sounds can kill them. There are also sounds of electricity and moving feet of ants around us which we cannot hear directly that can cause sudden dizziness without us realizing what have caused it.

Another thing that I remember clearly was Mas Suryadi’s statement about a developed country is a country that appreciates its culture and the creation made by its people. However, Indonesian people have lack of appreciation toward their own culture. It is shown by Plenthe Percussion is sponsored by Australian government to help them travel and perform around the world. Plenthe Percussion is a group filled by Indonesian people that supposed to be supported by Indonesian government, not only to help them getting attention and appreciation from foreigners around the world, but also to contribute on preserving our diverse culture.

Mas Suryadi stated that when they first try to introduce their music which is traditional Indonesian music, Indonesian people and also the government see them only with one eye (this is translated from an Indonesian saying “memandang sebelah mata” which means ‘to belittle them’ because of playing traditional music). They underestimated their ability of playing music because Indonesians perceive their music genre as something that is old fashion. These made them to had a strong desire to prove of how Indonesia’s traditional music is not outdated by collaborating with other Indonesian musician such as Didi Kempot. Their work with one of Indonesia’s legendary musician was their first debut along with hopes inside in order for more of Indonesian could notice them through this collaboration. Nevertheless, like as mentioned before, Indonesians disregard them.

Since Indonesians government was very careless toward this group of musician, Plenthe Percussion was and is supported by Australian government to help this group on performing around the world and noticed by large mass. This fact is very heartbreaking because it shows how much Indonesians are unattached to its culture and do not have a big compassion toward their own beautiful heritage and I personally think it is such a shame to know and realize this fact.

The next thing I have learned from them is that I need to create something in my life, because it is such a waste if I do not leave a mark about myself. We do not have to create something for other people, but the first thing we have to do is that we need to create something for ourselves and also from ourselves. I also learned to not be afraid to be different on creating something because Plenthe Percussion creates something that not a lot of people can do and creates something that is so pure that people cannot even copy it. They dare to show something unusual about Indonesia from such different perspective not to get attention but purely to preserve Indonesian culture and introduce it to worldwide so that people around the planet can know what is Indonesia and what is so beautiful and marvelous about Indonesia through music because it is the only way they know how to express themselves.

The next day, we went to Abdi Dalem Keraton Ngayogyakarta. When we went to the place the first thought in my mind was that we had to be very quite and very polite in order to talk to them. However, it turned out that we could just really talk to them normally about everything related to their lives.

Bapak Mono was one of the ‘abdi dalem’ that we talked to. He is one of many abdi dalem that works inside Keraton. Aside of working as abdi dalem, he also works as batik designer. He has been working for 10 years at Keraton and what started him was that he actually has blood of previous Sultan so that his parents encouraged him to work as abdi dalem at Keraton.

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I thought that in order for people to work as abdi dalem, they were chosen. However, it turned out that people have to apply just like you want to apply regularly for working in other places. There are also several requirements that they have to fulfill in order to work for Sultan. One of them is for instance, the minimum age of people that want to apply has to be above 17 year-old and the maximum age is 40 year-old. He also mentioned that there are a lot of people that actually want to work at Keraton, nevertheless, only several that got accepted. There are now approximately 1.500 abdi dalem that work for Sultan.

The uniform or clothes that they use daily have meaning behind every single part of the clothes. The reason behind of wearing the same uniform when they work as abdi dalem is a symbolism where people that work as abdi dalem in Keraton have the same mother. The “Blankon”means empty, which means you have to empty your heart and mind from negativity and start spreading optimism toward yourself and people surround you. Also at the back of the “Blankon” is placed a ribbon shaped as jasmine flower. Next is the suit they wear. The color of the suit is blue which means deep and there are 6 buttons on top of the suit that represents “6 rukun iman.”The buttons on the sleeves are counted as 5 buttons that represents “5 rukun Islam.”At the back of the suit, tucked a traditional knife called “Keris” that symbolize the life itself.

As stated above, both of these abdi dalem have worked for Sultan for a quite long period of time. They felt happy and proud of themselves for serving Sultan and Keraton itself. They felt like they matter because Sultan sometimes call them personally and ask them to do several different things. They did not feel like a maid because they know it is not what they are. By getting order from Sultan, they gained new knowledge, experiences and new different perspective about life that they did not know before.

There are a few things they are willing to do for Sultan and Keraton and one of them is that they were ready and willing to die in order to protect the Sultan. They did not really think about tomorrow, what matters is the present day because they do not know what is going to come the next day. So, if they die the next day, they will feel satisfied because they have served the best for the Sultan and Keraton, and they have become better person by working there.

Their journey of becoming who they are right now is not easy. There are several sacrifices they had to make in order to serve for Sultan and Keraton. Leaving something that has become a habit for you is difficult, and there are several habits and parts of life they had to leave behind in order to be where they are right now. This is a part of their journey becoming abdi dalem to serve Sultan and Keraton. A journey to be nice people as they are right now. A journey to become people that are believed by Sultan to do several work that Sultan will never give to anybody.A journey to find the best selves inside of them and bringing them out in order to spread optimism to themselves and to people around them.

There are 2 things I learn from them. I learn that they were self-less and loyal. They have worked for Sultan and Keraton for a long time and they were willing to stay longer in order to serve Sultan. They did not complain because the only thing that matters most to them is the pleasure of Sultan and they were also ready to die for Keraton and Sultan. These statement represents of how they are very self-less and loyal to whom they dedicated their life for.

On the following hour, we went to eat lunch and we had Nasi Gudeg. The last time I ate gudeg was when I was in elementary school so I already forgot how it tasted. Having it was a trip down to memory lane when visited Jogjakarta back in 2004.

Afterwards, we went to visit Ibu Tia at Yayasan Pamulang Baksa Sasmita Mardawa. It was a studio for most of local people to practice their traditional dance. Ibu Tia herself have been dancing for approximately 56 years. She first started interested in dancing when she was a little girl. However, her father did not permit her to start taking dance lessons because she was too young to start dancing. So, after being old enough her father then put her into several dance lessons and she became a traditional dancer ever since. Ibu Tia is now a teacher at Yayasan Pamulang Baksa Sasmita Mardawa together with her son. She mentioned that dance is her life and she is going to keep dancing until she can not do it anymore and that is why now she dedicated her life on teaching at the studio.

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She also had been to different parts of the world such as Europe, USA, and Asia. In Asia, she had been to Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and of course Indonesia. She visited these places not only for performing herself or assisting the students to perform in these places, but she also taught foreigners from these different places to learn Indonesia’s traditional dances. Going to these places made her realize how Indonesians are very disrespectful to their own culture because Ibu Tia mentioned that she felt more appreciated when she danced at these various places than in Indonesia itself. Whereas, these traditional dances were established and born in Indonesia.

Indonesians are now more looking for modern lifestyle, we look up on western people was of living. We focused so much on wanting to be them that we do not try to filter and choose which western lifestyle could be a part of our lives and which not. Seeing on dance perspective, most of Indonesian dancers that I know are now more into modern dance such as hip-hop dance, contemporary dance, jazz and so on. They see those dances as something that are edgy and “hip”or “cool”just because most of western people do them. Indonesia’s potential dancers are forgetting that our traditional dances are beautiful and stunning. Our dances are very different from other dances and that what makes Indonesia’s traditional dances are beautiful. The slow movement, the shift from one leg to the other, the stares from traditional dancers eyes that follows the movement. Everything about Indonesian traditional dance is exotic and also rich of culture at the same time.

What I learn from this visit is about dedication of doing what we are most passionate about. There are regrets that I have in my life because I did not expand more of my talents and embrace them. I was afraid to try and I was too shy to show these talents to people. The conversation that we had with Ibu Tia made me realize that I have so much in me that I can expand and all it takes is courage. This visit made me notice that I have to start my own journey of creating something from these talents that I am provided, for the best of me and from me.

Later at night, we went to Magelang to attend a seminar called “Designer. Ing. Kampung.” This was a seminar held that invited our lecturer, Mbak Kandi and several other experts in this field. The event was basically about people that work as farmers in the morning until the afternoon and a night they become graphic designers that creates logos and many more. They become graphic designers from competing in a crowdsourcing contest and most of these people did and do not go thought design schools. They learned about how to create these logos through different softwares on their own. In 5 years length, there are about 120.000 farmers/designer.

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These farmers receive orders from multinational and international companies to create logos for these companies. They receive thousands of dollars as their pay check for creating these logos or posters. Because of them, Indonesia receives huge amount of foreign exchanges just from simple designs that these farmers made for multinational and international companies.

In this seminar, Mbak Kandi, as one of the speakers at this event, appealed and reminded these farmers/designers that they should go look for references from everything surround them and not to go looking from western or outside Indonesia references. What Indonesia has are enough for these farmers/designers to get inspiration to create more and more.

What I learn from this event is that these people have great desires and persistent toward what they do. They work, physically hard in the morning until the afternoon in the field and at night they work hard again on designing these posters or logos ordered to them. I am sure they have less of the technology that I have and they are not provided with items that I have right now. However, their creativity and their passion get them to where they are right and here I am whining about how less of technology that I have and I only use these gadgets not to create something, but only to watch or to go browsing on something that I know is a waste of time.

Seeing these people go through such amazing journey, I know I want to make one on my own. I want to use more of what I have and not waste it. To work harder and put efforts in everything I do in life, because these creations that I am going to make are going to get me somewhere surprising.

The next day, which was the last day of our trip, we went to visit Sanggar Tari Angguk. When we arrived, there were children and teenagers from all different ages ready to perform tari Angguk. They performed twice, first was the traditional tari Angguk and the second one was performed by the older ones where they performed tari Angguk as well, but this one was composed and freestyle was included.

Most of these children are aged from 2 being the youngest and 15 the oldest. However, there are also older ones that was not there because it was not the day for them to have dance practice. These children have learnt the dance since they were a young age and most of them want to join and learn these dances because their friends tell them about the dance and they were interested on learning it.

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After seeing their performance, we had separated group conversation with different children. Kanya, Hana and I talked to approximately 8 children. We asked them a lot of random question to make them relax because they were a bit shy. We talked to them about what are their favorite songs, TV shows, bands and so on. I was very surprised that one of these children watched the same Korean TV show that I also watch regularly. They mentioned that they also play several gadgets but not as addictive as Jakarta people would because these children always go out and play with their friends if they have spare time at home or at school. They had several social medias such as Facebook and Twitter and they check them regularly.

What amazed me most is their love toward dance. In a young age, they are very passionate about this dance and tari Angguk is not the only dance they mastered, but there are also other traditional dances that they can do very well for instance Jaipongan. They learned other traditional dances at school because they provide these children with extracurricular of these traditional dances. Talking with them I thought that these children were just young people that only have dance and play around in their mind. However, they turned out to be very mature and realistic. When we asked about what do they want to be when they grow up, I thought they were going to say that they wanted to be dancers. Nevertheless, they stated realistic jobs such as nurse, teacher, and writer. For such a young age, they already know realistic jobs that compared to me when I was their age, I still dream to be something that I would never pursue.

Afterwards, we kept talking about how do they want to live in the future and whether they want to come and live in Jakarta. As mentioned before, some of these children had been to Jakarta before and stayed for 3 days. They said that they like Jakarta because you can find everything there, so many tall buildings and colorful places. They enjoyed visiting Jakarta, but they would not stay there. They like the place where they grew up and also a lot of their friends live in Jogjakarta, they said they were afraid to leave them. Jakarta was a nice place to them, but they said that Jakarta was too hot and too crowded.

Their dedication to dance, especially toward traditional dance is incredible. They are willing to spend hours of practice and give up their day off from school to dance. As for young people that still have their unstable wants and needs, their passion toward dance was very shown from how they speak and they move the motion of the dance. Seeing this, I know that this is a part of their journey of becoming who they want to be in the future and hopefully their passion toward something in the future will be as big or even bigger that what they have right now.

The last visit of the trip was Gerabah Kasongan. There we tried to make ceramics from clay that we could form into ashtray or pencil case. We did not interact much with the sellers and with the ones that taught us how to form the ceramics because we were to focused on creating something that we had not done in a long time. Personally for me, the last time I played with clay was when I had a trip to Cirebon in junior high school.

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The sales of the the ceramics were done helped with internet marketing. So, when we wanted to look for ceramics souvenir for weddings or birthdays on the Internet, once we searched we then would find Gerabah Kasongan on the first page and top of the lists. They have shipped these ceramic souvenirs to all over Indonesia and the furthest is Papua. They also shipped these souvenirs to outside of Indonesia, however the range is still in Asia, such as China, Arab and many more.

What amazed me was that we could really focus on making ceramics and coloring them that we forgot to asked the sellers about the products and the business. We also forgot about our gadgets for awhile and have deeper conversation with each other and enjoying making these ceramics.

This trip was a blast. It was not a trip to look for good grades for our assignments, but it is way for us to refresh ourselves from all the hectic-ness we have in past days. For me, it was an eye and heart opening for me, because I saw so many different things that I perceived through only one perspective but being there made me see these those things through different perspectives and that was beautiful.

My first epiphany from this trip is to never hold back. I am always afraid to do something or to create something just because I am simply afraid of what people might think about me or my creation and afraid to fail. However, I now realize that I have to go for whatever I like and passionate most that I have to have courage and have faith that I am able to do anything if I do it with efforts and prayers. Moreover, I have to do it for me first and from me.

My next epiphany is to see things from different perspective. I cannot assume that this would be bad or this would fail or this is not my style, because if I see it from such different perspective and see it as a whole then it could be very beautiful and surprising.

My last epiphany is to start my own journey. Seeing these people I visited, listening to what they have been through and are going through amazing different journeys that when they look back they would realize of how much they have struggled and how much they have had tremendous times of getting to where they are right now or getting to where they want to be. And I want to do this too. I want to start my own journey by creating and doing something that can make myself proud of me and then I can make most important people in my life be proud of me.

Culture Epiphany during The Central Java Wandering By Sharfina

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

INTRODUCTION

This writing is one of the selected essays done by undergraduate students of “Consumer Analysis” from University of Indonesia, the faculty of social and political sciences, communication program of advertising international class 2013.

The humble beginnings of Kediri Bertutur originated from a cultural journey: “I am fully aware that to reach quality of life does not mean gaining a higher level of status and wealth. In my journey, I am seeking quality of life based on spiritual humanism that moves my very being on this earth. This lesson I can only gain from a cultural journey,” Kandi Windoe.

Inspired by the same spirit, Kediri Bertutur takes the undergraduate students on their own cultural journeys. Kediri Bertutur presents Sharfina Indrayadi’s personal writing after taking the journey to Jogja in November 2014.

Culture Epiphany during The Central Java Wandering
By Sharfina Indrayadi

Earlier before, it has never come to my mind how preserving our traditions and culture is such a huge deal. If I could be more specific, I believe most of people had known the great amount of importance on preserving our cultures but it won’t hit them that hard if they did not experience the extinction of our cultures itself and how mind blown it is without having actual interaction with the culture and the people who does that. A fortune comes in my way when I had a chance to explore and merge with the people who happen to still doing it. In a short time span of the trip, not just learning and knowledge experiences each people had given me, but I also got the life lesson within each traditions, arts, and culture that is extremely divine and possibly life changing.

This experience got me a flashback to the last time I went to Yogyakarta that is approximately three or four years ago.  Back then, it was a pretty laid back seven-days trip to do with my junior high school friends, and almost nothing more in Yogyakarta is special than just hanging and spending time with my friends enjoying the city. I found that it is very unfortunate of me to not explore more about this city as I realize now that this city has more than just its urban life and sweltering weather. Back then, I’ve got very low exposure with the cultures and arts within and surround this area.

Few weeks ago was another shot for me to explore more about Central Java––the arts, traditions, and culture. I had a chance to visit three cities, which are Jogjakarta, Magelang, and Solo. At the end of the trip, I end up learning plenty life experience as I interact with the people I had encountered.

Plenthe Percussion

Solo, Jawa Tengah was the first destination. Here we encountered a unique music group who play percussion as their signature. It is very uncommon and sounds a bit dull at first time knowing that all of them are famous only by playing percussion or drums set or any type of traditional drums. I imagine how soundless and non-melodically the music would be if percussion is placed as the main instrument in making music. But turns out, it was splendid. Seeing the group playing the music is incredible. Looking at how they performed was beyond amused and surprised than ever. Those talented men happen to combine traditional/ethnic music with several other music genres that is quite familiar among us. Be it Pop, Jazz, Rock, Classic, Hip Hop, or Blues. They combined it all and impressively produce an outstanding and unusual music.

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Watching their performance live and had a chance to listen a brief of their music samples earlier got me a feeling where I find how proud I am to have such people with great talent and outstanding taste of music without forgetting their roots culture in this country. During our conversation, I could see how low profile they were. They express themselves to the music wholeheartedly. It seems like fame and money were not the main purposes in playing music. This attitude taught me to keep myself as low profile as them. We can see how sincere they play music because it is something that they love about their culture. Modernity does affect them but they seem to still hook up with their tradition by still composing music with traditional taste and instruments––others might still busy with updating themselves alongside the western culture that is believed as the direction for a better lifestyle. It is relieving to met people who do music and arts without aiming for the glitters and gold, without doing it with any bad personalities like several top musicians before, and just sincerely doing what they love and not forgetting their obligatory as Indonesian to conserve the culture by producing music with traditional based instrument and rhyme/tone and mix it with modernity aspects in music. Whether they knew it or not, their attitudes and creativity positively have inspired many people before, including myself.

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Abdi Dalem Keraton Yogyakarta

If there is one person to look up to for his/her sincerity on being loyal to someone, abdi dalem would be my personal role model. Abdi dalem is the people who serve the Sultan of Keraton Yogyakarta and his family. During our trip, we encountered two abdi dalem who work as kaprajan and punakawan. First impression of meeting those people was in a bit tense, as we know that they are the servants of Sultan, and we converged in Keraton so most of people would do any attempt to focus on being polite that lead each of us to feel uncomfortable and bumbling. But as the interview goes on, turns out they were not as I expected before as a very conservative, old-fashioned, and introvert people. Turns out they were very welcoming, gracious, and most importantly we had a pleasant talk.

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One sentence stuck in my mind coming from Mas Mono––servant in administration branch and has served for quite long time in Keraton––is “Banyak disuruh-suruh, banyak tahu“, a single simple sentence that brought significant meaning to my life. Once I heard it, I completely understand how come they would be such faithful with their Sultan. Most people are spoiled enough to be asked for. Excuses coming all the way from the mouth just to neglect or reject their tasks and duty. Those abdi dalem had taught me to quit complaining much on little things that shouldn’t. Although the tasks was that hard to be accomplished, we just have to do it, because more or less there will be something to learned or known by doing that task.

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Guidance from those abdi dalem would help me to be more independent, less spoiled, never complain on little things, and start to making something whether its working for someone or making any creation because in the end I will get plenty skills once I’ve completed any tasks just like the abdi dalem, who sincerely doing their Sultans tasks and complete their duty because there is no expectation on any reward in return. Having an extra knowledge is a great reward for them after all.

Yayasan Pamulangan Beksa Sasminta Mardawa

Famous for their Yogyakarta classical dance and karawitan course, this studio is still located in Yogyakarta. Being well known for their high quality in teaching and performing Yogyakarta classical dance and karawitan since 1962 and has been performing worldwide. She is Ibu Siti Sutiah, a dancer and was one of the abdi dalem back then, the teacher of dancing lesson in this remarkable studio. She put her dedication towards dancing very high until dancing has become her life for many years. Seeing how passionate she does, encourage me to look and committed to my passion.

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Ibu Siti Sutiah has been learning Yogyakarta classical dance since she was a little girl, when she saw a group of traditional dancer with her father. Story of how she found her passion inspired me to do so. She has been so committed with classical dancing for many years. Her dedication in loving this traditional dancing made her to keep on conserving this culture by teaching others.

No wonder that this traditional dance studio has gone worldwide and got plenty appreciation among the audience whom the majority are expatriates. She also stated that doing traditional dancing brings many positives impact to her life and taught her many lessons. In Yogyakarta classical dancing, the rhythm and moves are slower than any modern dancing type, because this taught us to be patient with fully dedication in learning process.

Graphic Designer ing Kampung Salaman

Kampung Salaman is located in Magelang, Central Java. I assumed how odd this place as I discover a bunch of people who is capable in graphic designing. Surprisingly, these people don’t have a proper education in graphic designing. Most of them work as a labor or farmer in the morning, but at night, they took someone’s order to design things like logo. Earning from designing is paid not only in rupiahs but also dollars. It is discovered that many foreign company has detected this potential and hire them as their designer undoubtedly.

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Those self-taught graphic designer encourage me to maximize the potential within myself. Fact that they learn everything by themselves made me realize that each of us has the potential in what are we going to be. They realize that they will achieve everything they had wanted if they work hard and keep on practicing.

Sanggar Tari Angguk Sri Panglaras Kulon Progo

Main difference I experienced between this destination with the other previously is when I interact with the children who are the student in this sanggar. The kids who become the students in this sanggar come from differ variety of ages between kids, teenagers, and even toddlers. The youngest participant in this class is a 2 year-old girl, and most of the student went to take this course when they were in the beginning of their early years of elementary school or kindergarten. Their willingness and commitment for traditional dancing is quit huge as I talk to some of the students back then.

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I always love to see someone who does arts, and those kids over there are very inspiring with their full of spirits whenever they are about to dance. They love on traditional dancing reflected as they dance and through their commitment in doing it. Some of them admitted to start learning tari angguk because she aware of her tradition. She believes that it is her responsibility to conserve her culture in order to passes down the tradition to the next generation. The 10 year-old-girl had convinced me that in order to preserve our culture, we have to learn to love our culture beforehand, just like she does. It takes a huge commitment to do traditional dancing, and these kids have that spirits and willingness to do that wholeheartedly and with pleasures, while other grown ups seems doesn’t really care or even know what their culture really is.

Gerabah Kasongan

Gerabah Kasongan is the perfect place to end my central Java wandering. This last destination is very exhilarating, as we are planned to do some handy craft at this place. Doing handy craft was never been enough amusement for me before. But at that time, I found everybody seems to enjoy crafting, making gerabah from a batch of clay and painting clay figures. I guess that after all we’ve been through and done in our hometown, which very well known of its modernity and urban lifestyle, all of us needed a break. Not just a break from our routine schedule, but every one of us need a break to be detached with the dependency of technology, like gadgets and other type of electronics.

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When doing handy craft with the clay, it brought back my childhood memories. The time when I used to regularly play outside of my house with my friends, riding a bicycle, put on my rollerblade, do a lot outdoor sports, or even just to play hide-and-seek in my backyard. Some activities that force us to make something, not just sitting and let the technology saves our daily activities. Making gerabah turns out to be very amusing unlike what I’ve expected before. It triggers our mind to be more creative, and keep thinking creatively.

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Meeting the Punks of Pekanbaru by Putri

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

INTRODUCTION

This writing is one of the selected essays done by undergraduate students of “Consumer Analysis” from University of Indonesia, the faculty of social and political sciences, communication program of advertising international class 2013.

The humble beginnings of Kediri Bertutur originated from a cultural journey: “I am fully aware that to reach quality of life does not mean gaining a higher level of status and wealth. In my journey, I am seeking quality of life based on spiritual humanism that moves my very being on this earth. This lesson I can only gain from a cultural journey,” Kandi Windoe.

Inspired by the same spirit, Kediri Bertutur takes the undergraduate students on their own cultural journeys. Kediri Bertutur presents Elizabeth Putri Narwastu’s writing after taking her personal journey to Pekanbaru in 2014.

Meeting the Punks of Pekanbaru

Introduction: The city of Pekanbaru and The trends in Pekanbaru

Pekanbaru is the capital city of Riau Province. According to Indonesia’s Official Tourism Website (2013), Pekanbaru is the third largest city in Sumatra Island after Medan and Palembang. The city is located near North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Jambi and it is also near Singapore and Malaysia. Hundred of years ago, before the Americans struck oil in Pekanbaru, according to the official site of Pekanbaru city, this city used to be a place where trading happened near the outfall of Siak River where many traders from various cultures met. This is the main reason why the citizens of Pekanbaru city are diversed. Pekanbaru city is a melting pot of Malayan, Minangnese, Bataknese, Javanese and Chinese cultures.

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Because of the acculturation of cultures in Pekanbaru, many Pekanbaru natives are confused about their own culture. Events about culture appreciation are very rare in Pekanbaru. The government of Pekanbaru is currently focusing on the development of the infrastructure. The development of the infrastructure started in 2012, when PON (Pekan Olahraga Nasional) or National Sports Week was held in Pekanbaru. Because Pekanbaru was chosen to become the host of PON, the government invests on developing the infrastructure of the city for example by renovating the Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport and building the main stadium. The budget was corrupted by the governor of Riau at that time, Rusli Zainal and made him and the other suspects arrested. After this case, the next governor Annas Maamun also got arrested because of corruption and two sexual harrasment cases. From this evidence, this indicates that the government of Riau haven’t given their focus fully on the development of culture appreciation. Both previous governers are only focusing on project that have big budgets so that they could corrupt it.

Even though events about culture appreciation are very rare in Pekanbaru, the youngsters also need entertainment and have other activities other than hanging out at Coffee Shops or the Siak Bridge on Saturday Nights, unlike in Jakarta, Yogyakarta or Solo where there are always events every week or every month whether it is about music events or concerts,bazaars or traditional cultural events. After doing my desktop research, I have found out that even music events are rare in Pekanbaru. The only music events which are annualy held are underground music events or scenes which are provided by certain communities. The underground music scenes in Pekanbaru are mostly featuring bands and musicians with punk rock and metal rock genres. This means that youngsters in Pekanbaru enjoy this genre of music and many of them adopt this lifestyle or trend. Not only in Pekanbaru, I have also found out from one of the locals of Pekanbaru that  other cities in Sumatra Island mostly have their underground music communities and held annual rock concerts for example in Palembang, Padang and Medan.

One of the music communities that I found through desktop research is the Bawah Tanah United community. I added the facebook profile of the community and gain some information about an upcoming music gig and the bands that were featured in it. From an article in Bertuahpos (2014), Bawah Tanah United is a community for indie bands with punk, hardcore or metal genres in Pekanbaru. This community was established in 2003 by the founder, Fino whose enthusiast about the punk lifestyle, and hardcore music genres. Bawah Tanah United have created 9 bands, some of them are KILLERBEE, Joni Death and Melayu Chaos. Bawah Tanah United creates annual events for the bands they support, open a music school for street punk kids who wants to learn to play music and became members of the community. This community even have it’s own record label which is the Dapur Terror Record. Bawah Tanah United also make band merchandises. Some people from the community also provide photography services for music events and even pre-weddings.

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Concept of Punk

Before continuing further about the research and the findings, a brief understanding about the concept of Punk is needed in order to understand the following subjects. According to Oxford Dictionary, Punk is a a loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970s. Other definition of Punk is “deliberately cultivated an image of violence, deviance, and repugnance at the very inception of the subculture” (Leblanc 39).

Punk music emerged in the late 1970s both in London (United Kingdom) and New York, (United States). In New York, many bands like The Ramones, The Velvet Underground and New York Dolls became popular because there is a place called CBGB & OMFUG in Manhattan, New York, where it regularly let the pioneers of punk bands such as The Ramones, Patti Smith, and the Velvet Underground perform. These bands became popular underground music scene in New York. In London, the Sex Pistols were also becoming a hit sensation because of their songs are about rebelling against the condition in England at that time. Quoted from an Article “The History of Punk Rock” by Ryan Cooper, a punk music expert, “The economy in the United Kingdom was in poor shape, and unemployment rates were at an all-time high. England’s youth were angry, rebellious and out of work. They had strong opinions and a lot of free time” . This is how punk rock and Sex Pistols was born in London. The Sex Pistols created songs about their opinions about England’s condition at that time and how they would like to rebel against the norms. Many young people are influenced by the Sex Pistol’s songs and soon they started listening to Sex Pistols’ songs and follow the punk fashion trend which is created by Malcolm McClaren, the vocalist of Sex Pistols.

News and information about Punk music became popular in the 1970s. Teenagers and young adults are influenced by this genre of music and this lifestyle of rebelling against the norm.

Research Objective and Research Method

From all of my desktop research and personal experiences from a friend of mine, it is clear that it is rare to find a cultural appreciation themed event or activity in Pekanbaru and the youngsters are not fully interested in this kind of activity. I also found out that the most popular event and the music scene in Pekanbaru is mainly about underground music. Besides listening to the music, of course most of them had been affected by the lifestyle of the music genre itself, which is Punk. Therefore, my research objective is to know why do these youngsters adapt this culture instead of their own culture. In order to achieve my research objective, I have decided that I will conduct and in depth interview Fino and one of the bands he has helped producing, which is Melayu Chaos to understand more about the reason why they adopt the Punk culture, their way of life and how they define Punk itself. I was interested in interviewing and meeting Melayu Chaos because from the name of their band, it seems that they also appreciate their own culture, which is Malayan culture but they express it through Punk music. In order to meet Fino and Melayu Chaos, I need to attend a concert that will be held on October 18th, 2014 and the main guest star of the Concert is Burgerkill, a successful international award winning trashcore metal band from Bandung and Killerbee. Killerbee is also one of the bands from Pekanbaru who are now successful because of Bawah Tanah United and was launching the 2nd album at the Concert. Besides interviewing Fino and Melayu Chaos, I will also interview some of the youngsters who attend the concert to compare them, the Punks from Pekanbaru with the Punks from Jakarta.

Other than going to the concert, I would also like to stroll around the city of Pekanbaru. I will go strolling and visit the famous Coffee Shops, the most popular Shopping Mall and also the market at the ’Pecinan’ or the Chinatown. The objective of visiting these places is to do a comparison of the consumption pattern between the citizens of Pekanbaru and Jakarta.

Experiences and Findings

On the first day in Pekanbaru, after I landed at Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport I went to Pecinan to have breakfast at one of the Coffee Shops there. They say that you could learn the culture of a foreign place if you go to the market and eat their street food.  As I stroll on the market, I observe the people in the market and from observing I learn that all the mixed cultures or the melting pot is in that particular market. While strolling , I could listen to Chinese karaoke songs while buying rendang spices from a Minangnese woman and listen to conversations in Hokkien Chinese, Minangnese, Bataknese and Javanese from the transactions between the sellers of the market and the buyers. After I went on a stroll, I went to get my breakfast at one of the Coffee Shops. The coffee shop is packed with adults and elders from various ethnic groups having breakfast. They love to have long conversations while drinking good coffee and eating delicious foods. Some of the people there even play card games while having coffee. There aren’t many youngsters at the coffee shop at that time because it was Friday morning and the youngsters must had been at school or their workplace. After I asked the waitress there she said that the youngsters visit the shop during lunch or dinner and Saturday nights is when it is most crowded. Coffee Shops in Pekanbaru and all over Sumatra Island are known for it’s delicious coffee, it’s toast, fried kway teow, mie pangsit or noodles with dumplings and even porridge.

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After I visited the market, I went to the most popular Mall in Pekanbaru which is the Ciputra Mall. There are only three big shopping malls in Pekanbaru which are SKA Mall, Pekanbaru Mall and Ciputra Mall. These malls are not as big as Jakarta’s shopping malls. Pekanbaru citizens do not shop to malls very often. They prefer to buy their daily needs at the traditional markets or regular grocery stores instead of going to mini markets such as Alfamart and Indomart and going shopping to big supermarkets for example, Hypermart or Giant. There are only few mini markets and supermarkets in Pekanbaru because there is only one Hypermart and Giant. From my observation after strolling at the mall, there are only few visitors in that mall. I joined some of the youngsters there and asked them a few questions while having coffee with them. Even though they are in the middle of a reunion, but they are very kind for letting me joined them. There are four of them, one of them is studying at University of Riau, the other is studying at Universitas Sumatra Utara and another one is currently studying at Universitas Islam Bandung. They were having a reunion and I was clearly interrupting them but, they were very fun and they were very responsive to all of my questions.

Most of the youngsters prefer this particular Mall because it has a cinema and they love to watch movies and also because there is a famous coffee shop in that Mall which is Kim Teng Coffee Shop. The youngsters don’t go to Starbucks to hang out but they prefer traditional coffee shops more because according to them, the coffee tastes  better and it is less expensive and the food is very good. I strongly agree with their opinion.

When being asked about what do they think about Jakartans, they said that they actually don’t really care about them but the respondent who studies at Bandung said that some of her college mates from Jakarta are sometimes very arrogant but she said not all of them are. She said that she wants to be friends with them but she doesn’t know how to because according to her, the Jakartans are hard to approach. She also do not like the behavior of her college mates who drinks and go clubbing. She said it is not right to spend your parent’s money on something so expensive and wasteful. While she was stating this her friends were also agree.

I also asked them what international brands that they like. The girl who studies at Bandung said that she trusts international brands for sport shoes just like her Nike’s and for clothes brands she doesn’t seem to bother the need to have clothes that are from expensive brands such as Zara, H&M or Mango. She said if she finds something comfy she would buy and wear it. The girl who studies at University of Riau also agreed with her. For the guy who studies at Universitas Sumatra Utara, he said he likes ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ headphones. He said he has not bought the headphones yet because it is expensive, but he trusts expensive brands for electronic equipment because of the quality. From these statements, it is clear that the citizens of Pekanbaru are modern and sophisticated people. They are a tad similar to Jakartans but they are less consumptive. They understand the uses of sophisticated technology and the trends of fashion but they only buy the things they need.

The next day was the concert day. I went on culinary adventures in the city with my parents before they drive me to the concert on the afternoon. After they dropped me off, I went to interview some of the youngsters who were also waiting for the concert to start. Because I was a bit afraid of the punk guys, i decided to interview the girls first. They were the only girls whom I had managed to find during that time and they look friendly. The other girl looks like a normal punk girl and the other girl surprised me a bit because she was wearing a hijab and she is a metalhead. Not many punk girls and metalheads in Jakarta are wearing hijab so to me this is very unique. The first thing I asked them was what band are they waiting for and surprisingly they were waiting for Killerbee instead of the main band which is Burgerkill. The reason why they love this band is because this band is from Pekanbaru and they are proud of the band from their own hometown. I also asked them the reason why they listen to hardcore genre instead of mainstream music for example EDM or korean pop music like other girls. The first thing they said was it’s because they love it and the music is about expressing all the opinions and the anxiety you have. The girl with hijab said that even though metal sounded as if the vocalist is screaming nonsensical things, the lyrics the vocalist is screaming is actually formed by beautiful poetic and clever sentences and screaming it is the way to express it. The second reason why they chose to listen to this genre of music is because they feel cool because girls who listen to these kinds of genres are rare and therefore are always considered as cool. The next question I asked to them is why do they chose to adopt this lifestyle. The girl whose not wearing hijab said that it’s because this music is the thing that makes her feel brave to express her opinion. The girl with hijab said that she was proud of her music preference because she thinks that this music beautiful in the way it tries to express retained opinions.

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After I have interviewed the girls I stayed and hung out with them for a while and after that I decided to pick the next respondent which has to be a guy. Without knowing, the next respondent happened to be a bassist of a band from Padang called ‘Sporadic’. His name is Ferdi and he is the only respondent  whose name I remember because I spend most of my time at the concert with him and up until now still in contact with me. At first, I thought punk guys would be rude and such but after I talked to this guy and some of his friends, I found out that these punks are nice, friendly and humble people. I asked Ferdi what band was he waiting for and he said that he was watching the whole band lineups. The reason was because indie bands need supports and therefore he came to watch the new indie bands play. According to him, punk is not about anarchy but punk is about solidarity, being together to support each other and rebelling in a healthy way and of course for a good cause. He also told me a good story about how he went to live by himself to Pekanbaru when he graduated from high school to earn some money to help his band produce an album and also to save money for college because he was planning to pay for his own tuition. Even he is the same age as me, I find this person as a very mature person and I was embarrassed because I have always been supported by my parents up until now and everything is provided by them. If I want to produce an album I could simply ask my parents for money but  Ferdi and his band mates need to struggle in order to earn money to record their own songs. Ferdi also told me that he also struggled during that time when he was searching for a record label to help him and luckily a record label from Jogja saw his band’s talents and then decided to produce Sporadic.

After interviewing the youngsters and hung out with them around the concert area, I decided that  it was time to meet with Melayu Chaos and Fino at the backstage. Before meeting Melayu Chaos in person, I have already chatted via Facebook with the vocalist, Bang Mambay. He was very humble and friendly both online and in person. I remember I asked him can I buy his album but instead he gave it all two albums to me free via BlackBerry Messenger which is very nice of him.

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Bang Mambay said that the philosophy behind the name ‘Melayu Chaos’ is about five Malayan sons who have the same idealism which is punk. He said that this idealism was born because of his protest against the image that the government created about the negativity of punk community since 1999 until now. Bang Mambay and some of his band members were students at University of Riau and the bassist of the band is actually their lecturer at University of Riau. Melayu Chaos’ songs are mostly about solidarity, socialism, human rights and also the environment. Pekanbaru’s current situation is moving upwards in developing the infrastructure but the government is in chaos and that is why Melayu Chaos is trying to express their opinions about the injustice that happened in his own city. My favorite song from Melayu Chaos is titled ‘Alam’ and it is about the protest about the haze that has been destroying the weather in Pekanbaru. This haze is often cause by deforestation and burning the forest in order to create more land for palm oil plantations. I asked Band Mambay why does he chose punk lifestyle and he said that this is his way of expressing himself. I also asked him what is the definition of punk and what does he think about the correlation between punk and anarchism.  To him, punk is about expressing your idealism freely through a normless music. In order to play punk music, a person doesn’t need to have great skills in playing music, what matters is that the person could express himself through this normless music, even though he could only play three chords at the guitar for example. Bang Mambay also defines anarchism as rebelling, but in a positive way, through music for instance. Bang Mambay and his band is also anti capitalism. He said that the situation of the music industry in Indonesia is getting worse. Major record labels will ask for a huge amount of payment to produce an album and they could freely change the songs or the music of the musicians in order to make them commercial. He told me the struggles he faced when he and his band mates was trying to produce his first album because he needs to work to earn money to pay for it. Melayu Chaos produce their album in order to tell and to reach out to people about their expressions. They produce music in order to express themselves and to inspire people because Bang Mambay and his band mates actually have other jobs in order to support their daily needs and their main focus of creating their albums in not for the sake of the money.

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For the final question, I asked Bang Mambay what bands do Melayu Chaos got their inspiration from and he answered their inspiration is actually Iwan Fals instead of The Sex Pistols or The Ramones. They admire Iwan Fals because Iwan Fals also express his idealism and opinions through his songs even though Iwan Fals’ genre is certainly not punk music. Bang Mambay said that he like the Sex Pistols but he and his band do not adapt all the cultures from Western Punk because Sex Pistols follows free sex and drugs and Melayu Chaos are not agree in that aspect. Bang Mambay said ofcourse we could adapt a culture but we certainly must choose which right and which is wrong, which is good to be adapted and which is not.

After I hung out with the band, Bang Mambay kindly introduced me to Fino, the creator of Bawah Tanah United Community. I could only talk to Fino not for long because he was busy managing the concert and checking on Burgerkill. The reason why Fino and his friends created Bawah Tanah United Community during highschool was because punks can not walk alone, they need to belong in a community and be supported and also it is fun to meet people who has the same music taste as you do. He doesn’t care about what people perceive punks, the most important thing is they are not destructive and they never cause any trouble.

After I was done with all the interviews, I continued to watch the concert but I went home early before Burgerkill’s performance.

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Conclusions and the Ephiphany From The Trip

In conclusion, the reason why Pekanbaru youngsters adopt this Punk culture is because the condition of Pekanbaru makes them want to strongly express their opinions and they are also confused about how to express it through their own traditional culture because of the mixed melting pot of cultures and that is why they chose punk culture. Even though they adopt punk culture, I clearly remember many of the respondents wish Pekanbaru is more like Bandung or Yogyakarta. Even though Bandung and Yogyakarta are urban cities, the government supports culture appreciation and they hope the new government of Pekanbaru could be like Bandung or Yogyakarta’s government.

The punks from Pekanbaru are nice, friendly and humble people. They don’t drink and they are not rude unlike the punks from Jakarta. They are just a group of people who stick together and express themselves together through punk music.

This trip to Pekanbaru was a very life changing experience to me. I have found new  friends who have changed my perspective about the struggles of creating and expressing music. They taught me that creating music is not about fame and fortune, but it is about expressing yourself and trying to inspire people. After conversing with the respondents, I was also embarrassed because compared to them, my knowledge of music is still not as advanced as them. From now on, I will stay humble and learn as much as I can to improve my knowledge in music and also other aspects that are important in my life.

It used to be hard for me to approach a new person because I am an introverted person but because of the situation forces me, I learn that it is actually not that hard to start a conversation with strangers and I learn that conversations between people who have different cultural backgrounds are very insightful.

Because of this trip, as a punk music lover and listener without doubt I could say that Punk is not dead. The evidence is there in Pekanbaru, where the ideology of Punk is being practiced in a good positive way, where people gather by solidarity and together they freely express their opinions through loud fast beating normless music. Punk is still alive, here in Pekanbaru.

Reference list:

http://academic.mu.edu/meissnerd/punk.html

Leblanc, Lauraine. Pretty in Punk: Girls’ Gender Resistance in a Boys’ Subculture. Piscataway: Rutgers University Press, 1999

http://punkmusic.about.com/od/punk101/a/punkhistory2.htm

http://www.pekanbaru.go.id/sejarah-pekanbaru/

http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/913/pekanbaru-capital-of-the-riau-province

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/sumatra/pekanbaru

http://bertuahpos.com/lifestyle/bawah-tanah-united-wadahnya-underground-di-pekanba.html

http://www.tempo.co/topik/masalah/2854/Korupsi-PON-Riau

http://news.liputan6.com/read/2110438/gubernur-annas-maamun-dugaan-asusila-hingga-ditangkap-kpk

A Journey to Solo by Mutiara

Inspirasi Kediri Bertutur

INTRODUCTION

This writing is one of the selected essays done by undergraduate students of “Consumer Analysis” from University of Indonesia, the faculty of social and political sciences, communication program of advertising international class 2013.

The humble beginnings of Kediri Bertutur originated from a cultural journey: “I am fully aware that to reach quality of life does not mean gaining a higher level of status and wealth. In my journey, I am seeking quality of life based on spiritual humanism that moves my very being on this earth. This lesson I can only gain from a cultural journey,” Kandi Windoe.

Inspired by the same spirit, Kediri Bertutur takes the undergraduate students on their own cultural journeys. Kediri Bertutur presents Mutiara personal writing after taking her own personal journey to Solo in 2014.

A Journey to Solo by Mutiara

In the light of refining an understanding on the behavior of particular group of consumers, one must procure and gain an actual experience in assorting and interacting with these people. For this purpose, this essay discusses the story of my journey to the city of Solo, Central Java. From the geographical standpoint, Solo is located in approximately 100 km south of Semarang and 60 km east of Yogyakarta. As it is located in relatively far distance from provincial capital, Solo has preserved its cultural property.

In fact, the regal city of Solo, or widely known as Surakarta, is recognized for its courtesy and legacy in Javanese traditions and culture. A short visit to this city serves as a valuable opportunity to study, listen, explore, and discover the sounds of meaningful Javanese ancient culture. The sole ambition to begin a journey to Solo was to comprehend the characteristic and behavior of young generation in Solo. I followed that ambition through field observation and true conservation with young people who are currently living in this city.

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This essay discusses the contrast viewpoint of young generation who are living in the village of Solo. The first part of this essay discusses the first story of my journey that captures the tale of youth in Solo who dedicate their lives to appreciate the heritage of Wayang and Karawitan as a part of Javanese culture. On the contrary, the second part of this article examines the shifting in the habits and way of life of young generation in Solo following the introduction of urban culture from Jakarta. The third part of this essay highlights the major contrast distinction between young generation in Solo and Jakarta. In the final analysis, I present three key learning from my journey.

The Journey

During my short trip to Solo, I had a rare opportunity to engage with a certain local community. This community is consisted with a group of young people with ages range from 17-22 years old, which spend most of their lifetimes to preserve the cultural heritage from their ancestors. In specific, they spend their daily life to learn and respect the art of Wayang Orang Sendratari Ramayana and Karawitan.

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Wayang is generally considered as the highlight of Javanese culture. The history of the presence of Wayang in Indonesia brought us back to 930 C.E. when the first record of Wayang performance with a title of ‘si Galigi Mawayang’ or ‘Sir Galigi played Wayang’ was founded. The first Wayang performance told a story about the hero Bhima from the Mahabharata. In the present time, certain indigenous features of traditional Wayang still can be found in every performance of Wayang Orang. The master behind the entire performance of Wayang Orang depends on the Dalang, or a figure who sits behind the screen and narrates the story. Each performance of Wayang Orang is presented with one of the oldest culture music instrument, Gamalan orchestra.

In addition to Wayang Orang, these young people also study the art of Karawitan. In its definition, Karawitan is a musical tradition that was developed in Java, Indonesia. Karawitan is derived from sanskrit word of rawit, meaning soft. It is believed that a performance of Karawitan is able to reflect and describe the values and heritage of Javanese music philosophy. Through immersing themselves with the elegance of traditional music, young people in Solo prefer to listen traditional music in comparison with modern music. They are concern that traditional music has been oblivious by the youth in Jakarta due to the increasing preference of global modern music.

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Most of young people in Solo who recognize the heritage of Wayang and dedicate their lives to learn the art of Wayang Orang Sendratari Ramayana are born and raised in Solo. They are currently still attending Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Solo as students. Contrary to the ways of life in young Jakartans, these young people spend their everyday lives to attend their classes and study the art of Wayang Orang. Despite of increasing influence of western culture in the country, these young people have a sole purpose to respect, appreciate, and preserve the cultural heritage of Wayang Orang. For this reason, they are concern with the lifestyle of young generation in Jakarta.

Following the emergence of western culture in the country, young people in Jakarta are fond in modern leisure activities.

In this situation, the local art and culture are forgotten. Their message to young generation in Jakarta is to increase their awareness and proud with local culture instead of embracing the western culture.

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Given the current high profile dedication with regard to local cultural and art legacy by young people in Solo, it is quite surprising that young people who are currently living in a village of the city has a contrast way of life. In specific, this particular group of young people adopts contemporary lifestyle of Jakarta despite of their modest family. Following the entry of branded goods into the city, many young people in Solo are willing to purchases these goods as part of their efforts to adapt with contemporary lifestyle.

During my journey to Solo, I met a young girl named Devi. She is 21 years old this year. Prior the emergence of contemporary style of living, she was only a modest and common village child. However, through the advancement of technology, she was able to observe the development and evolution of the lifestyle in Jakarta. Notwithstanding with her financial limitation, she made a try to follow the modern lifestyle by purchasing high quality, branded, and expensive products. That being said, Devi has became are presentation of consumptive young people in Solo for her desire to increase her dignity by possessing modern way of living and leaving her modesty lifestyle.

Whilst the discussion in the preceding paragraph briefly outlines two-contrast viewpoint of young peer group in Solo, the core theme of this section is to highlight the major distinctions between young generation in Solo and Jakarta. Foundational to this, there are two core distinctions between young peer group in Solo and Jakarta that will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

First of all, there is a contrast behavior with reference to local cultural legacy amongst young people in Jakarta and Solo. The rising generation in Solo believes that preserving their culture is an essential part of their responsibility. For that belief, they dedicate their youth to study about local arts and cultural legacy by learning the art of Wayang Orang Sendratari Ramayana and Karawitan.

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On the contrary, the rising generation in Jakarta has little, if not, no awareness on the duty to preserve and enhance local arts and culture. As a consequence, the legacy of local arts and culture, including Wayang Orang, is forgotten by young peer group in Jakarta.

An equally significant aspect of the differences between young people in Jakarta and Solo can be identified in the influence of western culture on the behavior of these young peer groups. Despite of the increasing and exposure of western culture in Solo for the past few years, these young people have not been able to leave their cultural heritage. In this manner, young people in Solo chose to ignore the emergence of western culture and protect the local culture from being neglected.They feel the importance of promoting the diverse cultures of Indonesia. Evidence for in support of this position can be found in the rejection of modern music and arts by young peer group in Solo.

This is in contrast to the influence of western culture on the behavior of young people in Jakarta. From the beginning, the indigenous people of Jakarta are the Betawi, possessing diverse and delightful arts and culture, including the tanjidor, ondel-ondel, festival setu babakan, the lenggang nyai dance, and other Betawi dance and theater art. In the past, people from diverse ethnic background and cultures would visit Jakarta to experience the beauty of its arts and music performance.

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Nevertheless, the young admire popular foreign culture, including its music, movies, fashion products, and lifestyles. The global music industry has attracted Jakarta youth. Furthermore, there is a tendency for the young to prefer foreign recognized brands and products. More importantly, they deify and follow foreign celebrities’ lifestyle, which seems to indicate they have lost their love for local cultures and arts.

A couple of factors may have contributed to the shift in the way young in Jakarta preserve local arts and culture. In the first place, technological advancement enables young to freely explore foreign songs and movies. The Internet also enables Jakarta youth to study foreign celebrities’ lifestyle and purchase foreign brands and products. Secondly, social media has played a significant role in facilitating the rise of this contemporary lifestyle.

Following the end of my journey to Solo, I would like to note several positive and important messages for the young in Jakarta. For the youth of Jakarta today, national identity is needed to maintain their roots in the globalized world. However, it is important to note that access and exposure to foreign cultures and social media is inevitable for younger people in Jakarta. For this reason, young people in Jakarta today must be able to preserve the local arts and culture by creating and engaging with local community that promote local culture to both Jakarta and international citizens. For instance, youth in Jakarta may hold traditional dance, music, and theater performance to protect the sustainability of local arts and culture.

As has been noted, the purpose of my journey to the city of Solo, East Java, is to gain greater understanding on the characteristic and behavior of young generation in Solo through field observation. In this final analysis, I note three wisdom and learning that I procured following the close of my journey. First of all, the journey has uncovered potential negative impact of the influence of foreign culture to the behavior of young generation. In the first place, high influence of foreign culture encourages young people to prefer and purchase highly recognized brands that are relatively more expensive in comparison with local brands, despite of their circumstances. This can be observed from increasing globally recognized brands that penetrate into the Indonesian market. While this is the case, Indonesian youth generation is increasingly become more consumptive with foreign brands. As a consequence, local brands are often forgotten and forced to declare its bankruptcy.

Equally important, the second key learning from this journey inspired me to embrace and protect the beauty of Indonesian arts and culture. Contemporary lifestyle that has taken its roots in many of Jakarta youth make us forget that Indonesia used to be recognized for its diverse and rich culture. The story about young peer groups in Solo has reminded all of us to join their paths in embracing and reintroducing Indonesian arts and culture.

Finally, this journey teaches an important lesson for youth generation in Jakarta to engage with foreign products and brands without losing their roots as the residents of Indonesia. It has been shown that access to Internet and social media are inevitable for young people in Indonesia, in particular for those who are living in Jakarta. For the purpose of education and employment, most of these young people are required to understand the global technological advancement. However, this does not merely indicate the need to overlook the legacy of national culture. On the contrary, youth generation shall use their knowledge to embrace and spread the message about the importance to preserve national arts and culture. Technology provides meaningful opportunity for youth generation to communicate the national cultural property across Indonesia.

The key aspect discussed in this essay has produced a sole message for youth generation in Jakarta to recognize the need to protect and preserve national arts and culture and to promote this nationalism across the geographical border, despite of their accesses to Internet and social media. In conclusion, as youth generation holds the future of a nation, they have a duty and commitment to protect and preserve Indonesian’s arts and culture.