that you should know from the wealth of Indonesian culture



Abhimanyu (Sanskrit: अभिमन्यु abhīmanyu [əbʱimən̪ju]) is a tragic hero in the Hindu epic, the Mahābhārata. He is the son of Arjuna and Subhadra, who is the half-sister of Lord Krishna. He was killed in the Mahabharata war, after the war his son Parikshit from the wife, Uttara, the daughter of King of Virata, succeed to the throne of Hastinapur.

Birth, Education and War

As an unborn child in his mother’s womb, Abhimanyu learned the knowledge of entering the deadly and virtually impenetrable Chakravyuha (see Wars of Hindu Mythology) from Arjuna, his father. The epic explains that he overheard his father, Arjuna, talking about this with his wife Subhadra, while he was still in his mother′s womb. Arjuna explains to Subhadra in detail, the technique of attacking and escaping from various vyuhas (an array of army formation) such as Makaravyuha, Kurmavyuha, Sarpavyuha etc. After explaining all the vyuhas, he explains about the technique of cracking Chakravyuha. Arjuna explains to her how to enter the Chakryavyuha. When he was about to explain how to exit from the Chakravyuha, he realises that Subhadra is asleep and stops expounding on the Chakravyuha further. As a result, he could not hear the whole story about how to exit.

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Kyai Lurah Semar

Kyai Lurah Semar Badranaya is the name of the main figures of panakawan in Javanese and Sundanese wayang. This figure is reported as a nanny as well as adviser to the knights in the staging of the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Of course, Semar name not found in the original manuscript is both epic Sanskrit-speaking, because this figure is the original poet’s creation of Java.

History of Semar

According to historian Prof. Dr. Slamet Muljana, Semar figure was first found in literary works titled Sudamala Majapahit Kingdom era. In addition in the form kakawin, Sudamala story also carved as a relief in a framed Sukuh Temple in 1439.

Semar is told as a servant or servants of the story the main character, namely Sahadewa of the Pandava family. Of course, Semar role not only as a follower, but also as a thrower humor to dilute the tense atmosphere.

In the next era, when the kingdoms of Islam developed in Java, puppet was used as a medium of propaganda. The stories that are staged around the Mahabharata who was already strong in the memory embedded Java community. One well-known scholars as cultural experts, such as Sunan Kalijaga. In staging puppet, a character Semar still maintained its existence, even more active role than in the story Sudamala.

In subsequent developments, the degree of Semar is increasing again. Javanese poets in their literary works tells Semar is not just ordinary commoners, melaikan incarnation Batara Ismaya, sister of Guru, the king of the gods. Read the rest of this entry »

What is Wayang ??

Wayang is an Indonesian word for theatre (literally “shadow”).[1] When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theater, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang. Performances of shadow puppet theater are accompanied by gamelan in Java, and by “gender wayang” in Bali.

UNESCO designated Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet theater and the best known of the Indonesian wayang, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. In return of the acknowledgment, UNESCO demanded Indonesia to preserve their heritage

History of Wayang Kulit

Wayang is a generic term denoting traditional theatre in Indonesia. There is no evidence that wayang existed before Hinduism came to Southeast Asia sometime in the first century CE brought in by Indian traders. However, there very well may have been indigenous storytelling traditions that had a profound impact on the development of the traditional puppet theatre. The first record of a wayang performance is from an inscription dated 930 CE which says “si Galigi mawayang,” or “Sir Galigi played wayang”. Read the rest of this entry »

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