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Epic play enlivens Independence Day celebration in Surakarta

Ganug Nugroho Adi
Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java | Mon, August 20, 2018 | 02:37 pm
  • Dancers perform the opening dance of 'Adeging Nagari' in Surakarta, Central Java, on Saturday.

    Dancers perform the opening dance of 'Adeging Nagari' in Surakarta, Central Java, on Saturday.
OF JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

    Dancers perform the opening dance of 'Adeging Nagari' in Surakarta, Central Java, on Saturday.

  • A war scene in 'Adeging Nagari'.

    A war scene in 'Adeging Nagari'. OF JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

    A war scene in 'Adeging Nagari'.

  • The play featured 150 performers.

    The play featured 150 performers. OF JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The play featured 150 performers.

  • Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi

    Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi OF JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

    Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi

  • The play marks the peak of the 73rd Independence Day celebration in Surakarta.

    The play marks the peak of the 73rd Independence Day celebration in Surakarta.
OF JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The play marks the peak of the 73rd Independence Day celebration in Surakarta.

OF

The epic play Adeging Nagari  was the peak of Surakarta’s Independence Day celebration Central Java on Saturday.

Thousands of people thronged Jl. Jenderal Sudirman in the Gladag area after marveling at  a cultural parade along Jl. Slamet Riyadi.

Adeging Nagari is a play that depicts the founding of Indonesia in four fragments. The epic play was presented on an open stage by around 150 dancers, actors and musicians.

The one-hour performance began with the reading of the Sumpah Palapa (Palapa Oath) by Patih Gajah Mada who lived during Majapahit Kingdom. The Sumpah Palapa was an oath spoken by Gajah Mada when he was named patih (chief minister), replacing Arya Tadah in 1258 Saka.

Read also: Enjoy these special dishes to celebrate Indonesia's independence

In his oath, Gajah Mada stated that he would not eat palapa fruit – meaning he would not rest – until the kingdoms across the archipelago are united. The minister was considered successful in fulfilling the oath by conquering the united kingdoms.

The story continued with the “Sumpah Pemuda Oct. 28” portion of the play, in which several actors played the roles of key political figures at the time, such as Mohammad Yamin, Johannes Leimena, Soegondo, Djoko Marsaid and Amir Syarifuddin Harahap.

The play then touched on the Japanese occupation era, before finally featuring president Sukarno and vice president Hatta, who proclaimed Indonesia’s independence.

It was closed with a fragment on a mental revolution that depicts the country’s struggles with intolerance and disunion.

"We chose these four fragments because they are important chapters in the history of [the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] NKRI. Each of these eras gave a tremendous contribution [to Indonesia]," said the opera's director, Agung Kusumo Widagdo.

As a spectacle, the epic play was quite breathtaking. Especially since the performers came from various art genres, such as theater, dance, ketoprak (Javanese performance) and wayang orang (human shadow puppet).

"This colossal play serves as a form of education of our history for the young generation, so that they know how [Indonesia] was born. Our heroes fought to the death to form this united country. We, as the generation of post-independence, have to maintain it," said Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi "Rudy" Rudyatmo. (kes)

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