Twenty-four foreigners who are members of the Siswa Sukra gamelan group, which is based in Britain, visited Indonesia from Aug. 5-22. They visited Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Surakarta as part of their training.
They first performed at the Museum Wayang (Puppet Museum) in Central Jakarta on Aug. 6, followed by performances in Yogyakarta and Surakarta. They also visited Mojolaban, which is the center of gamelan instrument production.
It is extraordinary that foreigners play the gamelan, which unfortunately has been abandoned by the younger generation in Indonesia. Fewer and fewer youths show an interest in learning how to play the gamelan – which is ironic, especially since foreigners are interested in playing the instruments.
It is important that the younger generation help preserve the culture as Indonesia will hold the 2018 International Gamelan Festival. [yan]