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Contemporary 'wayang' lures millennials to kindergarten's exhibition

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Mon, November 19, 2018  /  10:31 am
Contemporary 'wayang' lures millennials to kindergarten's exhibition

TK Surya Mentari students seem impressed with the "wayang milenial" that was exhibited at their school. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Tens of wayang kulit (leather shadow puppets) or wayang milenial -- which are more contemporary or futuristic in their form, character and style -- were recently exhibited at TK Surya Mentari kindergarten in Manahan subdistrict, Surakarta, Central Java.

The exhibition, titled Ayo Peduli Wayang (Let’s Care for Wayang), was held to celebrate World Wayang Day and aimed to raise awareness among millennials about Indonesia’s extraordinary cultural heritage.

The head of the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Surakarta's Visual Communication Design (DKV) study program, Basnendar H., said this type of wayang was needed to introduce the culture to the current generation. 

“The shapes are different from traditional wayang without abandoning the standard of wayang,” he added.

Read also: 'Wayang kulit', night bazaar enliven cultural park in Surakarta

The puppets were modernized, complete with accessories. Gareng, for example, was shown wearing glasses, a jacket and blowing a saxophone, while Werkudara wore a tight shirt to show off his muscular body.

"Wayang milenial are new creations that interpret wayang with fresh faces to interest children to learn about them" said ISI Surakarta lecturer Rendya Adi Kurniawan. 

The head of TK Surya, Mentari Parwanti, said the school had always been open to hosting cultural and traditional events. 

"Children need to know that life is more just television programs, games and mobile phones," Parwanti added. (iru/kes)