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East Java's Bojonegoro introduces 'thengul' puppet as cultural icon

Wahyoe Boediwardhana

The Jakarta Post

Bojonegoro/East Java  /  Sat, July 20, 2019  /  02:07 pm
East Java's Bojonegoro introduces 'thengul' puppet as cultural icon

A large "thengul" dance, inspired by the wooden puppets of East Java’s Bojonegoro, is performed by 2,019 dancers at the 2019 Bojonegoro Thengul International Folklore Festival on July 14. (JP/Wahyoe Boediwardhana )

East Java’s Bojonegoro regency is holding the 2019 Bojonegoro Thengul International Folklore Festival (Bojonegoro TIFF) until Thursday, in collaboration with Conseil International des Organizations de Festivals de Folklore et d'Arts Traditionnels' (CIOFF®) Indonesian branch.

The Bojonegoro administration introduced on Sunday wayang thengul (wooden puppet) as its cultural icon and sego buwuhan (rice dish wrapped in dried teak leaves) as its culinary icon.

"In 2018, thengul puppet was established as an intangible cultural heritage by the Education and Culture Ministry," said Bojonegoro Culture and Tourism Agency head Amir Syahid.

Humanist Adi Sutarto said the East Java puppet was known for being three-dimensional and differing in appearance from the wayang golek (wooden puppets) of West Java and Yogyakarta.

Located on the banks of the Bengawan Solo River, the Bojonegoro TIFF program began with a large thengul dance involving 2,019 dancers from 364 schools. Personifying the puppets, the dancers performed with sharp movements.

Read also: World Wayang Day celebrated in Surakarta

Adi said after the event that the thengul dance was known for its stiff and funny expressions. Coupled with white makeup and colorful costumes, the dance is considered by many to be unique as well as humorous.

(JP/Wahyoe Boediwardhana )

At the venue, the administration also provided 26,000 portions of sego buwuhan, beef satay, young papaya with yellow spices, coconut flakes, bean sprouts and diced tempeh.

"I personally hope that the ongoing Bojonegoro TIFF 2019 can increase tourist visits to Bojonegoro, both local and foreign," said Bojonegoro Regent Anna Muawanah on Sunday.

Art collectives from Bulgaria, Poland, Thailand and Mexico were also invited as part of a cultural exchange program. (nic/wng)

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