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Jakarta Post

Hasan Ali: Guardian of Using culture

  • I.D. Nugroho

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 26 2008   /  10:58 am

HASAN ALI: (JP/ID Nugroho) Hasan Ali believes that the unique arts of the Using people truly show the beauty of the culture of Banyuwangi society. That's why Hasan, 75, thought it desirable to make an effort to promote Using art by teaching it to children in school. "If not, I would worry that Banyuwangi art would be lost, eroded by modern culture," Hasan told The Jakarta Post recently. The afflictions of old age has seen Hasan, who was born in Banyuwangi in 1933, confined most days to the sofa in the lounge of his house. But his spirit can still be felt through his direct gaze, and the tone of his voice which is firm and loud, especially when he talks about the gandrung dance and the Using language, his two pet topics. "I've experienced three periods of history -- the Dutch, the Japanese and the Indonesian Republic. But all that ...