TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

The singing poets of Gayo

  • Hotli Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Takengon, Central Aceh   /   Tue, April 5 2011   /  08:00 am

Women too: A group of women from a Didong group perform on stage in Central Aceh.Uroh...

Wo...wo...kaung-kaung bebujang kaung

Wo..wo...kaung-kaung bebujang kaung

Ini Kemara

(Hello, wo... It’s my village, wo... It’s the youth of my village chanting Didong. It’s Kemara)

This is the opening verse you will hear if you attend a Didong — a folk form of poetry singing — show in Takengon, Central Aceh. This particular one is sung by the Kemera Bujang group, from Takengon, Central Aceh.

“This [poetry] verse serves as an introduction to our audience and shows our respect for them,” said Salimi Putra, the leader and Ceh (narrating poet) of Kemara Bujang, who plays an indispensable role in any Didong group.

Didong comes from the highlands of Gayo, Central Aceh.

Practiced by the local community for a long time, this chanting of p...