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Jakarta Post

Schools clarify rumor about unpaid Ratoh Jaroe dancers

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 20, 2018   /   06:10 pm
Schools clarify rumor about unpaid Ratoh Jaroe dancers Fireworks during the Asian Games 2018opening ceremony in Gelora Bung Karno stadium, Jakarta, on Aug. 18. (The Jakarta Post/Vellen Augustine)

Reports have circulated recently saying that dancers performing the Ratoh Jaroe dance during the 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony on Aug. 18 at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) stadium have not yet received payment a month after the event took place.

In the grand opening, millions of people watching live from the stadium or from home were mesmerized by the performance of the traditional dance from Aceh by 1,600 students from 18 schools across the city.

Several people took to Twitter and accused the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) of not fulfilling their promise regarding the fee for the students, while others suspected that the money was being embezzled by the school managements.

In light of the accusation, representatives from two schools involved in the performance, state high schools SMAN 23 and SMAN 78 in West Jakarta, refuted the rumors.

“There was no such thing as honorarium. What we received was money as appreciation and compensation from which we managed the preparation for the performance in the Asian Games,” vice principal of SMAN 78 Zainuddin said on Thursday as reported by

Since the very beginning, students joined the activities voluntarily, Zainuddin said. He rebuffed the reports saying that the students were entitled to receive payment for the performances.

SMAN 23 vice principal Edi Susilo echoed Zainuddin, saying that the compensation fund had been transferred from INASGOC through Lima Arus as the event organizer used to cover operational costs for the students to practice in the GBK stadium complex.

INASGOC spokesperson Ratna Irsana said the committee had fulfilled their responsibility.

“We have all the documented proof. We allocated US$15 per dancer per practice session,” she said. (vla)