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Jakarta Post

Jakarta festival showcases Indonesia's colorful cultures

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, October 10, 2019   /  05:22 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Dancers perform on the stage during the opening of National Cultural Week held by the Education and Culture Ministry in Istora Senayan Stadium in Central Jakarta on Monday. The festival will run until Oct. 13. (JP/Syelanita)

A loud whip crack jolted the dozens of people standing in a field in front of Istora Senayan Stadium in Central Jakarta, on Tuesday afternoon. The crowd cheered as the whip holder, a man dressed in black and wearing a blangkon (traditional Javanese headdress), entered the area accompanied by 16 other men in yellow and orange costumes. The bells on their anklets jingled rhythmically as they danced with their bamboo horses and wooden swords. Once in a while the whip holder slashed them with the whip causing the audience to flinch or step back in shock. But the dancers kept performing powerfully as if they felt no pain. They were performing the oglek dance, which originates in Yogyakarta. One of the dancers, Legiran said the dance symbolized the unity of the physical body and spiritual mind and was commonly performed during ceremonial events. “The dance is usuall...