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Sukoharjo's gamelan village seeks to lure more tourists

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Sukoharjo, Central Java  /  Tue, September 4, 2018  /  04:30 pm
Sukoharjo's gamelan village seeks to lure more tourists

The process of burning the gamelan offers an interesting attraction for tourists. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

A tourist package to Wirun village, the center of gamelan-making, is currently being prepared by the village's Tourism Awareness Group (Pokdarwis) in Mojolaban district, Sukoharjo regency, alongside Central Java province's Regional Planning Board (Bappeda).

"The development of this tourist village is based on creative economy, where we involved 25 creative economy players, including art and culture people," said the agency's head of research and development and science and technology department Tri Yuni Atmojo on Tuesday.

Wirun village serves as a unique place as a center of gamelan-making, where the entire process is done traditionally by implementing local cultural elements, such as Javanese selamatan (ceremonial) rituals.

"It offers activities involving creative economy, culture and art, which are potentials for tourism. All of these will be presented in a package for tourists," he added.

Read also: Recalling the history of the gamelan

Craftsmen of Wirun village make gamelan.Craftsmen of Wirun village make gamelan. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

The administration will reportedly target the establishment of 58 creative economy-based innovative tourist villages in 2018. Wirun village was chosen due to its rich natural resources and tourism potential that can be developed.

Creative economy players in Wirun village previously conducted comparative studies of a wayang (shadow puppet) tourist village in Wonogiri, tenun lurik (Javanese woven cloth) tourist village in Klaten and a batik tourist village in Sragen.

Meanwhile, Pokdarwis head at the village, Ari, said the package prepared would include several cultural events, such as a ketoprak festival, lesung music and selamatan ritual, which is always performed prior to making gamelan.

"Tourists can directly watch the making of gamelan while enjoying local cuisine. The locals have also started to prepare homestays and culinary markets," said Ari.

The village reportedly has 11 gamelan craftsmen, and is home to tenun goyor sarong, vihara miniature and Sendang Pengantin, which serves as a praying place for Hindus. In the past few years, dozens of Australian tourists reportedly came every month to live around the Sendang area. (kes)