Friday, October 21, 2005

The Shadow Within The Society

"Many politicians and successful businessmen are seen as dalang, the skilled men who control the puppets in wayang performances. Life in Indonesia has a way of working much like the plots of all-night wayang performances - slowly and with many unpredictable twists and turns." http://www.indo.com/destinations/wayang.html

Indonesia society is filled with the unseen political shadow wether it is in the government or in the daily business and social relationships. There's always someone behind the major political issues and major corruptions though the same people mihg be seen daily in the country as public political figures and businessmen. This double sides of personalities are often related to the Shadow play phylosophy. The 'dalang' is showing only the image created by the good shadow of the characters, and he also manipulates and role the characters ( the people under his control) to act the way he wants them to.

The shadow play philosophy has colored a big portion of the older generation lifestyle in Indonesia. It is also believed as the philosophy behind the shadowed political dictatorship of General Soeharto (Suharto in English word), Indonesia’s former president. Suharto was awarded to take an emergency control of the nation after his bloody efforts in wiping the communist party. The ruthless action of the wipe out was never acknowledge as truth and the number of the people killed in near after September 30th, 1965 may never be known, but it was estimated between 500,000 – 3,000,000 lives. [source: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/shadowplay/focus.html] Suharto then reigned for 21 years later before he was finally forced to step down in the 1998 revolution movement in Indonesia.

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