Friday, October 21, 2005

Wayang as a Role Model

People in the older generation beliefs in the wisdom carried by the the Wayang Stories. With a mix of the ancient Mahabharata, Ramayana, mixed together with Javanene folklores born the comtemporary stories and comedy of Panokowan (with four clowns named Semar, Gareng, Petruk, and Bagong) There are much morals to learn from these stories and many traditional families still name their children after the characters because of the characters positive features and abilities.

In the modern days, the television screens in Indonesia is filled more and more with western series such as Sex in the City, Bold and Beautiful, and Friends. The screening of Holliwood movies are accessable in every small town and suburbs. The young kids are more excited in watching Star Wars, Disney animation and Spiderman compares to the local folkrores. There is a significant difference in taste, values, preference and diet of the urban people nowadays. They go into the 'mall' and spend 10 - 20x more expensive on Western designer's clothes and fast food. As the role model have shifted to the West, so as the people have changed.

"Sex in the City"

As many of these topics introduced within the modern tv series, divorces, affairs, luxury, violence, drugs, explicit language, sexual exposure, and many more, the lifestyle of the society has been altered too over time. The habit of 'ngafe' (hang out in cafes) 'ke mall' (hanging out in the mall), seperates the individual families even more with the time they spent on the lifestyle. With the increasing traffic in major cities like Jakarta, the working class rather spends the rush hours socializing outside their homes that often leads to love affairs and divorces.

The unavoidable globalization is a good thing to drive forward a developing country like Indonesia. However, it is almost a shame if the modern generation doesn't continue to nurture the good values, traditions and customs.

I am passionate to recreate a role model of lifestyle after globalization in the Wayang forms that hopefully will bring awareness to the audience that no matter how much we have been changed by the globalization, there are timeless values that remains.

I chose wayang as a medium also because of its timeless value. Wayang kulit has been acknowledge to be one of the greatest and oldest form of performing arts internationally. Also, in Indonesia itself, the Wayang still remains as the popular local and tourist attraction. Therefore I see Wayang as a bridge between the two worlds. Between the past and the future, between the traditional and the modern.


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