Thetraveljunkie.org – When I stayed in Harris Ciumbuleuit. I had the pleasure of attending the Saung Angklung Udjo show in Bandung, Indonesia.
For my international reader, Saung Angklung Udjo is a workshop where the culture, which is the venue, the center of bamboo handicrafts and musical instruments of bamboo workshop. In addition, the Saung Angklung Udjo has a purpose as educational laboratories and centers of learning to preserve Sundanese culture and especially angklung.
Founded in 1966 by Udjo Ngalagena and his wife Uum Sumiati, with a view to preserve and maintain traditional Sundanese arts and culture.
And, Saung Angklung Udjo illustrates nature and culture in harmony, its no wonder Saung Angklung Udjo becomes a noticeable destination where people could experience Sundanese culture as a part of world heritage.
Mang Udjo learned angklung from Prof. Daeng Soetigna in 1948. He was Daeng’s only student who inherited his angklung-making skills. Mang Udjo became a master at the art: he knew how to select the best bamboo, how to properly cut bamboo and he knew of the tricks on how to tie up the bamboo to produce the most melodious sounds possible.
The origin of angklung is unknown. “Some say it began in Bali but others say it was from Tasikmalaya or Banten (West Java),” – Mang Udjo.
It is understood that angklung already existed in the 16th century. Before it was known worldwide, it used to be played during rice harvest revelries, wedding parties or during night security patrols in the neighborhood.
I watched Saung Angklung Udjo’s one-and-a-half hour show, which includes a “diorama” of an attractive Sundanese wealth in presenting their art performance from Wayang Golek demonstration, Helaran procession, Angklung for beginner, Angklung orchestra, Angklung interactive to Arumba and end–up dancing together along with the audience.
The dalang (puppet master) performed some scenes of Ramayana tale. One of them was the scene when Hanoman was having fight with the devil Rahwana as part of his mission to save King Rama’s wife, Sinta. Cepot, the most legendary figure in Sundanese wayang golek.
Helaran is a traditional procession that comes along to celebrate the khitan (circumcision) for boy or rice harvest with backsound from angklung Salendro/Pentatonis Da Mi Na Ti La Da.
The boy is be carried in a bamboo carriage to round the kampong (village) in order to amuse him and make him forget about the pain after his circumcision.
There are two kinds of traditional dance performed here; mask dance and peacock dance.
It was wonderful traditional dance!
Angklung for kids. Each kid brought 2 – 3 angklung. In assemble they played several international songs and Indonesian traditional songs across the archipelago starting with Bungong Jeumpa from Aceh until Yamko Rambe Yambo from Papua.
My favorite part was near the end of the show when the MCs instructed visitors to play the angklung together.
Each member of the audience received an angklung with a number on it and together, under the MCs cue, we rattled the instruments.
It amazed me how a group of strangers can instantly make such beautiful music together.
At the end, the MCs asked everybody to come together, sharing the joy and fun in music and dance.
I learned a lot from my visit to Saung Angklung Udjo. The angklung, I discovered, is not only a musical instrument made from nature’s fine materials – it also symbolizes our lives as human beings, with its differently sized tubes representing our different phases of life, reminding us of the harmony needed to live a peaceful life.
For me, Saung Angklung Udjo is one of ‘the best universities’ for sustainable heritage in the world.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone.
Saung Angklung Udjo
Jalan Padasuka 118
Happy Sustainable Travels!