A very good friend of mind, Pipin aka Fiona is now developing a community in Wonogiri, Central Java while saving one of the most valuable Indonesian heritage, Wayang. We were partners in college, attended the same organization (Mahitala Unpar) and had some time working together to realize every idealism of our youth. Now, I decide to continue supporting her via this blog. She left this writing and let us share, hoping more people read and eager to help. Godspeed and good luck, Pin!
I want to share a little story. Since high school I have been interested in literature. I have read many books, including adaptations of foreign books. I fell in love with the stories and its essence.
The epic stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana from India have been translated into Indonesian and enjoyed by many readers from centuries ago. To continue retelling the epic stories, poets over the ages created and perfected a method, still known today, i.e. the leather Shadow Puppet (Wayang) Performance.
Wayang is a priceless form of Indonesian art. The process of making a shadow puppet takes a long time because of its complexity. Additionally, a Wayang theater performance can extrapolate the values of life and wisdom that is at the core of every human being. Cultural values and its sheer beauty should be preserved so that it can be enjoyed and practiced by the future generation of Indonesians.
Unfortunately, such high quality culture is not adequately appreciated by the general public who now knows the value of globalization. Not many people pay careful attention to the philosophy of wayang that is in fact very useful when practiced in every day life. This has caused my concerns and in turn encourage us to develop Wayang Village.
Kepuhsari is a village in Manyaran, Wonogiri, Central Java. Most of the families here have made shadow puppets for generations. Many of the puppets in the current global market and those used for performances are the work of the villagers of Kepuhsari. Their work of art is well known for its complex and brilliant colours, and the fine, delicate carvings.
The huge potential of Kepuhsari village is not comparable to its current economic condition. Their soil is dry from draughts and cannot rely on agricultural production alone. At the same time, puppet making has not been able to become a viable long-term livelihood option. This is due to the lack of appreciation of the art itself. Through Wayang Village tourism programmes, we hope that wayang can now be a real option for the villagers to lift themselves out of poverty. Also, restoring the art of wayang to its true function, as a media for education and dissemination of moral values, would bring greater hope for the future generation of the village and Indonesia as a whole!
So during this festive holiday season, I would like to use this opportunity to promote our programs!
To fill your holidays (or your next holiday) Wayang Village presents our homestay program, in which you will stay over 1-2 nights at the villagers’ home and full participate in the village’s daily life! There are also a number of workshops to help you fully immerse yourself to the art and culture of wayang, i.e. carving leather puppets, playing gamelan orchestra, learning to be a puppet master, and unique glass painting. The villagers will your workshop facilitators, your guide, and will take you around in their own vehicles! Not to mention, wonderful, wonderful, healthy village food. Your money would go directly to the villagers who come together to create this authentic, unforgettable experience for you. Through these programs it is hoped that the villagers can improve their skills while benefiting the whole nation, and finally, be alleviated from poverty, because they are simply amazing.
To know more about Wayang Village, or if you are interested to book for this cultural experience, please visit our website:
or our facebook page:
We also accept donations of all kinds. Our main concern at the moment is the fact that some of the villagers still don’t have access to clean water and adequate sanitation (toilets). In the near future we are planning to build some toilets for the community. To donate, please visit our campaign website:
or you can transfer your donation to our BCA account in Indonesia:
Name: Ariel Pradipta/Rieke Caroline.
We are also inviting friends who are interested to participate through volunteering, whatever skills you have, for growing Wayang Village together with the team. All you need to do is just send me an email:
or give me a call at:
Thank you ever so much for your kind attention. I am looking forward to hearing from you, who surely are very passionate in helping the poor, our culture and our nation. Thank you thank you thank you :)