Airlangga, New Story in Indonesian Wayang

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(From the left) Prof. Kasidi, Dr. Sri Teddy Rusdy, Prof. Bambang Tjahjadi, Sujiwo Tejo after the seminar in Siti Parwati FIB UNAIR.

UNAIR NEWS – Wayang (a shadow puppet performance) has its own place in the heart of Indonesian. As national treasure, wayang is full of moral and philosophical values from the stories performed. If all this time, Indonesian wayang is popular with Ramayana’s stories, the story of Airlangga is created  to complement national wayang world. Because Airlangga is a reformer king famous in the 12th century, his story is expected to give lessons for current generations. Therefore, the seminar “Wayang Airlangga: Varian Baru Dalam Jagat Pewayangan Indonesia” was held in Siti Parwati Hall FIB UNAIR, on Saturday, November 19.

The seminar opened by Dean of FIB UNAIR Diah Ariani Arimbi, Ph.D., was a part of 62nd Dies Natalis of Universitas Airlangga. Through the seminar, Diah hoped that the younger generation can understand more about wayang and respect more to traditional arts.

The maker of Wayang Airlangga Dr. Sri Teddy Rusdy, moderated the seminar. The Head of Indonesian Puppet Master Association (Pepadi) DKI Jakarta also explained that Indonesian wayang all this time still leans to Ramayana story. It was why he chose Airlangga story.

“I was thinking, Indonesia is a vast country with lots of civilization stories. Because of my love to the alma mater, then I used Airlangga story. Nevertheless, this story is for the nation,” he explained.

As the first speaker, famous (puppet master (dalang) Sujiwo Tejo explained the young generation which has “left” wayang. For him, it is not about the youngsters which ‘left’ wayang but it depends on the puppet master whether it can be accepted by young generation or not.

Then, Prof. Kasidi from the Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Yogyakarta highlighted the wayang varieties in the nation. “Wayang follows the cycles. New varieties appear referring to the previous wayang existing,” he said.

Prof. Bambang Tjahjadi, a batik and keris enthusiast, the third speaker, elaborated the Airlangga story continuity in the future. For him, it should be supported by all elements, including the academician of UNAIR.

“The point of preservation effort is building the community. We have to build an organization. We’ll see. If it runs well, the wayang will be preserved,” he said. (*)

Author: Nuri Hermawan
Editor: Dilan Salsabila

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