Yogyakarta part 3

kealiiWow, it’s been an amazing couple of days filled with great food and art!  Each of the four fellows on this program is teaching at a different school in the Yogyakarta area and we’ve been doing joint performances at these schools.  One of the fellows is kumu hula Keali’i Ceballos and my favorite part of the presentation is watching all the students and teachers squeal in delight as he makes his scantily clad entrance.  Then when the hips start swaying it’s sheer pandemonium…

Another fun part of the presentation is playing taiko for Viji Prakash’s dance as she tells the story of Arjuna and Krishna from the Mahabarata.  Every school we have gone to has gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and appreciated.  The performances have been packed and it’s been great sharing the stage with such a diverse group of artists and getting such positive feedback from the students we present to.

We’ve also been teaching everyday and I have a really great group of students.  They have been so eager to learn and it has been a real joy teaching them.  So far we’ve gotten through “Renshu Taiko” in just four days!  Of course I would be lost without my two new friends Tony and Sigit who have the job of translating for me and making sure I get from one place to the other.  All of our support staff here in Yogya has been so good to us and we would be so lost without them.

wayan_kulitWe’re also getting the chance to meet a lot of great artists and see a lot of music and dance.  Last night we watched a dance rehearsal at Pujokusuman.  It was my first time seeing Javanese dance live and it was just magical being outside listening to the gamelan and watching these amazing dancers.  Tonight we went to listen to more gamelan and on our way back to the hotel stopped by a Wayang Kulit performance being held right in front of the train station.  I couldn’t understand a word but the large crowd was rolling with laughter. From what I it was a political satire sponsored by one of the policial parties.  Apparently there are elections soon as there are posters and flags of the different parties everywhere.

This trip has made me want to study Indonesian. Just because one can get by traveling the world speaking only English doesn’t mean one should and I hate being such a helpless dork without any local language ability.  Guess I should start studying Mongolian too as it is starting to look like I might be headed to Mongolia later in the year…  or brush up on my Japanese for that matter.  Arghh…  I know… I should study the language that will allow me to travel the world only knowing that one language…  doh!

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One Response to “Yogyakarta part 3”

  1. kris says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the update, Shoj! Glad to hear everything is going so well. You should totally study Indonesian! It looks really interesting:

    http://www.omniglot.com/writing/indonesian.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_language

    Talk to you soon!

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