Dec 7th, 2006, in Society, by

Wayang should be promoted as an alternative to violent television shows such as SmackDown, says Jusuf Kalla.

Vice president Jusuf Kalla said on the 1st of December at the opening of the first Asean Wayang Festival that the ancient puppet theatre of wayang was a much more suitable form of entertainment for the nation’s young people compared to SmackDown. Kalla hoped that a national form of wayang could be developed out of the many different regional variations of the art, which are normally performed in ethnic languages such as Javanese.

Surakarta Wayang Puppet
Surakarta/Solo Wayang Puppet.

Wayang, he said, was more morally instructive than the choreographed violence of American wrestling shows.

If it can be developed well then a national form of wayang could be an alternative.

An alternative to:

…Smackdown is just about doing whatever you like without propriety.

But the new form of wayang had to be done in Indonesian.

A lot of young people don’t understand their mother tongue or the local language of their parents. For example, of my five children four of them have married Javanese people or other ethnic groups. My grandchildren don’t understand the language of their parents, whether Bugis, Javanese, or another language, so they can’t enjoy wayang. So it’s important that a national form of wayang be done in Indonesian.

Said Kalla, who is of Bugis stock, from South Sulawesi. kompas

Jusuf Kalla
Jusuf Kalla.

At the conference at which Kalla conveyed these words a declaration was signed by representatives of Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, and Cambodia to form the all-Asean Wayang Association.


December 23rd 2006

Kalla returned to the theme of wayang while speaking at a Partai Golkar conference in Semarang. Three wayang puppeteers, Ki Enthus Susmono, Ki Djoko Hadiwijoyo, and Warsono Slank, attended the meeting and were each given a wayang puppet by Kalla. Thereafter they performed and did so using Indonesian language instead of Javanese.

Kalla said that wayang was a way that Golkar could become closer to the people. mediaindo

23 Comments on “Wayang”

  1. Tomaculum says:

    Absolutely right!
    And maybe this can stop the stronger influences of foreign cultures (incl. the Arabicization).

  2. Rockstar says:

    I am so into this idea. I am full of enthusiasm. I’m so positive that he can nail it down. So brothers and sisters.. are you with me?

  3. Munafikbangetloepade says:

    But maybe we should start developing wayang characters that wear jilbab.

  4. Tomaculum says:

    Or nude? Playboy wayang?

  5. Jutatip says:

    Hohoho, let make it traditional ways. 🙂

  6. Retarders says:

    Jusuf Kalla looks like wayang.

  7. Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    This is the right idea. Wayang shopuld be implemented in any all Indonesian media at all, forever, so that it can retain eternally the real Indonesian culture.

  8. DianDoank says:

    Well first of all when I returned to Indonesia a year ago, I didn’t bother to look at teve at all.
    It was full with horror sinetron or film. Honestly, I prefer to watch the old movie such as Iboenda or those Christine Hakim movies than these horror sinetron. Not mentioned those Celebrity’s News. Honestly, I don’t really care about who marry to whom or who divorce with whom.

    I prefer to watch some documentary film about Indonesia or (well bit garing) Indonesia history. I mean Indonesia is rich with history (either the real one or those Soeharto’s fabrication). Wouldn’t it be so good to have a documentary to reveal the truth. Or if that’s too hard probably just play those old film such as Iboenda, R.A. Kartini or any Teguh Karya’s movie. Or those DKI Warkop. Might be full women with bikinis but better than watching some stupid horor sinetron or movie.

    So Wayang…that’s definitely good one. Might be Wayang Orang. With subtitle. I remember long time ago there was TVRI I think that have this kind of program. Wayang Kulit with subtitle. It was good. My father which happens to love wayang able to share his interest with me. And I found it really worthwhile and educative. Learn the first values of humanity in Mahabaratha. Understand that world is not black and white. Learn responsibility as a person to other person and in a group through here. Wayang that I know show no feodalism as the way javanese culture actually do 🙂 through the daring comment of Punakawan. So yes…please bring back the wayang to television!! 🙂 With subtitle of course 🙂

  9. Tomaculum says:


    Jusuf Kalla looks like wayang

    Like who? Pandita Durna?

  10. Jutatip says:

    Too bad, I am not Indonesian and not living there either. Are there anyway I can see Wayang outside Indonesia? I don’t mind if no sub title.

  11. DianDoank says:

    Probably should try Indonesia embassy of your country.
    I have noticed that some embassy once in a while making an Indonesia culture evening especially around the Independence Day. If you’re lucky 🙂 they might have wayang (shadow puppet). Or if the area where you live has a literature/history university (South East Asia), sometimes they have these kind of performance as well.

    Good luck! 🙂

  12. Jutatip says:

    Big THANKS! Surely I will check it out!

  13. Kleo says:

    I remember when wayang was on TV, lots of people watch it, especially those in the kampong2. I wonder if TVRI still have this in their programme. But usually this is late at night…

    TV only thinks of rating. I doubt Wayang will have more rating than what we call ‘stupid’ shows’ and no TV station will have this. As long as it has subtitle, I’ll watch it!

  14. Retarders says:

    Or you can always kick it up a notch … make a new show called “Wayang SmackDown”…

  15. Jaka Tingkir says:

    I wouldn’t want to pay Rp 15.000 to watch wayang in any movie theaters…

  16. Tomaculum says:

    I would pay more than Rp 20.000 to have the possibility to watch Wayang (W. kulit, W. orang, W. beber etc) regularly.

  17. Ihaknt says:

    Finally, a laid-back, refreshing discussion. You all are full of good ideas. Maybe playboy wayang for late-night tv, with number to sms. Burqa/jilbab wayang for during the day – kids friendly viewing. And smackdown wayang in between. Wow, you got yourselves a tv night-in there! Pop the corn, make the tea and you’re all sorted! Jusuf Kalla can be the puppeteer/dalang, since he’s a natural clown and I am sure in his job he has his own people “boneka”. Long live Wayang!

  18. Dimp says:

    If Smackdown is considered by our vice-president as “violent” TV show, what does he have to say about shows that highlights the crime and violent on the TVs? These are real violence not like “choreograph” violence like Smackdown…

    I don’t mind him promoting Wayang, but don’t bag wrestling because some idiots couldn’t tell the difference between acting and reality.

  19. DianDoank says:

    Hoi Toma,

    When I was student in Depok, I remembered that in Taman Mini, there were sometimes a wayang kulit show (puppet show). I don’t know whether you have to pay for watching the show. But I guess that would be the close one to see in Jakarta. Check museum wayang (puppet museum), probably they have further information on regular puppet show.

  20. Jaka Tingkir says:

    I wonder if our dear friends here who defended smackdown are actually working for Vince McMahon. I liked the bloody show but obviously that show is not for kiddies.

  21. adi says:

    if anyone need sundanese wayang golek / rod puppet from west java indonesia, i’ll gladly help. i’m artisan my self, intend to sell it world wide.anyone can help me to sell it?

  22. Tetuko says:

    I’m happy Jusuf Kalla has made this comment. I know many Indonesians who struggle to understand the local dialect in wayang, so it’d be good to have a national wayang.

  23. Oigal says:

    If anyone should know about Wayang it’s Jusuf Kalla…

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