Opening the month of September, Indonesia will stage the world’s first and grandest ever Wayang World Puppet Carnival (WWPC) 2013 in the capital city of Jakarta from 1st to 8th September 2013.
The 8 days Wayang fiesta will take place at several of Jakarta’s iconic landmarks, but will mainly center around the National Monument (Monas) with all-night performances, the Monas Square, and Usmar Marzuki Movie Center at Kuningan, while the opening ceremony will be held at the Pewayangan Kautaman Building, at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
The event is the collaborative work of the Indonesian Puppet Master Association (PEPADI) and the Arsari Djojohadikusumo (YAD) Foundation who share the mutual concern to conserve and preserve the Indonesian authentic puppetry of Wayang.
The Carnival will not only feature Indonesian authentic wayang arts such as the Wayang Golek (Wooden Puppets) and the Wayang Kulit (Leather Puppets) but also puppet arts from 45 other countries, who will join the event with a total of 64 performers. Among participating countries are Turkey, Bolivia, USA, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Thailand, and Brazil. From Indonesia, there will be 5 young dalangs or puppet masters from several Indonesian islands who will showcase their skills in puppetry. Aside from Wayang performances, the event will also feature Video and Movie screenings on wayang and puppets art from 5 countries.
Since the acknowledgement of Indonesia’s Wayang as World Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in 2003, the Wayang World Puppet Carnival 2013 is the first and grandest event to highlight this authentic Indonesian art form and one that is expected to establish Indonesia as the home for the Art of Puppetry in the world. Today, there are at least 25 different types of Wayang art forms still performed throughout the Indonesian Archipelago.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that another 75 types that were once popular on the islands have now completely disappeared because of poor attendance.
Nonetheless, still very popular are the Wayang Golek (wooden puppet) from West Java, the Ancient Wayang Kulit Purwa (leather puppet) with different styles and interpretations from Solo, Yogya, East Java, Banyumas, Cirebon and Betawi, there are still other forms of wayang such as the wayang suket, wayang klitik, wayang krucil, wayang gedog, wayang beber, and others that continue to thrive and are loved by the population.
The Indonesian Wayang not only enthrall with their stories and the skill of the dalang (puppet master), but are entertaining, provide comic relief, and moreover, educate and teach philosophical and ethical values