Beautiful Wayang Kulit Display

This year, the Hari Raya decorations in One Utama shopping complex is truly magnificient…. it consisted of Malay cultural display of the Wau (kite) and Wayang Kulit (cultural shadow play performance). These decorations would remain during Hari Raya and then it would be taken down. As the decos are so beautiful and detailed, I would like to post in this blog article to ‘eternalize’ for reference in years to come.

The display below contains description of popular roles featured in the traditional Wayang Kulit performance featured the Ramayana tale:

YouTube Shorts:

Song is Jauh DiRindu by Freedom. For complete song with English lyrics translations click here.

Sri Rama

Seorang raja yang digambarkan sebagai gajah berani dan sanggup melakukan apa sahaja untuk Sita Dewi, isterinya. Tubuh dan wajahnya berwarna hijau dan sedang berdiri di atas seekor naga.

Approximate translation: A king that was pictured as a fearless elephant and was willing to do anything for Sita Dewi, his wife. His body and face was green in colour and he was standing on a dragon.

 

Sita Dewi

Sita Dewi isteri kepada Sri Rama. Untuk mendapatkan Sita Dewi, pelbagai rintangan dan dugaan yang perlu dilalui oleh Sri Rama.

Approximate translation: Sita Dewi was Sri Rama’s wife. In order to win over Sita Dewi, Sri Rama had to undergo various challenges and obstacles.

 

Waklong


Waklong merupakan pengasuh kepada Sri Rama. Beliau berpewatakan lawak untuk menghiburkan Sri Rama.

Approximate translation: Waklong was Sri Rama’s nanny. He assumed the characteristic of being funny in order to entertain Sri Rama.

Raden Latjuna


Raden Latjuna merupakan anak kepada Sri Rama. Selain Raden Latjuna, Hanuman Kera Putih juga anak kepada Sri Rama.

Approximate translation: Raden Latjuna is the son of Sri Rama. Aside from Raden Latjuna, Hanuman Kera Putih (White Monkey God) was also Sri Rama’s son.

Puteri Mahurai


Puteri Mahurai adik kepada Raden Latjuna dan anak kepada Sri Rama.

Approximate translation: Puteri Mahurai (Princess Mahurai) was the sister of Raden Latjuna and the daughter of Sri Rama.

Hanuman Ikan


Hanuman Ikan anak kepada Hanuman Kera Putih. Bondanya bernama Tuan Puteri Ikan yang tinggal
di dalam laut buih gelombang tujuh.

Approximate translation: Hanuman Ikan was Hanuman Kera Putih (White Monkey God)’s son. His mother was called Tuan Puteri Ikan who lived in the ‘sea of seven bubble waves’.

Babu Senam


Babu Senam adik kepada Rahwana, tetapi bila  dihalau oleh Rahwana, beliau mula menghambakan
diri kepada Sri Rama.

Approximate translation: Babu Senam was the brother to Rahwana, but when he was chased away by Rahwana, he begun to serve Sri Rama.

Performance of Wayang Kulit:

For centuries, audience would gather in front of a cloth screen in the dark (usually at night) to watch the performance featuring some of the characters above:

Behind the screen, the characters are moved by the master performer:

Below is an article in Malay that I have taken from my local library a few years ago. I’ve included the text in Malay as well as my best attempts at translating the text into English.:

Wayang kulit dan cabaran / Wayang kulit and its challenges

Institusi masyarakat kini tidak lagi tertarik dan berminat untuk memasukkan persembahan traditional dalam kehidupan harian mereka seterusnya meminggirkan persembahan tersebut. Ini kerana terlanjuran seni ini bergantung kepada sokongan masyarakat. Maka langkah positif dan konkrik perlu diambil bagi mengelakkan dari terkuburnya khazanah seni yang amat berharga.

The institution of society now is no longer attracted and interested to include traditional performances in their everyday life, subsequently isolating these performances. This is because the continuity of these arts depends on society’s support. Therefore positive and concrete steps need to be taken to avoid this valuable legacy from being buried (and forgotten).

Jumlah dalang dan kumpulan wayang kulit pada masa kini semakin berkurang dan persembahanya jarang jarang dimainkan. Remaja zaman ini beralih kepada bentuk hiburan semasa seperti televisyen, menonton wayang dan ke pusat pusat hiburan. Hal ini juga disebabkan oleh susah untuk remaja kini untuk menonton apatah lagi untuk mewarisi seni wayang kulit ini sudah terhakis.

The number of performers and wayang kulit troups at this time is getting lesser and these performances have become very rare. At this age, teenagers have shifted towards current entertainment mediums like television, watching movies and visiting entertainment centers. It is already difficult to get teenagers (the younger generation) to watch, hence how it is possible for them to inherit the art of wayang kulit that is disappearing.

Kekurangan pendokumentasian bahan ilmiah tentang wayang kulit masih kurang. Permasalahan ini kerana kebanyakkan pneyelidikkan dijalankan lebih tertumpu kepada persoalan tertentu sahaja tanpa kajian secara terperinci mengenai sesuatu jenis wayang kulit.

There is still lacking of documented research materials related to wayang kulit. This arises because most of the research done are more focused on certain aspects only without detailed research related to certain types of wayang kulit.

Salah satu cara yang boleh dilakukan untuk memelihara seni warisan wayang kulit ini ialah dengan menyimpan maklumat tentang seni ini dalam bentuk buku dan jurnal. Selain itu, pengenalan tentang seni ini harus dipupuk dari peringkat sekolah rendah hingglah ke peringkat institut pengajian tinggi. Antara langkah lain yang boleh diambil ialah dengan menghasilkan miniature patung wayang kulit, panggung dan alat-alat muzik gamelan yang dijadikan bahan cenderahati. Usaha ini sebagai langkah berterusan dalan pengekalkan seni warisan wayang kulit agar sentiasa diingati dan dihayati. Walau bagaimanapun kesedaran dan tindakan masyarakat kini akan dapat menjamin kesinambungan seni warisan Melayu terus kekal pada masa yang akan datang.

One of the ways that can be done to preserve the wayang kulit heritage is by storing information about this art in the form of books and journals. Aside from that, introduction about this art should be nurtured from primary schools until institutes of higher learning. Other steps that can be taken is by producing miniature wayang kulit characters, their theater and musical instruments used to be made into souvenior items. This is a continous effort in preserving the heritage art of wayang kulit so that it would always be remembered and appreciated. Through awareness and steps taken, our society today would be able to guarantee the heritage Malay arts would remain intact and complete in future. 

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