From choir to angklung (and choir)

About last week, I, along with some friends whose tenure is less than a year, had the ‘honor’ to give a small presentation in front of my company’s branch seminar. I chose angklung (a traditional Sundanese, or West Javanese musical instrument made of bamboo and played by shaking it, each having one musical note) for a number of reasons. It was relatively easy and simple—anyone can play angklung without any musical knowledge, and as far as I know, many expatriates love it. It did brought back some memories, especially to my elementary school, when I played angklung against a team of housewives and ladies from Japan. Amazing.

Along with some of my friends doing the traditional Saman (Acehnese) welcome dance, the performance was a considerable hit. We did not expect the crowd to be that responsive and accepting—since the performance was right in the middle of the dinner’s main course.  Applause boomed across the room. The Saman was exceptional, proud to be able to watch it and realizing that it turned out very well. The angklung performance was nice as well. We performed bits of four songs, representing Indonesia (the traditional Cingcangkeling and Manuk Dadali, both Sundanese), and two songs of Japanese (Kokoro no tomo and Utada Hikaru’s First Love), ending it together with the Saman team singing the Indonesian pop song Ekspresi, “Let us do some poetry, songs, music, and dances; the silver screens, the theatre stages are our places—people of the world, express ourselves!”

Ending it with cheer and applause from the crowd, as we collectively, in satisfaction, bow to honor the appreciation.

It was truly an honor and humbling at the same time. 

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