Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saung Angklung Udjo

Saung Angklung Udjo (an angklung workshop in village called Padasuka, east of Bandung about 20 minutes drive from the city centre) is dedicated to conserve, preserve, and develop the Sundanese Traditional Arts and Culture. SAU is a workshop where angklung and others bamboo instruments are made and played in daily performance, by children, and that includes angklung orchestra, traditional dance and other cultural shows.

Udjo Ngalagena is the founding father of Saung Angklung Udjo which he founded in 1967 together with his wife his wife Mrs. Uum Sumiati Udjo. He is the 6th Son from Wiranta and Imi. His parents gave his name as “Udjo” that has similarity with his siblings Oneh, Udjen, Idjah, Eroh, Edja, and Ela and it was only long after that that Udjo added NGALAGENA on his name. Ngalagena = nice, hope, and independency.

In Saung Angklung Udjo, he made his marks by placing words of wisdom carved in the wall of the school. His notes are placed in many strategic points, so others could read iteasily, especially in Musician’s waiting room, and Angklung storage that is used for the regular performances. One good example is:

In Sundanese,

Ceuceub ka hiji jalmi hartosna nyiksa ka diri sorangan
Kukituna dunya jadi heurin

Naon rugelna jadi jalmi anu someah
Naon rugelna jadi jalmi anu leah

In English,

Having hatred in someone meant that we torture ourselves, that’s why the world became a nasty place to live in.
What is there to lose to be a kind hearted persons?
What is there to lose to be wise and respected persons?

When he passed away at May 3rd 2001, the management of Saung Angklung Udjo is continued by Udjo’s children. Udjo Ngalagena once said:

"What You Are, What Job You Have Chosen, Do It Well, Do It With Love, Without Love, You Are Dead Before You Die"

There is a small thing I like about the complex as a whole; OK they have a little hall where the children performed to the tourist but what I like is the design of the toilet with a little area for 'wudhu' next to it (see pic). It just blended in and it look so simple but beautiful.

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