Wayang Kulit Performance of Bekasi City, West Java Province

In Java Island, a signature traditional art like Wayang Kulit is indeed quite popular. In fact, it has adapted into each region perfectly. In Bekasi City, for example, it has applied the local sociological aspect and turns into a new unique art for tourists to enjoy. So, what makes it different? Instead of telling stories related to the Hindu’s legends, this one uses local characters adapted from Wayang Golek. Due to such uniqueness, therefore, many outsiders and tourists are interested to watch the show directly when visiting Bekasi, especially during holidays!

The Nuance
As mentioned before, there is no Rama or other Hindu’s legends in Wayang Kulit Bekasi. Instead, tourists may find some local characters like Udel, Cepot, etc. Another thing that makes it quite different than regular shadow puppet shows is the attire of the puppets, which represents Arab culture. When it comes to the lighting technique, it is considered sophisticated. It is because the performer uses several visual effects as well during the show! What about the stories? It involves various aspects including the war, humor, song, dance, etc.

Exploring Wayang Kulit Performance
The first allure of Wayang Kulit Bekasi is none other than the history. According to the locals, the performance was brought by a person called Balentet. He became an apprentice of three famous puppeteers namely Cepe, Rasiun, and Belentuk. Later, he had his performances both in Cirebon and Bogor City starting in 1918. In fact, he kept conducting a shadow puppet show until he died in 1982! Fortunately, he passed down his skills and knowledge to his sons. The good thing is the locals also work hard to retain this valuable traditional show.

Today, Wayang Kulit Bekasi has become the part of the local culture and it is performed regularly, especially during local weddings and other occasions. For tourists, the best time to watch it is either during Hajat Bumi Ceremony. It is because the nuance becomes more sacred and interesting! As for the tip, it is better to come with a guide who can tell both information and history of the performance. He may explain the entire phases of the show as well, in fact.

At the beginning, there is Bubuka and it is done at night. At the time, the puppeteer tells the opening of the story. Next, there is Tatalu and other phases including Nyandera and Rajah. These are some scenes of the story. The fact is the performance may last for hours, even until dawn! Are you strong enough to stay up late at night?

Nearby Attractions

  • Namat Public Fishing Pond
  • Go Wet Waterpark
  • Kembang Market
  • Jakarta City

How to Get There
For those come from Bandung City, they can directly head to Bekasi City and take watch the performance right away. Still, everyone needs to know the schedule beforehand. As for the trip, it may take around 2 hours and 25 minutes as the distance is 133 km. For a faster trip, the best route to take is Purbaleunyi Highway and Pantura Street!

Where to Stay

  • Asa Hotel
  • Green Hotel
  • Aston Imperial Hotel
  • Amaroosa Hotel
  • Horison Hotel

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