Indonesia’s renowned angklung has gained more popularity in the United States, taking the spotlight in a recent event held in Washington, DC that introduced the traditional bamboo instrument to more Americans.
House of Angklung — a leading angklung performance group based in DC — attracted culture enthusiasts in the US capital to play angklung 8 in an event held in collaboration with the California Davis University on Aug. 8.
Visitors who joined interactive angklung demonstration got the chance to play with the instrument, led by House of Angklung teacher and music arranger Tricia Sumarijanto.
They performed Indonesian folk songs such as Burung Kakak Tua and Cucak Rowo, as well as American patriotic song America the Beautiful, according to the Indonesian Embassy in DC in a press release made available to The Jakarta Post.
“I am happy to be able to play angklung, even though this is my first time to play the instrument,” said Victoria, a US college student who participated in the demonstration, as quoted in the press release.
Tricia, one of the leading Indonesian culture activists in the US, said that at least one school in Maryland, namely Reid Temple Christian Academy, had taught angklung to their students for six years.
She said US national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner had also been performed with angklung during a graduation ceremony in the school.
“We hope that angklung, which was named a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2010, can be officially taught at US schools,” said Primadona Rifai, the coordinator of House of Angklung.
During the event, visitors also got the chance to enjoy Indonesian delicacies such as satay, pastel cakes and balapis cakes.
House of Angklung was founded in 2007 in DC and has performed in several cities in the United States. One of their most-known performances was the one titled “Bamboo for Peace”, which took center stage at the UN Headquarters in 2018. (gis)