INDONESIA: On Saturday (5 Aug), Indonesia celebrated a significant achievement, recognized by the Guinness World Records (GWR) for hosting the world’s largest ensemble of angklungs at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
An angklung, a traditional Indonesian musical instrument, is a captivating product of the Sundanese culture of West Java, consisting of two to four bamboo tubes affixed to a frame that, when shaken, emits a distinct pitch.
The event, an undeniable testament to the richness of Indonesian culture, witnessed an impressive turnout of 15,240 performers, of which 3,000 were students from the Indonesian Institute of Home Affairs.
The official GWR judge, Sonia Usirogochi, confirmed that Indonesia had successfully broken the previous record, “I can confirm that all of you, the 15,240 participants who played the Angklung, have successfully broken the record,” said Sonia.
Prior to this historic feat, the record was held by the Indonesian Embassy for the United States and the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in Washington DC on 9 July 9 2011, with 5,128 participants from Indonesia.
The certificate for the world record was presented to Tri Suswati Tito Karnavian, the current Chairperson of the Solidarity Action Era of the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet Organization (OASE KIM) and the head of the event committee.
The First Lady, Iriana Joko Widodo, was also honoured with a certificate for her role in the event.
The grand performance, titled “The Largest Angklung Ensemble in the World”, featured thousands of angklung players, opened with the rendition of the patriotic song “Berkibarlah Benderaku,” composed by Saridjah Niung, also known as Ibu Sud, a renowned songwriter, teacher, and youth organization activist.
Following the national anthem, the ensemble performed the international hit “Wind of Change” by the Scorpions, with guidance from Saung Angklung Udjo, a cultural and educational tourist destination in Bandung that showcases traditional Sundanese music and dance performances using angklung.
Notably, Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo and the Vice President’s wife, Ibu Wury Ma’ruf Amin, enthusiastically played the traditional West Javanese musical instrument, angklung.
The event also witnessed the participation of members from OASE KIM, civil servants, members of the Dharma Wanita Persatuan (DWP) from various ministries, TNI-Polri (the Indonesian National Armed Forces and Police), women’s organizations, government schools, students, and more.
In his address, Tri Tito Karnavian expressed that the attempt to break the world record was a tribute to Indonesia’s 78th Independence Day, stating, “We are determined to make this a birthday gift for the 78th anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia in 2023.”
Furthermore, Tri emphasized that the initiative by OASE KIM aimed to foster a greater love and appreciation for Indonesian culture showcased through the magnificent display of angklung, not only within West Java but resonating worldwide.
The planning for this remarkable event began a year ago, with participants undergoing three months of rigorous training.
Tri expressed his hope that this endeavor would further elevate the popularity of angklung, making it a beloved part of music and art, not just within Indonesia but across the globe.