Mission accomplished! On July 9th 2011, the Washington Monument Grounds North Lawn, National Mall in Washington DC resounded with the cheerful sounds of angklung as 5,180 participants shook Indonesia’s authentic bamboo musical instrument, in a successful attempt to create the Guinness World Record for the Largest Angklung Ensemble. The historical moment was part of the Indonesia Festival in the USA, a cultural event organized by the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. in cooperation with various organizations aimed to promote the diverse Indonesian cultural traditions.
“This is what multiculturalism is all about,” Indonesian Ambassador to the US Dino Patti Djalal said referring to the theme of the Indonesia Festival - "Celebrating Multiculturalism" - and his decision to strive for the world record.
The ensemble drew together a total of 5180 participants, exceeding the initial target of 5.000, proving the high enthusiasm for Indonesian culture. Led by Daeng Udjo, the huge ensemble succeeded in beautifully playing “We are the World”, the renowned song written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.
Announcing the official entry, the adjudicator from the Guinness Book of Records said, “You’re unbelievable, and to think that you have never played the instrument before.”
Thousands of people responded to an invitation by the Indonesian Embassy in Washington to join in the world record breaking feat. The throng included Indonesians, Washingtonians, friends of Indonesia and a handful of tourists. The embassy had initially promised the Guinness World Records a 5,000-person turnout. There was a moment of hesitation when only 1,600 people registered online as of Friday. Many turned up on d-day without pre-registration.
Each participant was given an angklung representing one note. Each of the angklung instruments were given the name of one of Indonesia’s islands: Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, Lombok, Maluku, Flores, Papua, and Halmahera- which built up the scale of do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do-re (upscale)-mi (upscale).
Daeng Udjo,angklung maestro from Bandung’s Saung Angklung Udjo or Udjo’s house of Angklung, patiently helped the largely novice but most enthusiastic players in playing the bamboo instruments. He guided the participants with the movements of his hands, which indicated when it was their turn to shake the angklung. The ensemble of amateurs practiced with familiar Western tunes, including “Country Road”, to help build their confidence before going for the record.
As reward, each participant went home with the angklung, a batik scarf for women, a batik head band for men and a certificate from Guinness World Records and the Indonesian Embassy recognizing their part in setting the world record.
The day-long festival saw performances by famed 1980s duo Air Supply, rapper Raheem Davaughn, the Brazilian Batala percussion band and entertainers from Indonesia, including Sherina Munaf and Elfas Singers.
Foto Courtesy: thejakartapost.com
Copyright © 2014 Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia. All Rights Reserved