Community Networks Stories: Creating songs with children in an Indonesian indigenous village

As part of the “Connecting the Unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives” project, 12 community network organisations (four in Africa, four in Asia and four in Latin America) were selected and granted funding towards activities that create and foster a peer learning community. Over the coming weeks we will be sharing stories from the members of this peer community about local impacts of the work they carried out with the help of this funding. Today, we are featuring a story that was shared with us by Common Room in Indonesia.

As part of the digital storytelling workshops held with residents of Kampung Kasepuhan Ciptagelar, Indonesia, Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayuputri also facilitated music and songwriting workshops with the local children. This activity was intended to improve the ability of the children to express themselves and speak through music in a simple way.

For several days, children were involved in composing songs that reflect their daily life in Kampung Kasepuhan Ciptagelar. A song which was created from this particular activity was given with the title "Sakola Adat" or Customary School. The lyrics of this song were written by Aki Dai, a local traditional bamboo music artist (angklung buhun) who is also part of the customary artists (juru tatabeuhan) who often accompany ritual activities using angklung and bamboo percussion (dogdog) along with the traditional music group named Ciung Wulung.

This particular song tells about how children learn in the milieu of indigenous peoples in order to maintain ancestral values ​​and uphold the customs and culture of the local community.

The lyrics of the song created, along with a loose translation into English, are as follows:
 

 Sakola Adat 

 Yu batur masing jalujur 

 Hirup ulah rek takabur 

 Sakola paluhur luhur 

 Cekel amanat luluhur 

 Sakolah jaman ayeuna 

 Kuresep kabina bina

 Kusabab loba guruna 

 Daratang timana-mana

 Sakola di Ciptagelar

 Matak sumanget diajar

 Da guru loba nu anyar

 Anu arek ngadon ngajar. 

Customary School

Come on my friend, let's be honest

Live our life and don’t be arrogant

Going for school and look for higher status

It is better to hold to your ancestral values

Going to school today

That is fun and full of joy

We have a lot of teachers

They come from everywhere

Going to school in Ciptagelar

It makes a strong passion to learn

We have some new teachers

Who shared a strong interest to teach.

 

Now that the residents of Kampung Kasepuhan Ciptagelar are connected to the internet through the community network infrastructure that Common Room helped set up in 2019, they are not only able to preserve their traditional knowledge and culture through digital storytelling, but can also share it with the world. Enjoy!

Yayasan Mitra Ruang Kolektif – also known as Common Room Networks Foundation (Common Room) – is an open platform for creativity and innovation, which was registered as a non-profit organisation in 2006. Common Room is committed to maintaining a space for freedom of expression and civic empowerment that utilises art, culture and ICT/media tools. Starting in 2013, Common Room has also been actively engaged in a collaborative effort with the Kasepuhan Cipatagelar indigenous community to develop urban and rural collaboration platforms that nurture creativity, innovation and social entrepreneurship in both local and international contexts.
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