Enmeshing Heritage to Urban Consciousness
Our ancient roote comes aknocking once in a while, knape kita tak heed?
Bukan saje Mak Yong, but it infamous also sisters in arts the likes of Main Puteri, Wayang Kulit, Menora and etc ..ermm..rebana ubi anyone?
I was piqued by Norzizi, the acclaimed artist and distinguished practicing academician now, on her bold efforts to reintroduce Mak Yong, in a genre crossing presentation. Fresh, renewed and connected. Not confused ..
Whereas I can boldly claim that, I have not really watched a full fledged Mak Yong in my life, maybe snippets or previews here and there. One could say, I almost, almost didn’t give a damn to these UNESCO heralded heritages and all.
I was curious, always curious. Blame it on my laziness, but blame more on my upbringing. Nak cakap urbennn la konon ..tak ke mana pun ..
Curiously, on mother’s side, from her mom’s, there were a few artists in her family tree. A grandpa who donated a sum of wayang kulit articles to Muzium Negara allegedly. Then there was the great uncle, who was known as the sentimental flute player ..serunai? Not clarinet right? ..
But, as I can be sure to testify, x adelah masa kechik, when I was loaned to my mom to go ober her sideof the family, berbondong2 berarak nak pi tengok these cultural performances. Not evan an utterance to reminisce, it seems ..
So, as you can see, these ‘arts’, or historical arts, are almost alien to me ..
But a Main Puteri mock performance held in the urban enclosure of the rich and famous, so called, in the arears of Duta …hint2 ..left an uncomfortable after taste in my mouth, in my psyche after watching it ..
Yeah, it was ..a simulation, I get it..for urbanites, for tourists ..but still ..what really ..made me kinda lost it, ..I left ..just a mere bit before the emcee declares go home, adieu ..was that to wrap it up, a ronggeng quickly ensued the Main Puteri. It seems to me, this dancing addition, harmless I know to many man extent, but to me, overstretching it ..it’s almost debauchery, defiling what’s left of the sacred ritual, if there was any left of it ..
X tau la, ..what I know is thay, the royal houses has stopped being a patron of these sorts of arts for quite some time, it was left unsupervised, it’s okay really..if its to be embraced by the people ..cumenya …
My ancestor mmerintah just 21 years je, although their ancestors before as we would like to claim to be descended from, have ruled, far and wide. Still, in the matter of localised arts ..what made the ban a banal order or existence..
I kinda, probably understood why ..in a wee bit, unscholarly way perhaps ..a feeling ..
So, back to Mak Yong ..what I am curious about it as really the stories. For me, the stage of Mak Yong is just an old form of performance. Now we have spectacularstage crafts ..then the movies and so on. The realm of performance arts has evoled. But the stories, need not be chopped and discarded ..
It is in the stories ..
Who knew who was this Dewa Muda really, is it just one, or multiple characters through out the ages. Is it just the Maharaja Jawaka ..someone along the line from Demang Lebar Daun, ancestor of CSWK and my clan, the Jembals, and others too..hehe
So, the stories, I want to know. I read more Percy Jackson’s stuffs because it is readily available. I wish the stories from the performing arts could really be more accessible to someone like me, available in bm and english ..dah ada I know, scattered and lazy me..x nak nak gi cari ..
Those stories, I bet, more engaging than mere Puteri Gunung Ledang permutations of performances through out the years. Malah maybe rivalling LOTR ..hey, bukankah JRR Tolkien oun katenya amik inspirasi dari journal seorang pengembara Belanda, tentang stories he Collected in the SEA, where Indonesian claims that it is their, mcm excluding Malaysia je ..
Samalah, Indian claim the worlds that Ramayana and Mahabharata is theirs and tneirs alone..the question is yeke ..sebab in this subject, there are some nary researchers yg claim since Atlantis or Mu might most probably be in this region, what hinders those ancient stories also if most, or bits, or all of ot happening in the region ..
Terfikir that memang ada gunung nama Muria kat Indon tau..kan dlm LOTTR ada Moria of sorts of place ..
For us Malaysians, yd th ancient relics stolen, bangunan purba dihancur punahkan, in the name of building a new experimental nation called Malaysia by the upper hand power at the time, the Brits and whatnots ..kita seakan arse there must be something more than this ..
So, bila Norzizi claims that she makes Shakespearean Mak Yong envogue, which is super, but at the same time ada rase kelat tertinggal di umumg halkum ..what to do..we live the realities of it all ..org kate kena selow2 ..x lah nak shove into poeple’s throats in one go..erk ..nothing wring in challenging norms, tp ..for me, my slefish cry is..where is our stories ..
Its just that ..stories yg hilang ..
..and these stories are my identity ..I think, it makes me who I am. The missing pieces of the so called puzzle if there was one. Not because I dok syiok sendiri mmanjang rase I ade some old aristocratic blood in me , erk..maybe ..tp, its also for our future gen kan …gittewh ..
Jadi, sape salah ..Norzizi x salah ..Ah Chong dan Muthu salah? Abu yg salah?
Pix credit to Dani Ives, ThisisColassal.com