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INDONESIA | Sunday, 2 October 2011 | Views [1105]

Once upon a time there were two kings, Rama of Ayodia symbolizing good and Rahwana of Alengka symbolizing evil. Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Laksamana were living in a forest near Nandaka Mountain. One day they see a golden deer. Sita not knowing that the deer is actually an incarnation of Marica, the minister of Rahwana, wants Rama to catch it. Rama leaves his brother to protect Sita and goes after the deer. Sita believes that Rama’s life is in danger and convinces Laksamana to go and help him. Laksamana doesn’t want to leave Sita but in the end goes to find his brother. Sita now left alone is captured by Rahwana and carried to his kindom of Alengka.

Sita held as a prisoner gets depressed and thinks that maybe Rama has forgotten her when Hanoman the king of the monkeys comes on a mission from Rama bringing her a ring and telling her she will soon be rescued. Sita sends a golden flower to Rama with Hanoman.

Hanoman returns to Ayodia and gives his monkey army to Rama to help him to rescue Sita. Rama, Laksamana and the army go to Alengka but outside Rahwana’s palace Rahwana’s son shoots a magic arrow that becomes a snake that encircles Rama and Laksamana and they cannot move. Wisnu hears their prayers for help and sends Garuda to eat the snake.

Sugriwa, the chief general of the monkey army, leads the army to fight the Rahwana’s forces. They defeat Rahwana and Sita is rescued. They return to Ayodia in glory.

The story is taken from the great Ramayana epic which was written hundreds of years ago by Indian Hindu author, Bagawan Walmiki. The story is performed in traditional Balinese dance called Kecak. It’s performed by over one hundred dancers and singers and the music is unique to this dance because there are no musical instruments used. All the sounds are human voices and some hand clapping.

Tags: culture, kecak dance, tradition

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