(Diterbitkan di www.thejakartapost.com tanggal 3 Agustus 2017)
Delanggu in Klaten regency, Central Java, is famous for its “Rojo Lele” variety of rice. With a total 69 hectares of rice fields out of the district’s total of of 137,125 hectares, Delanggu has been dubbed a barn of the province.
However, in recent years, only 60 farmers have lived in the village and now most of them are in their old age.
This fact bothers Eksan Hartanto, one of the villagers in Delanggu.
He has worked with Gora Swara Nusantara Klaten artists to create a dance inspired by Dewi Sri, whom the Javanese believe is the goddess of rice, which was performed at the cultural event themed “Mbok Sri Mulih” (the return of goddess Sri).
Together they turned the paddy field into a stage with art installations made from bamboo and straw.
On July 22 and 23, 2017, they invited local dance troupes from the nearby regencies to take part in the event.
The surviving farmers hoped that by holding the event, people would be encouraged to help them farm organically without using chemical substances so that they could harmonize their lives with Mother Nature. [yan]
Rice stems, grown with organic fertilizer, are hung on bamboo poles. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)
Men carry a lesung (mortar), which women hit to create rhythms during the Gejog Lesung performance. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)
A man walks past the rice stems hung on bamboo poles. Delanggu is famous for its Rojolele rice variety. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)
Several boys from the Sayuk Rukun Tibayan community in Klaten, Central Java, sit while waiting for their turn to perform the Tandur (to grow) dance. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)
Three boys laugh while shooing sparrows with “memedi sawah” (a scarecrow). (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)