Indonesia is well known for its beautiful beaches but what is equally stunning is its unique traditions which have been carefully passed on through generations. This month, CNN’s new series ‘The Keepers’ looks at the efforts of those who are dedicated to preserving traditions of the Indonesian culture while also helping to define the country’s modern identity.
Highlights of the 30-minute special include:
The Puppet Master
Often described as the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, Indonesia was influenced by Buddhist and Hindu rulers for centuries. Aspects of all three faiths can be seen in the shadow puppet theatre. Performances depict Islamic legends, Hindu epics and local stories. The puppet master – known as the Dalang – is a role traditionally reserved for adult males, but recently, a number of young girls have taken on the role and have become favourites with audiences in Java.
The name Iwan Tirta is synonymous with batik. He is credited with starting the revival of the intricately designed fabric and he founded the popular brand Iwan Tirta Private Collection. Since Tirta’s death in 2010, fashion designer Era Soekamto has led the brand’s creative team. She oversees around 800 artisans who produce hand-drawn batik. In this segment, CNN looks at how Soekamto keeps people interested in learning this meticulous craft.
All About Sambal
Many Indonesians agree that sambal is a must. Still, the recipe for this hot sauce varies by region: it can be sweet, salty or sour – but it’s always spicy! The Ubud Food Festival is trying to raise the profile of Indonesian food on the world stage. This year, it will include a sambal cook-off. CNN meets chefs Jon Priadi and Janet DeNeefe to demystify delicious sambal and diverse Indonesian cuisine.
The Ramayana is an ancient Hindu poem that inspires art across Asia, from paintings to dance. Yogyakarta’s Prambanan Temple features carvings that tell this famous story. The director of the Prambanan Temple Ballet explains the characters in this epic before staging a beautiful moonlit performance.
Airtimes for 30-minute special: Hong Kong, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore and Taipei
Wednesday 31st May at 1730 HKT
Saturday 3rd June at 1000 and 1930 HKT
Sunday 4th June at 1330 HKT
The Keepers trailer: http://cnn.it/2rkbG6b
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