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After withdrawing from mainstream art, puppetry troupe from Bellary gets set to perform in Indonesia

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Trust, a renowned puppetry troupe from Bellary is all set to bring laurels to the country by performing in Indonesia from May 24 to 31.

SA Krishnaiah of Udupi, a folk researcher scholar and a member of Central Sangeet Nataka Academy will be leading the troupe on the eight day journey to the Ramayana Puppets Festival in the neighbouring South-East nation.

After gradually withdrawing from the mainstream performing arts, many puppetry groups have turned towards the Indonesian art form called ‘Wayang Kulit’ (Shadow puppets in Indonesia), which resembles the art form of the Karnataka leather puppeteers.

The leather puppeteers of the Ramayana play of Belagallu Veeranna and his team are sponsored by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi and Sangeet Natak Academy. The state and central governments of India have bestowed various awards on ‘Nadoja’ Belagallu Veeranna.

Krishnaiah, the managing director of the entire puppetry show will manage the entire team of artists during the Indonesian tour.

“The nomadic tribal arts of shadow-puppet-play artiste from Ballari renowned as ‘Gomberama’, will interact with Indonesian Dalang (puppeteers) during their eight day trip to the Island nation”, Krishnaiah said.

Apart from managing the team, Krishnaiah will also perform as an artiste in various shows.The shows will be staged at various locations in the nation of Indonesia on different dates.

Mahalingam, BV Ramesh; BV Prakash, K Lingappa; Chilagod, artiste from Manukula Ashrama, BV Mallikarjuna; BV Hanumanta are some of the renowned artistes who will be a part of the tour.

Wayang Kulit is a shadow puppet theatre belonging to the famous Java islands. The epic story of Ramayana is conveyed by these puppets and is remembered during the time of Diwali in India.

Next Story

Indonesia Plans to Close Giant Lizard Island to The Public to Conserve Rare Reptiles

Syahputra works as a wildlife guide at Komodo National Park on the eastern Indonesian island of Komodo, taking visitors around the park

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Indonesia, Giant Lizard, Island
FILE - A Komodo dragon walks at the Komodo National Park in Komodo island, Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province. VOA

Almost every day 20-year-old Rizaldian Syahputra puts on his blue uniform, laces up his high boots and leaves his wooden house on stilts for a job many nature-lovers would envy. Giant Lizard

But by next year, he may no longer be employed.

Syahputra works as a wildlife guide at Komodo National Park on the eastern Indonesian island of Komodo, taking visitors around the park on foot to get up close to the leathery Komodo dragons, the world’s largest living lizard species.

The Indonesian government plans to close the island to the public from January next year in a bid to conserve the rare reptiles.

Indonesia, Giant Lizard, Island
Almost every day 20-year-old Rizaldian Syahputra puts on his blue uniform, laces up his high boots and leaves his wooden house on stilts. Pixabay

The scheme also involves moving about 2,000 villagers off the island. Authorities are holding talks with community leaders on how to relocate the residents, Josef Nae Soi, deputy governor of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, told Reuters recently.

It is hoped that closing the island to tourists will cut the risk of poaching and allow a recovery in the numbers of the animals’ preferred prey, such as deer, buffalo and wild boar.

The island could reopen after a year, but the plan is to make it a premium tourist destination, Soi said.

Syahputra, who says he enjoys his job because of his passion for nature and conservation, shares the fears of many others on the island who rely on tourism for a living.

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“The closure is definitely something that makes us unhappy,” he said.

“If we really have to do it, I hope we can find a middle ground on the solution, not closing the whole island but just a certain area.”

More than 176,000 tourists visited Komodo National Park, a conservation area between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, in 2018. The whole area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

About 1,700 Komodo dragons are estimated to live on Komodo island. Other islands in the national park that are home to more than 1,400 of the giant lizards, such as nearby Rinca and Padar, will remain open to tourists.

 

Indonesia, Giant Lizard, Island
The scheme also involves moving about 2,000 villagers off the island. LifetimeStock

Villagers who have lived on Komodo island for generations are unsurprisingly opposed to the idea of having to leave.

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“We have been living as one for years with this village,” said resident Dahlia, who gave only one name. “The graves of my father and ancestors are here. If we move, who will take care of those graves?” (VOA)