Saturday, August 13, 2016 was the last day the participants of UNS Cultural Course 2016 spent in Pentingsari village. After learning to plow the field, plant paddy, dance, and play the Gamelan on the first day, they had a lot more fun on the second day.
In the morning after breakfast, they gathered in a local people’s house. There they were taught to make two kinds of Javanese traditional handicraft, “Keris” and “Wayang Suket”. Keris was actually a sword-like weapon (only it had many indentations) used by ancient kings or other people with power in Java, and it was made of metal. However, what they made was only the imitation, made of young coconut leaves that people called “Janur”. This imitation was commonly used in a traditional wedding ceremonial as decoration. The second handicraft they made, “Wayang Suket”, was puppet made of a kind of grass named “Mendong”. Long time ago when technology hadn’t touched the land of Java, kids in villages had no toys but traditional ones made from nature, just like this puppet. Although the handicrafts were a bit difficult to make, they could finally finish both. Lin from China and Faris from Jordan seemed to give their best.
It was a fortune that although it was raining since the night, the rain stopped just before noon. With such a nice weather, they then went outdoor to enjoy the beauty of the village and visit several interesting places around the village: the House of Memory, Batu Alien, and Off-road River.
Pentingsari village was located in a region where an active volcano existed, Mt. Merapi. It was one of the largest mountains in Java. In the last decade, it had erupted twice, once in 2006 and the next one in 2011. To commemorate the tragedy caused by the eruptions, the survivors built a museum from the ruins of their houses and belongings that in fact became an interesting place for tourists. This was the House of Memory, the first place the participants of UNS Cultural Course 2016 visited.
Not only leaving such place, the eruptions also transported other materials to certain places that later brought benefits for the local people. The river became full of stones and sand which the local people used as building materials, and some points of the river was used for recreational site. One of them was the Off-road River. With some Jeeps, the participants of UNS Cultural Course explored the river.