Indonesian Angklung Music
The English Conversation meeting on 16 October 2017 took us to the world of music, a truly universal language capable of bonding people together.
Mrs. Selly Mboe Pada, the spouse of the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indonesian Embassy, did exactly this bonding by bringing an ensemble of Indonesian musicians to her lovely home to present to us their traditional music originating from the Indonesian island of Java.
The performance was excellent and the response was enormous. Most of us were introduced to angklung music for the first time! To our delight, we were taught how to play music together with this traditional angklung music instrument consisting of seven tones. It is inspiring to see how engaged and enthusiastic the Indonesians are in preserving their cultural heritage of angklung music.
Cheerful and motivated, we talked about the music traditions from our countries. Some brought their music instruments while others showed pictures. Together, we listened to several pieces of music on YouTube.
Drums coming in different shapes and sizes are traditional music instruments in many countries like Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran and Singapore. String instruments are equally well known such as the dombra from Kazakhstan, the dutar from Turkmenistan, the oud and tambura from Iraq, Kuwait and Sudan, the rababa used by the Bedouins, the darbuka from Tunisia and the Chinese pipa. The indigenous people from the island of Mindanao in the Philippines play the kulintang music.
Germany is a land of classical music but folk music is also popular. Hungary has its famous gypsy music, and Björk is Iceland’s multi-talented singer.
After this interesting and creative dialogue between music culture and English conversations, Selly invited us to a reception with delicious home-made Indonesian specialities.
We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Selly and the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin for a great morning spent together.