Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pasar Kliling and Pasar Malam Rijswijk

Yesterday (5 November 2011) I attended the Pasar Malam Kliling, an annual celebration organized by the Javanese-Surinamese cultural association Stiching Manggar Megar, followed by the Pasar Malam Rijswijk. The former took place in a community hall in Den Haag, the latter in an expo centre in the adjacent town of Rijswijk.

The Pasar Kliling was essentially a community event with a focus on cultural acts of members and friends of the Surinamese Javanese community - we saw a Surabaya-born singer named Melani perform karaoke covers of popular Indonesian and Western songs, a cross-dressed belly dancer who brought out two remarkably big snakes and invited audience members on stage, street dance by girls of Javanese descent, jaipongan and a Balinese dance (Tari Tenun) performed (to CD) by two students of tradisi lisan who are spending 3 months in Leiden developing their PhD proposals, a fashion show of old Surinamese creole costumes, and a warrior dance (wireng) and bedaya performed to live gamelan accompaniment under the direction of Bp Suhardi Djojoprasetyo (pictured above). Surinamese food (ginger beer, bara, nasi and bami goreng, sate etc), Javanese DVDs and CDs, Hindu religious paraphernalia etc were for sale. At the entrance was a box where people could offer an optional monetary donation. I bought a recent DVD of Mantjes House Band- one of Suriname's best known Javanese pop bands from a Surinamese-Javanese vendor after consulting with him in low Javanese. (He thanked me for the purchase with a friendly 'kesuwun'.)

The Pasar Malam was more commercial in orientation. Entry was 8 Euros at the door. There were two podiums for performance, and perhaps 100 stands selling various wares and services (Buddha statues, Thai massages, wayang golek puppets) and the normal sorts of food one buys at pasar malam in the Netherlands (I had reasonably good es tape, pisang goreng and kelapa muda). The pasar was fairly quiet when I arrived (at 6pm or so) but the podium where a karaoke singer named Dewi Mass did poco-poco songs and Whitney Huston covers and a band called Band Marabunta was thronged by dancing spectators. I enjoyed chatting with a book vendor (from whom I purchased, among other items, Wajang Foxtrot, a beautiful catalogue of a 2011 exhibition in Rotterdam of sheet music covers from the Indies with an accompanying CD).

All in all, a nice day out.

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