Jakarta, IO – As part of the Helatari Festival, Komunitas Salihara on Friday (2/6) presents a play titled “Budi Playing Boal”, choreographed by Yogyakarta-based Megatruh Banyu Mili to criticize the conformity observed in Indonesian education scene.
In one of the scenes, two elementary school students named Putri and Budi sit obediently side by side and are always taught to smile. Meanwhile another kid looks engrossed in drawing a picture of two mountains with a stretch of rice fields and the sun shining in the middle.
A faint dialogue could be heard: “Why does the color of the sky has to be blue? Why not white or pink, as it looks like at the sunset? No! It has to be blue or the teacher will scold me later.”
The next scene shows three students fighting over a microphone in an attempt to show that they are the worthy one to be heard. A contemplative question ensued: “Why does our uniform have to be white on top and red on bottom? And why do our shoes also have to be black? This is the rule, it’s mandatory!”
Through the performance, Megatruh said he seeks to depict his own experience in Indonesian education system through the elementary, middle and higher education institutions, where conformity seems commonplace but no one seems to realize the negative impact it has on the creativity of the student.
“In elementary school we are indoctrinated to learn to read of a character named Budi. Here it seems that Budi synonymous with good student, while those who are not good are called by their own names. You can see, everyone has to be Budi and this carries over to the larger environment. This may sound trivial, but can be traumatic. The children are terrorized, scared and become ignorant,” noted Megatruh.
Since 2018, Megatruh has observed the education world, from formal school to family. He sees a commonality in which a figure of authority imposing forcing students to conform to a set of norms.
“Education is made a game for those in power like a ball,” he said, referring to the “famous” (or rather infamous) sentence in every school textbook “Budi bermain bola” (Budi is playing football).
The festival is held from June 3-25. Besides Megatruh, it will also features two other choreographers Annastasya Verrina and Wayan Sumahardika. They will try to push the boundaries of norms that still seem like a gray area in society.
Interested audience can buy a five-show pass for Rp300,000. For those who want to buy separately, the prices are Rp75,000 for general audience and Rp50,000 for students. Tickets can be bought via tiket.salihara.org. (rr)