A group of children joyfully line up in traditional Sundanese costume, welcoming all visitors as they walk into the green bamboo hall of Saung Angklung Udjo VillageinBandung, West Java. Simply translated as Udjo’s House of Angklung, this one-stop cultural workshop offers a complete experience around angklung, Indonesia’s traditional musical instrument made of bamboo. Angklung consists of one single note, creating a soothing chord. It produces sound when it is shaken rapidly. An ensemble may consist of 3 or 4 players to a full orchestra playing the angklung repertoire.
Established in 1966 by the late Udjo Nalagena (1929-2001) and his beloved wife, Uum Sumiyati, Saung Angklung Udjo was built with purpose and dedication to conserve West Java’s Sundanese traditional art and culture. It was Udjo Nalagena who brought the passion and principles which made Saung Angklung Udjo a place where Sundanese art and culture thrive and gained proper respect worldwide. His efforts to introduce and promote angklung finally paid off when UNESCO inscribed Angklung in the Intangible Cultural Heritage List in November 2010. His love and dedication for Sundanese art is manifested in this beautiful and tranquil complex, consisting of performance hall, a bamboo handicraft center, and bamboo instrument workshop.
Saung Angklung Udjo adopts the philosophy of easy, affordable, educative, attractive, massive, and cheerful performances that are essence of their ultimate show called “Kaulinan Urang Lembur”or villagers’ playtime. The show is packed with spectacular short performances, commencing with wayang golek (wooden puppet) show, helaran (agricultural harvesting celebration) rites, traditional dances, kids games, introduction to angklung, angklung orchestral performance, interactive angklung performance that involves visitors playing angklung, and arumba performance.
As the show comes to a close, the performing children invite visitors to join them in a group dance and games, making everyone feeling as if they are stepping back in time to their own childhood. The show then closes with cheerfulness and happy laughter. Ever since the beginning of the project, happy and dynamic performances done by local children have become the spirit of this unique place.
Saung Angklung Udjo also dedicates itself to the conservation and preservation of the natural environment. As a form of environmental responsibility, Saung Angklung Udjo cooperates with the Ministry of Forestry, getting involved in the ‘Indonesia Planting’ Campaign, known as Kampanye Indonesia Menanam, and created the Forestry Counseling Centre. Together, they run the “One Man, One Tree” program, educating visitors about the importance of planting trees and giving them the chance to participate in the program. This symbolizes the close relationship between culture and nature, as one cannot separate angklung from bamboo.
Located in the bustling eastern part of Bandung, Saung Angklung Udjo attempts to manifest beautiful harmony of vibrating bamboos that echo from this simple amphitheatre all the way to the other side of the world. It spreads the values of simplicity, co-operation, unity and togetherness, as well as maintaining mutual relationship between human and the environment. It teaches visitors the true meaning of conservation for both the cultural and natural environment through simple and enjoyable ways, namely by playing angklung and planting trees.
Saung Angklung Udjo
Jln. Padasuka 118, Bandung 40192 West Java – INDONESIA
Located not too far from the city central, it’s not difficult to get something to eat around Saung Angklung Udjo. Explore the wide variety of Bandung and Sundanese cuisine.
Complete your experience of a trip to Saung Angklung Udjo by bringing home souvenirs. The souvenir shop at Saung Angklung Udjo offers a huge selection of fine crafted goods and artworks, which came in many shapes and sizes and in authentic traditional Sundanese style.
Refresh your working atmosphere by trying bamboo-based stationeries, and make it environmentally friendly, or, for one of a kind wedding, try the unique selection of bamboo wedding gifts. For the complete experience, you can bring home a miniature angklung set, or other types of bamboo instruments. Wayang golek (wooden puppet) and other traditional Sundanese artworks are also available for you to choose. There’s nothing like bringing home a piece of Sunda as a reminder of your time spent here.
Bandung has a variety of accommodation options scattered throughout the city, from luxurious hotels to modest inns. On the weekend, these hotels are filled up with the Jakartans trying to escape the capital, so make sure that you book in advance.
Saung Angklung Udjo offers many activities and spectacles, from the afternoon bamboo musical show to the interactive angklung workshop. Here are some of the attractions you can enjoy, while you spend your time at Saung Angklung Udjo :
Bamboo Musical Show
The show is packed with a number of spectacular short performances, including: Wayang Golek demonstrations, Helaran procession, Traditional Dances, ‘Angklung for Beginner’, an Angklung orchestra, Interactive Angklung to Arumba. At the end of the show, visitors are invited to dance along with the children. The show has an intense Sundanese atmosphere. The afternoon show is a series of performances with a concept originated by the late Udjo Ngalagena called Kaulinan Urang Lembur (Villagers’ Playtime).
Half day at Saung Angklung Udjo
Aiming at students from kindergarten to senior high as partakers, the show is to encounter the Sundanese culture at first hand.
Start the day with circling around Saung Angklung Udjo cultural complex and getting to know the story of the complex from its beginning to recent days, followed by the angklung production workshop, where you can learn how to make angklung assisted by talented bamboo craftsmen.
Next, visitors can watch the main bamboo show Kaulinan Urang Lembur at the Bale Karesmen, (performance venue). In the early afternoon, all participants will have the chance to taste traditional Sundanese cuisine in a pleasant backyard. At the end of the program, everyone writes down his or her wonderful experience at Udjo’s.
Saung Angklung Udjo Workshop
Through this program, participants have the opportunity to make their own angklung and play it at the bamboo show Kaulinan Urang Lembur as part of the performance. It is also taken home as souvenir.
From Jakarta, By Bus
If you prefer to use bus from Jakarta, you can use bus providers that cooperate with Saung Angklung Udjo.
From Jakarta, By Shuttle Bus or Travel
From Jakarta, you can also use shuttle bus or travel agents that have worked with Saung Angklung Udjo.
In Bandung, By Taxi
After arriving in Bandung, taxi is the best mean of transportation to get to Saung Angklung Udjo, since it provides comfort and speed to reach the destination. Here is a list of taxi services you can use and contact:
In Bandung, By “Angkot”(Public Transportation)
If you wish to be a bit adventurous and try to experience the local way of getting around, you can try Angkot. These colorful public transportations came in various route and destination, and most likely to be found in every major street. You might have to change course two or three times before you get to Saung Angklung Udjo, depending on where you are. If you choose Angkot, you will take the one heading to Padasuka or Cicaheum Terminal.
Before you make the trip, contact the management of Saung Angklung Udjo to book and prepare your visit. Make sure you take your camera or camcorder with enough space on your compact flash or DV cassette and remember to charge the batteries, for the sight you’re about to see is truly worth capturing. Do not hesitate to ask for information and quench your curiosity, for they will gladly answer any question that you might have.