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Indonesian porn law turns off folk dancers

Gyrating her hips to traditional gamelan gamelan

Indigenous orchestra of Java and Bali and, more generally, of Indonesia and Malaysia. A gamelan usually consists largely of gongs, xylophones, and metallophones (rows of tuned metal bars struck with a mallet). Gamelan polyphony is complex and many-voiced.
 music on a makeshift village stage, Indonesian folk dancer Sri Wulandari ignores the leers and wolf whistles of the drunk men below as she plucks grimy grim·y  
adj. grim·i·er, grim·i·est
Covered or smudged with grime. See Synonyms at dirty.



grimi·ly adv.
 rupiah ru·pi·ah  
n. pl. rupiah
See Table at currency.



[Hindi rupay, rupiy
 notes from their outstretched out·stretch  
tr.v. out·stretched, out·stretch·ing, out·stretch·es
To stretch out; extend.


outstretched
Adjective
 hands.

Her nightly routines rage into the wee hours in villages across West Java province but the 30-year-old dancer said the excited punters respected the golden rule of "look but don't touch."

"The men say naughty things and ask me to marry them but I'm a professional dancer, not a prostitute. Dancing jaipong is not a dirty job," she said.

The jaipong dance is one of several Indonesian art forms in the sights of social and religious conservatives after parliament passed a controversial anti-porn law in December.

West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan raised hackles hackles

the hairs over the neck and back that are elevated by arrector pili muscles in response to fright or anger. A mechanism to threaten opponents, perhaps by appearing larger.
 when he warned dancers -- who perform mainly at official ceremonies and cultural festivals -- to tone down their provocative moves and hide their underarms to comply with the law.

But while artists, audiences and civil society groups are appalled at such comments, Islamic parties trying to boost their popularity ratings ahead of April general elections have championed the anti-porn campaign.

"The dance shouldn't be too erotic," said Tifatul Sembiring, a senior leader of the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS; Indonesian: Partai Keadilan Sejahtera) is a political party in Indonesia. The party calls for a greater role for Islam in public life. PKS is currently led by Tifatul Sembiring. .

"It's true that in the 80s the jaipong dancers danced on tables in seedy places. Even now you can see them wearing tight clothes dancing at roadside bars," he told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .

"The worry is that once the anti-porn bill is fully implemented, the dance may be banned because it's too erotic."

Outraged and insulted, professional dance groups have called on Indonesians to teach the self-appointed guardians of morality a lesson at the ballot box come April.

"What are they talking about? The dancers are all covered up in long-sleeved traditional kebayas, not sexy tubes," said Mas Nanu Muda of the Jaipong Care Community, representing 20 dance groups.

"The dance is fast and energetic... If dancers limit their moves and do everything in slow-motion, wouldn't they appear lewd instead?" he asked, swivelling his hips in a slow, exaggerated manner to illustrate his point.

The West Java dancers are not alone in their battle against the anti-porn law.

From animist an·i·mism  
n.
1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.

2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that are separable or separate from bodies.

3.
 Papuan highlanders wanting to protect their right to wear "koteka" gourds on their penises, to Hindu Balinese opera dancers worried about their shoulder-showing outfits, and Christian Minahasa people from North Sulawesi North Sulawesi (Indonesian: Sulawesi Utara) is a province of Indonesia. It is on the island of Sulawesi, and borders the province of Gorontalo to the west (originally a part of North Sulawesi until 2001 when it became its own province).  fearing an intrusion of Islamic values -- many people across Indonesia's cultural and religious melting pot melting pot

America as the home of many races and cultures. [Am. Pop. Culture: Misc.]

See : America
 want the law scrapped.

Even the sultan of Yogyakarta has declared his opposition.

"The leader of our nation must be able to build tolerance between the citizens so they live side by side in peace. For me, this cannot be negotiated," Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, a candidate for presidential elections in July, told foreign journalists.

The anti-porn law was "the most terrible thing in the process of building our nation," he said.

The law criminalises all works and "bodily movements" including music and poetry that could be deemed obscene and capable of violating public morality, and offers heavy penalties.

The Constitutional Court threw out a petition against the law by the Minahasa people in February, but the ruling was based on a technicality and the Christian plaintiffs are expected to try again.

Wulandari said politicians should keep their noses out of art and repeal the law immediately.

"Just kill it. The jaipong dance reflects our culture and there's nothing pornographic about it," she told AFP in the home of her choreographer in Bandung, south of Jakarta.

"I'm angry at officials who misuse the law to attack us and our art."

Created by Sundanese artist Gugum Gumbira in the 1960s, Jaipong is a mix of older forms of community folk dances and the Indonesian martial art of pencak silat.

To untrained eyes, it combines the graceful arm and hand movements of Thai classical dance with hip gyrations reminiscent of Turkish belly dancing. It is not meant to be sexy, and the dancer's full-length kebayas reveal little.

"It's a popular dance performed at prestigious events in hotels and malls. Even children are taking lessons," said Bandung tourism and culture chief Askary, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

"Without shaking and gyrating, you can't call it jaipong. I don't consider it erotic, titillating tit·il·late  
v. tit·il·lat·ed, tit·il·lat·ing, tit·il·lates

v.tr.
1. To stimulate by touching lightly; tickle.

2. To excite (another) pleasurably, superficially or erotically.
 or lustful lust·ful  
adj.
Excited or driven by lust.



lustful·ly adv.

lust
. That's all in the mind. If people want to think of something as erotic, it will be erotic," he added.

Yusoff Hamdani, a teacher of Islamic studies, said jaipong was "a good form of exercise" for young girls -- including his five-year-old daughter.

"It's not just about understanding and preserving culture. My daughter used to be sick all the time but has become fitter after taking jaipong lessons," he said outside a school in Bandung.

"I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 why anyone would view the dance so negatively."
Copyright 2009 AFP Asian Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Mar 9, 2009
Words:804
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