Kids get cultural puppet hit

Pak Sumardi at St Anthony's primary school. Puppet show. Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Pak Sumardi at St Anthony's primary school. Puppet show. Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

FITS of giggles and laughter could be heard throughout Kingscliff yesterday as a Master Indonesian shadow puppeteer Pak Sumardi showed off his talent.

Students from St Anthony's Primary School enjoyed the shadow puppet presentation which was performed in a mix of English and Indonesian.

Pak Sumardi performed a 50 minute story for the keen youngsters.

Student Ella Tierney said she loved the show.

"It was really entertaining at parts," she said.

"And it was funny; the weird voices and stuff."

Classmate Fiona Laybutt said she also thought the show was great.

"It was really funny," she said.

"And it shows us what they do in Indonesia."

Indonesian teacher Pat Tierney said the show was excellent and an insight into Indonesian entertainment.

Pak Sumardi told the students he had studied his craft for a long time, in fact he had been studying since he was just 11-years-old.

"I studied puppets at high school for four years," he said.

"And to become a master I studied for four at university."

He also said it was a hard job playing so many characters because you had to be very alert and change your voice often.

There are only 36 practicing performers in Indonesia and Mr Sumardi has performed across Spain, Japan and Australia.

In Indonesia traditional Wayang Kulit performances can last up to nine hours, the puppeteer is not even allowed to use the bathroom at this time.

St Anthony's only started teaching Indonesian this year and Mr Tierney said the kids were really embracing it.

Topics:  kingscliff puppets st anthony's primary school

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