15 imagesSumbanese gather in the center of the village at dusk and get prepared for delivering offerings to their ancestors in tombs of megalithic style. The mothers shout loudly as a call for the ancestors to come and join with them in the ritual. By the sun goes down, the village is illuminated by the lit of candles at the big tombs that widespread over the village. There is no electricity in the village, they use torch for lighting. One night before Pasola festival, the village becomes so clamorous. The entire family members are homecoming from expatriation. Sumba Island is a small and remote island located in the east side of Bali Island and North of Australia. In the early morning, before dawn, villagers in drove go to the shore near the village. They bring sieves, nets, buckets and anything they can use to catch the holy sea worms. The festival always begins with "nyale" or looking for sea worms that only appears once in a year. Rato or local shamans will read the "nyale" for the future fortune; if it is fat, long and colorful mean that in one year ahead, the harvest will be good and bring prosperity for the whole community. And this year reading result is a good fortune. The morning sunlight is caught by smoke at the entire village. Each house will hold a feast; slaughtering pigs, dogs, and chickens. They burn the animals to remove the bristles and feathers. The atmosphere of fiesta is so thick and bold. People are so enthusiastic. At the day of Pasola festival, Sumbanese men wear traditional colorful apparel; sarong, wraps and fabric coronal. They chant and they dance, stomping their feet, brandishes machetes as they ready for the war festivity. Cavalry divides into two big groups, and armed with blunted spears each. They provoke each other riding horse upfront and brandishes the spears. Spontaneously the crowd makes a circle. Supporters shout demanding one man to give a shot. Riding the horse gently; each party starts to attack each other. Then random fight happens in all over places. The game requires high skill of horse riding. They ride in bareback and in apace. A halter strap in one hand and spears in the other hand. An agile rider can duck from a flying spear, and the best rider even can catch the rival’s spear after throwing his own spear. Each game is ended by real fight, triggered by unfair play. At this moment, it is the police turn to take the game out. Warning shots spread all over the game field. The reconcilement is done by ritual, a feast and chewing betel nuts.
33 imagesIn Indonesia, most populous muslim country, transvestites get discriminated in many levels. Transvestites can not find jobs and their existence in the society regarded as outsiders. Only few can survive with entrepreneurship, else ended up into prostitution. The laws in Indonesia does not protect the transvestites people but it does not criminalised them too. Indonesia is predominately Muslim and Christian country, which are mostly conservative, influence the national laws making. The Laws only accommodate male and female genders. In case of sexual orientation and gender identity, most discrimination is aimed at transgender women. As reported by UNDP in collaboration with US-AID in 2014, no laws in Indonesia mentioning transvestite since they are recognised as male. In a small town, one hour ride from Surabaya second largest city in Indonesia, transvestites find their home, a place to express their feeling and get income at the same time. That place is Ludruk Karya Budaya, a traditional art form of folklore theatre community which telling javanese daily life stories with love and friendship theme. The art form emerged from working class and for working class. Uniquely, this group members are males and transvestites; no woman. In total fifteen transvestites join this folklore group. They all come from the neighbouring cities. At the early birth of this group in 1969, all the members are male. In a folklore drama that required woman characters, are played by male in woman appearance. Goes along with time, this role is played by transgender who emerged along with the pop culture in early 1980’s. Many of the transvestites play folklore theatre since they were still in junior high school. Yanti, who also run beauty salon business said that she played ludruk in junior high school and dressed as a girl after school. Even during school, she wore lipstick and grew hair. Ririn Agustine, one of the transvestite who joined the group in 2005 said that she will play in ludruk until the last breath. From the earning she got from ludruk, Ririn could bought paddy field, a house and jewellery from her job in traditional folklore theatre. She also sent her two sisters to school until they got married. The future seems promising for them. But this group is struggling so hard. TV invasion and online streaming has decreased the interest of the people for watching the folklore. Year by year the number of the hire declines. Ludruk Karya Budaya has to improvise to survive for the sake of many things.