Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the Philippines will be hosting a miniconcert, Bamboo Harmony: Angklung Music and Indonesian Dance, on 23 August 2018, 10 am to 1:00 pm, UP Asian Center, QC. The miniconcert is free and open to the public, but seating is first-come, first-served. Interested participants are requested to sign up:


“Angklung is an Indonesian musical instrument consisting of two to four bamboo tubes suspended in a bamboo frame, bound with rattan cords….Each Angklung produces a single note or chord, so several players must collaborate in order to play melodies…” (UNESCO n.d.)


The Angklung figures prominently in traditional Indonesian art and culture. Angkung performances are conducting during harvest season and various social occasions such as “circumcisions, parades, cultural diplomacy efforts, entertainment, and… music education” (Hynson 2011). Angklung came from West Java and was “developed amongst the Sundanese-speaking people.” It was “first used in agrarian cultures during rituals to honor the rice goddess,…. Dewi Sri” (Hynson 2011).


According to UNESCO (n.d.), “playing promotes cooperation and mutual respect among the players, along with discipline, responsibility, concentration, development of imagination and memory, as well as artistic and musical feelings.”


The concert will feature traditional Indonesian dances: the Saman, Jaipongan and Merak. Saman is a dance of the Gayo people from Aceh. It features “colorful Gayo motifs” on the black costume (worn by the dancers) symbolizing “nature and noble values” (UNESCO n.d.). Jaipong, from the Sundanese in West Java, incorporates “movements from pencac silat, a performative martial art” (Williams 2016). Merak, also from West Java, is a “female dance” which imitates the “beautiful movements of a peacock” (Saung Budaya).

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.