[Travel] Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall – Bangkok

Bangkok, 05 Maret 2010

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, “Gedung Putih” ala Bangkok ini sangat mencolok keberadaannya karena bergaya arsitektur Eropa klasik di tengah-tengah kota Bangkok dengan arsitektur khasnya yang berwarna krem ato kuning.

Terletak di ujung jalan utama kota Bangkok, dari kejauhan tampak patung Raja Thailand V yang sedang menunggangi kuda, seolah-olah menyambut kedatangan para tamu yang hendak berkunjung ke gedung ini.

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Oya, berdasarkan cerita Ajahn Apaporn (guru bahasa Thai-ku), gedung ini dibangun pada zaman pemerintahan Raja Rama V (awal abad 20, tahun 1900-an). Sepulangnya beliau dari perjalanan ke Eropa, beliau memerintahkan untuk membangun gedung ini dengan maksud menunjukkan pada dunia barat bahwa Thailand tidak kalah hebat dengan Eropa. Akan tetapi, beliau meninggal terlebih dahulu sebelum gedung ini selesai dibangun.

Gedung Ananta Samakhom yang dikelola oleh Queen Sirikit Foundation ini, sekarang berfungsi sebagai museum yang berisi koleksi keluarga kerajaan, berupa hadiah-hadiah ulang tahun mewah nan bernilai seni tinggi. Koleksi ini diberikan oleh berbagai pusat kerajinan yang ada di Thailand (kerajinan logam, ukir, lukis, dll) yang turut mendorong perekonomian masyarakat lokal Thailand.

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Untuk masuk ke museum ini, kita harus menebus tiket seharga 150 Baht per orang untuk orang asing (1 Baht = Rp 300,-). Kata Ajahn-ku, klo orang asli Thailand bisa gratis masuk ke sini, tapi dengan persyaratan tertentu. Ada peraturan khusus dalam hal berpakaian. Diharapkan pengunjung memakai pakaian rapi (no jeans, no mini skirt, no sandal jepit).

Khususnya bagi wanita, pakaian bagian atas harus menutupi lengan dan dada, serta rok berada di bawah lutut. Apabila sudah terlanjur memakai pakaian yang tidak sesuai syarat, biasanya sebelum masuk gedung akan ada bagian peminjaman kain scarf dan “sarong” (semacam sarung). Begitu pula dengan prianya, pakaian diharapkan rapi dan tidak memakai topi saat masuk ke dalam gedungnya. Yang perlu diingat juga, pakailah sepatu atau sandal yang menutupi kaki. Hal ini dimaksudkan untuk menjaga kesopanan dalam berpakaian (intine kayak protokoler kalo mau ke istana kepresidenan).

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En then, arsitektur dan desain interior gedung ini sungguh mencengangkan! Serasa di Eropa beneran :D. Aye jadi ngrasa kayak putri raja di cerita-cerita dongeng yang hendak menghadiri pesta dansa. he..he…

Berhubung penjagaan keamanan cukup ketat, kita tidak diperkenankan membawa kamera ataupun segala alat perekam lainnya ke dalam gedung. Barang-barang seperti tas akan dititipkan di loker sebelum pintu masuk. So, maapkan daku tidak bisa menampakkan gambar sisi dalam gedung.

Lanjut lagi…. Penjelasan mengenai segala karya seni yang ada di dalam gedung ini, digunakan media interaktif ber-headset. Jadinya cool abis deh…Tinggal tekan tombol angka sesuai dengan nomor yang tertera di koleksi museum. Dan beberapa saat kemudian, akan terdengar suara mas-mas atau mbak-mbak yang akan menjelaskan keterangan menganai koleksi yang dimaksud. Oya, ada pilihan berbagai macam bahasa, namun sayangnya bahasa Indonesia tak ada. he..he…

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Berikut ini penjelasan yang ada di tautan lain.

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

The centerpiece of Bangkok’s own Champs D’Elysee, this impressive two-storey white marble palace sits at the end of Dusit’s long, wide Royal Plaza, a leafy ceremonial boulevard that’s often the focus of regal pomp and ceremony during royal celebrations. Ordered by King Rama V in 1907 and finished in the reign of King Rama VI, its neo-classical Renaissance architecture – particularly its central dome – dominate the scene just as Italian architects Mario Tamango and Annibale Rigotti intended. Following the 1932 coup it housed the first Thai parliament, but today its ornate interiors serve as a prestigious locale in which to court visiting dignitaries, hold state council meetings and royal occasions.

Inside is a stunningly beautiful central dome, under which the Royal Throne sits. Lining it and each of the six other domes’ walls are frescoes depicting Chakri Dynasty monarchs (painted by Galileo Chini). The long hall on the upper floor is embellished with embossed roman and floral patterns showing Renaissance and Baroque arts. Outside, visitors can find impressive views both from the large paved plaza in front of it (site of the annual Tropping of the Color in December, the Red Cross Fair in late March, as well as the King Rama V statue) or the trim gardens adjoining it with Vimanmek Mansion. On Children’s Day, in the second week of January each year, the grounds and interiors are more fully open to the public.

[Travel] Koh Samet – Thailand

Berikut adalah short story tentang field trip dari kegiatan AsTW 2010 (ASEAN in Today’s World) yang kuikuti pada Februari 2010 lalu di MUIC, Thailand.

Sebelum kegiatan AsTW 2010 resmi berjalan, pihak panitia mengajak semua peserta untuk bertamasya (^__^) ke sebuah pulau tropis yang letaknya di Laut China Selatan. Tur ini dimaksudkan agar ke 52 peserta yang berasal dari berbagai negara ASEAN + Asia ini, bisa mengenal satu sama lain.

Koh Samed atau Samet Island yang termasuk ke dalam wilayah Rayong Province (sebelah timur Bangkok), merupakan sebuah resort island / pulau wisata, dengan pantai yang sangat indah dan bersih. Perjalanan menuju tempat ini cukup memakan waktu, dimulai dengan perjalanan darat menuju pelabuhan dekat Pattaya (memakan waktu kurang lebih 3 jam dari Bangkok), kemudian dilanjutkan dengan naik speed boat menuju kapal yang berukuran lebih besar selama 10 menit. Lanjut lagi dengan naik kapal “yang sebenarnya” selama 1 jam 40 menit menuju Pulau Samed. Jadi, bagi teman2 yang mudah mabuk laut, siapkan selalu obat anti maboknya ya :D!

Pulau ini ndak terlalu besar, namun sangat eksotis karena pantai dan pemandangan Laut China Selatan yang OK punya. Oleh karenanya, kelelahan dalam perjalanan panjang sebelumnya, langsung terbayar dengan sambutan hamparan pasir putih,birunya langit, dan jernihnya air laut. Kombinasi warna alami yang begitu memuka ! Hal ini membuatku semakin memuji ciptaan-NYA.

Mungkin di Indonesia tercinta masih ada pantai-pantai cantik yang ndak kalah indahnya dengan pantai yang ada di Koh Samet ini. Sayangnya aku belum pernah berkesempatan untuk mengunjunginya (Bunaken dan Raja Ampat!!). Semoga suatu saat nanti bisa tercapai….. Aamiin :D!

Informasi lebih lanjut tentang Pulau Samet atau Koh Samed bisa dilihat di tautan INI.

Essay : Why I want to join AsTW 2010

Berikut ini adalah esai yang kutulis dalam rangka memenuhi salah satu persyaratan aplikasi ASEAN in Today’s World 2010 yang diselenggarakan atas kerjasama antara Mahidol University International College (Salaya – Thailand) dan Kyushu University (Fukuoka – Japan). Kegiatan ini telah dilaksanakan pada 26 Februari – 14 Maret 2010 yang lalu… Semoga bisa memberikan gambaran dalam menulis esai untuk aplikasi beasiswa atau kegiatan sejenis :D! (maap kalo banyak grammar yang salah. ha..ha..)

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Essay : Why I want to join AsTW 2010

By: Retno Widyastuti

Since the time I read the announcement of this program, I’m highly motivated to join ASEAN in Today’s World, because it supports the process of integration and the creation of mutual understanding among the people from many nations, especially between ASEAN people and Japan.

If we looking back to the history, in 1977 Prime Minister Fukuda announced three major concerns on the relations between ASEAN and Japan, which is called as ‘Fukuda Doctrine’. It mentioned ; 1) the commitment to peace, and rejection of military power; 2) Consolidation of mutual confidence with Southeast Asia based on ‘heart-to-heart’? understanding, covering political, economic, and social and cultural areas; 3) Partnership with ASEAN, supporting ASEAN solidarity and resilience, and mutual understanding with nations of Indochina. Since then, the relations between Japan and Southeast Asian countries keep on developing. The most interesting point for me is the ‘heart to heart understanding’. It means that ‘soft’? approach is being used for building up the relations among nations, through the support for cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

In my opinion, the AsTW can give many advantages, which can help the participant to enhance their experience about cross cultural studies. Then, it also trains them to face the reality of life about the world’s diversity, learn the leadership values, conflict and resolution, teamwork, and also social interaction and communication among nations. I believe that the more experience’s of human have, the more they can grow their maturity to solve many problems in their life. Knowing this fact, I want to be the part of this precious event and contribute something to my society in Indonesia (specifically) and also ASEAN region and the world (generally).

My educational background in undergraduate degree was International Relations (IR). I have very high interest on how international people relate each other through many kinds of interaction, communication and cooperation in the term of social, political, economical, cultures, education, etc. Furthermore, in this globalization era, the international relations not only dominated by the state, but already spread in grass-root level. So, this is the chance for a common people, like me, can do an international contribution through people to people relations.

I have short term and long term goal for joining AsTW. For the short term goal, I want to learn as much as possible and build up international networks. As for my long term goal, I want to be a lecturer in International Relations major. I hope that in the future my experience can be useful for my students. Of course, to be a good lecturer, I have to increase my quality. Not only on the knowledge of the IR, but also on the IR’s practical experience. I have a strong commitment to realize the concepts of education; 1) emphasizing knowledge, 2) growing the maturity and 3) developing the good manners, for my future students.

In AsTW, I would like to share my experience and knowledge about ASEAN, especially Indonesia as my origin country, and also about Japan as my current major. Indonesia has many diverse cultures inside herself. There are hundreds of ethnic, local languages, and also various traditional customs which is spread in thousands of islands. In my experience, since I was a child I have been moving for several times and staying in several cities in Indonesia, such as North Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra, Central Java, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta. Each place has different cultures and unique customs. It helps me to understand more about my own country and also trains me how to face many people from different culture.

I’m always being interested with something ‘new’ such as cultures. So that’s why, during the AsTW program, for the ASEAN Studies Courses (ASC) I’m planning to take Current Affairs of ASEAN and East Asia’s class, which is suitable with my educational background. And for the Asian Language & Culture Courses (ALC), I will take Basic Thai Language and Culture. It is very interesting to learn Thai language and culture. And in exchange, I would be very happy for introducing and discussing about my cultures and languages with other participants. By understanding the other cultures and languages, we can communicate and understand each other which can support the ASEAN’s integration and the forming of ASEAN Community.

I’m sure by sharing and discussing the theme with each other, these can help us to broaden our perspective and knowledge. The more experience we will have, the more knowledge we will gain. By gaining more knowledge, we can increase our chance to create a better understanding about the others. As the vision of ASEAN to build ASEAN Community in 2015, I think it is the right time for us to realize our dreams become true, step by step.

With those explanations above, I hope that I can be a suitable candidate for ASEAN in Today’s World. I’m really excited and highly motivated to be the part of AsTW in Mahidol University, Thailand. So, I’m really looking forward for it! Tanoshimi!

Puppet Show & Suan Lum Night Bazaar

Rabu, 03 Maret 2010

Salah satu bentuk kegiatan yang masuk dalam rangkaian AsTW 2010 (ASEAN in Today’s World) adalah Thai’s culture and Tourism. Nah, pada 03 Maret 2010 ini, seluruh peserta berkesempatan untuk mengunjungi Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theater dan Suan Lum Night Bazaar yang terletak di dekat Lumphini Park, daerah tengah kota Bangkok.

Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theater ini merupakan gedung pertunjukan boneka tradisional Thailand (kalau di Indonesia, seperti wayang golek). Harga tiket pertunjukannya sebesar THB 600 (sekitar Rp 180.000,-). Mahal ya?? Tapi berhubung segala sesuatunya sudah dibayarin ama panitia (alias gratiss), daku tinggal melenggang kangkung aja. ha..ha..

Sebelum masuk ke ruang pertunjukannya, pengunjung disambut oleh para petugas yang memainkan boneka tersebut. Bagi mereka-mereka yang suka bernarsis ria, bisa berkesempatan untuk berfoto bersama boneka.

Nah, setelah puas berfoto-foto ria, barulah kita masuk ke ruang utamanya. Setting tempatnya seperti kebanyakan bioskop, namun dengan kontur yang lebih landai. Selama di ruang utama ini, pengunjung diharamkan mengambil foto apalagi merekam pertunjukannya (inget HAKI euy!!). Sayang sekali….. (he..he..)

Sesudah semua pengunjung masuk ke ruangan, pencahayaan ruang pun mulai dikurangi tanda pertunjukan akan dimulai. Kalo ndak salah inget, mulainya jam 8 pm. Nah, ada yang khas dalam setiap kegiatan pertunjukan di Thailand (terutama Bangkok), baik itu di tempat seperti ini maupun di bioskop kebanyakan. Yaitu, setiap pengunjung diharapkan berdiri dari tempat duduk untuk mendengarkan dan menghormati lagu kebangsaan Thailand. Rasanya agak gimana â¦Soalnya kalo ndak berdiri, berarti nggak menghormati. Selama diperdengarkan lagu kebangsaan ini, ditayangkan juga video (atau slide show foto) dari Raja Thailand yang sangat dicintai rakyatnya itu. Jadi ikut terharuâ¦.

Di dalam pertunjukannya, ndak hanya boneka saja yang beraksi, tetapi para penari asli (orang) juga turut berkolaborasi dengan mereka. Jadi, penari-penari tersebut nari sambil mainin bonekanya. Dengan kata lain, dua-duanya nari (halah, bingung amat njelasinnya).

Mengingat ukuran boneka yang cukup besar dan rumitnya struktur boneka tersebut, maka satu boneka ini bisa dimainkan oleh tiga orang penari. Bisa dibayangkan, bagaimana sulitnya nari rame-rame sambil menggerakkan satu boneka untuk menari (bingung??). Tentu diperlukan latihan yang keras agar dapat menciptakan gerakan yang selaras, seimbang dan seirama. Trus, kalo koordinasi geraknya nggak bagus, bakal rawan saling tabrakan tuh.

Sebagian besar cerita yang disampaikan melalui pertunjukan ini adalah tentang sejarah Joe Louis Puppet Theater. Ada juga pertunjukan yang menceritakan Ramayana, tentunya dengan gaya ala Thailand. Yang paling mengagetkan dan mengagumkan (dapet standing applause sih :D) adalah pertunjukan boneka ala Michael Jackson. KEREN ABISS!!! Semua pengunjung ndak menyangka, bahwa di bagian akhir pertunjukan akan ada show boneka âmodernâ?, ala MJ lagi! Bahkan ada gerakan moon walk yang mirip abis dengan sang maestro. Bakalan susah banget tuh, soale boneka MJ-nya itu (lagi-lagi) dimainin ama 3 orang penari. Bagaimana caranya ya???

Setelah pertunjukan tersebut berakhir, maka kini saatnya SHOPPING TIME! Ho..ho⦠Berhubung lokasi teater ini bersebelahan dengan Suan Lum Night Bazaar, maka mereka-mereka yang suka belanja langsung ngacir ke sana. Harga barang di tempat ini cukup murah, apalagi kalau pintar nawar. Di tempat inilah daku mulai melancarkan âpraktekâ? bahasa Thailand yang ngepas ^^â?. Lumayan lah, bisa nawar dikit-dikit untuk beli oleh-oleh ^___^.

Lebih lanjut mengenai Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theater, bisa dilihat di tautan : http://www.tatnews.org/tourism_news/2229.asp

Atau baca isi tautannya di bawah ini :

Sakorn Yangkhiawsod, (more widely known as Joe Louis), the founder of the Hun Lakhon Lek Joe Louis Troupe, was one of Thailand’s top puppet masters and the country’s last ‘Grand Master’ of small puppet performers.

The puppet master made his first puppet when he was 20, and over the years, crafted a fine collection of 50 traditional Thai puppets, both large and small. In 1996, in recognition of his efforts to revive traditional Thai puppetry and preserve this ancient art making it an important showcase of Thai cultural heritage, Sakorn Yangkhiawsod was consecrated "National Artist".

The Joe Louis troupe remains Thailand’s only troupe that still performs the Hun Lakhon Lek Thai traditional small puppet play and remains the sole guardian of this dying art form.

The Heart of Hun Lakhon Lek

Joe Louis’ creation of the ancient Siamese small puppet performance is unique. The soul and spirit of the performance comes directly from the puppeteer.

The Joe Louis puppet play requires the synchronised efforts of three puppeteers who jointly control and manipulate the one puppet creating highly animated, life-like movements. This enables the puppet to move or dance gracefully. Unlike any other Thai traditional puppet play, the Joe Louis puppets are able to mimic a range of human gestures and through these gestures, express emotion. For example, the puppets are able to move their wrists to ‘wai’ (a greeting gesture in Thai culture), or embrace (to show affection), point their fingers or clap, shake their heads or nod. The elegant movements of the puppet flow entirely from each motion made by the puppeteer.

Hun Lakhon Lek is a collaboration of many art forms

Hadtasin — the crafting of puppets

Phraneedsin — the costume of the puppet

Nadtasin — the operation of the puppet movements

Ketatsin — the music

Mantanasin — the stage set and backdrop

Hadtasin — "To give life"

As the Hun Lakon Lek is based on Khon â the classical Thai masked dance, a highly sophisticated and stylised form of stage entertainment that features dancing, singing and music that is comparable in complexity with the European opera-ballet of the 18thcentury court at Versailles. Hence in order to stage the performance,puppeteers need to have an intimate knowledge and training in Khon.

The Hun Lakon Lek is based on Khon â the classical Thai masked dance, puppeteers need to have an intimate knowledge and training in khon.

The puppets and the ornate masks used in the performances are handmade and reflect the ultimate sophistication in Thai craftsmanship. Puppet-making is a painstaking art that requires close attention to many intricate details such as the features of the mask, the painting of the faces, the elaborate design and motifs of the costumes and working with precious gold leaves to achieve a perfect finish.

THE RAMAYANA/ âRAMAKIENâ

The most popular play performed by the Joe Louis puppet troupe is the famous "Ramayana" epic (Ramakien in Thai), regularly performed in Thailand and the countries of South and Southeast Asia.

On September 25-26, 2004, the Joe Louis Theatre will present a special 1-hour performance of the great epic Ramayana in the form of a âKhonâ play â a traditional Thai stage drama.

In the perfect setting of an air-conditioned theatre, the puppets are once again brought to life by expert puppeteers offering the audience an opportunity to see and touch the enchanting Hun Lakhon Lek puppets.

A visit to the theatre also includes an opportunity to witness the painstaking process of crafting a Thai traditional mask known as the Hua Khon, as taught by venerable artist Joe Louis to his students.

Tragically all of Joe Louis’ puppets, except for one, were destroyed in a fire that engulfed his home. However with his deep love he for the craft, the puppet master found the emotional strength to continue his life’s work. He gradually replaced the puppets lost in the flames with the help of family members as well as those interested in puppet making. His new collection now consists of 12 puppets primarily featuring the characters from the Ramayana epic such as Rama, Sita, the god Siva, Hanuman and Pali.

THE JOE LOUIS CULTURAL TOUR


Before the performance starts, Joe Louis staff will take guests on a "Joe Louis Cultural Tour" featuring the "Puppet Gallery", an exhibition on the history of Hun Lakhon Lek puppets and the theatre, puppet- making demonstration and the art of controlling the puppet.

Joe Louis has also frequently taken his art overseas and performed at international festivals as well as special organised tours in France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Egypt and the United States.

Keeping the Artistic Heritage Alive For Future Generations

The performing arts has been a part of Joe Louis soul and spirit during his entire lifetime. He devoted his life to the art form — from crafting each of the puppets, to performing and directing. He has passed on his wealth of knowledge and experiences in the Thai theatrical arts and stage drama â Khon, Lakhon, Likay, and Hun Lakorn Lek, to his nine sons and daughters right from their childhood days.

Today, in the loving memory of Joe Louis â âThe bringer of life to Hun Lakorn Lekâ?, Surin Yangkeawsot, his seventh child, is working to promote the preservation and study of Hun Lakhon Lek for future generations. Surin Yangkeawsot has inherited the Puppet Theatre as well as the important responsibility of passing on this knowledge to the next generation. The craft is now being passed on to 10 grandchildren.


For a comprehensive introduction to the âHun Lakhon Lekâ traditional Thai small puppets, please visit the Joe Louis Theatre web site.

Web site: http://www.joelouis-theater.com/eng/

Getting to the Theatre by public transportation

Bus No. 50, 14, 47, 17, 115

BTS Sky Train, Saladaeng station then Bus No. 115

Private car: Express way, Exit Rama IV, U-Turn under the Thai-Belgium bridge

Contact information:

Joe Louis Theatre

Bangkok Suan-lum Night Bazaar

1875 Rama IV Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan

Bangkok 10330

Tel: +66 (0) 2252 9683/ 4

Fax: +66 (0) 2252 9685

Email: joelouistheater_pr@hotmail.com

Note: Food, drinks and pets cannot be brought into the theatre. Additionally as flashes from cameras distract the performers, photography during the performance is not permitted. However following the performance, visitors will be able to take photos with the Joe Loius puppets.