Bandung, capital city of the West Java Province, resounded with the distinct music made by the angklung on Thursday, 23rd April 2015, when over 20,000 people together shook the traditional bamboo musical instruments. The spectacular “Angklung for the World” event held at the Siliwangi Stadium opened the grand celebrations in the 60th Commemoration of the Asian African Conference in Bandung, making the occasion an opportunity to set a new world record for the largest number of people together playing the traditional angklung in modern welll orchestrated popular songs.
Making up the crowd of 20,000 were schoolchildren from across Bandung and surrounding cities as far away as Cianjur and Cirebon. Not to be outdone, also seen participating were hundreds of students from the School for the Disabled.
Although the show would only commence at 10:00 West Indonesia Time, but even since dawn thousands already flocked to the Siliwangi Stadium. Also present at the event were the Mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil; Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya; and Miss Indonesia 2015, Anindya Kusuma Putri.
“Angklung for the World” involved the participation of over 20,000 people who were mostly enthusiastic junior High School students. The angklung’s colossal orchestra played the heroic song “Halo-halo Bandung” and Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie’s anthem of humanity “Heal the World”. Although the Guinness World Record has yet to make their official announcement, it is almost certain that the performance has broken the previous records made in New York, USA (5000 people) and Beijing, China (10,000 people).
The spectators’ podium and the football field of the Siliwangi Stadium were packed with thousands of students and the general public all dressed in white T-shirts carrying the “Wonderful Indonesia” logo or wearing traditional costumes. Although the sun was scorching, participants enthusiastically followed the record breaking attempt, shaking the required notes of the angklung directed by the conductor. The performance was closely monitored and participants meticulously counted by the Guinness World Record team, witnessed by delegations in the 60th Commemoration of the Asian African Conference.
Meanwhile, in the Social media Twitter, the hashtag “#AngklungForTheWorld” became the Trending Topic for the day in Indonesia (TTI). Most of these “tweets” were pictures, and videos of the performance, expressing their pride and praises in setting this new Guinness World Record.
The Angklung, traditional Indonesian bamboo musical instrument originating in West Java is a UNESCO recognized World Cultural Heritage. UNESCO’s designation of The Angklung as World Cultural Heritage followed those recognized earlier for Indonesia’s Keris, Wayang and Batik .
Angklung is an inseparable part of the culture and identity of the people of West Java and Banten since this musical art contains values of cooperation, mutual respect and social harmony. And it is for these reasons that it is, therefore, most fitting that the Angklung was presented at the 60th Commemoration of the historic Asian African Conference that was first held here in Bandung in 1955, which brought together newly independent nations fighting for Independence, Solidarity and World Peace.