Six students from the University of Colorado and University of Oklahoma (United States) are learning the "kuda lumping" and "reog" dances as part of a cultural exchange program at Soetomo Universty (Unitomo) in Surabaya, East Java.
According to the Head of English Literature Study Program of Unitomo`s Faculty of Letters , Putut Handoko, the traditional dance learning activity was an effort to introduce the American students to Indonesian culture, especially East Java culture.
"The event named cultural exchange, so they (the six students-red) will also introduce the cultures of their country," Putut said.
Later, the U.S. students will promote the culture of East Java in their countries and introduce it to their colleagues and the local community.
The six students who came to consist of two students from University of Colorado that is Dannya and Shwan. While the other students are Andre, Shoepie, and two students namely Bre and Susie. Four of them come from University of Oklahoma.
"The program is, we introduce Indonesian cultures for two days, Monday (13 June) and Tuesday (14 June). It is the sixth time for Unitomo holding a similar agenda, namely cultural exchange," Putut explained.
Some indigenous cultures which are introduced and practiced are "Reog Ponorogo", batik paste making and cooking gado-gado (a local food). As for the second day, the six students will be introduced to monthly seven ceremony locally known as "tingkepan", as well as discussions on cultural theme.
"In the "tingkepan" ceremony, the male students are will be dressed in Javanese traditional clothes and the two female students will be the pouring princesses," Putut noted.
Meanwhile, in the first day, the six students are learning how to dance "kuda lumping" and see the appearance of "reog". Later, they also learn to make paste batik and cook gado-gado. Not only that, they will also try to play the "reog" player`s giant whip.
At the occasion, the two students namely Bre and Danny got a chance riding on the "reog" head interchangeably. Although initially scared, but both claimed to be happy and did not want to go down.