On Sunday at Beijing’s Workers Stadium, an ensemble of over 5,000 people shook their angklungs, a traditional Indonesian musical instrument, to some famous tunes, setting a new record for the largest crowd ever to have performed the instrument. The event highlights the growing ties between China and Indonesia.
It's hard to imagine that this familiar Chinese tune is produced using just these simple instruments made from bamboo. Tunes including "Shanghai Bund" and "Tian Mi Mi" played on this unusual instrument delight audiences.
This is the star of the day: the angklung. According to Sundanese traditions, human life is symbolized in the angklung. It takes more than just one to create the perfect tune, so we should all collaborate with each other to produce the harmony of our lives.
After a demonstration by the professionals, it’s time for everyone to give it a shot. All audience members are handed an angklung which are programmed to produce different notes depending on which area you are sitting in.
Following the gestures of the conductor, angklung maestro Daeng Udjo, everyone shakes to the tune of China’s all-time favourite love song "The Moon Represents My Heart", in an attempt to break the world record.
"Even we have a problem with communication, but you know music is the universal language and we can all play music," Daeng Udjo said.
"We really enjoyed it," said Li Xiangcheng, a student studying Indonesian at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He says the angklung ensemble world record was previously broken in Washington D.C..
"We’re happy to announce that we’re 5,393 people. Congratulations!"
With that announcement a new world record is set by the largest angklung orchestra the world has ever seen.
"We’re talking about a national culture. So the opportunity for literally thousands of people to come together and sharing that experience is an incredible achievement. And you’re, right Guinness World Record is all about ordinary people doing extraordinary things," said Rowan Simons, the president of Guinness World Records in China.
The event is more than just an attempt to make into the Guinness Book of World Records. There’s also a friendly message being conveyed through the music.
"Angklung can only be played harmoniously, I would like to underline the word "harmoniously". So I think this is indeed an opportunity to show to the world that China and Indonesia will only be progressing together harmoniously," said the Indonesian Ambassador to China, Imron Cotan.
The angklung was recognized by the UNESCO as a world intangible cultural heritage in 2011. Angklung performances have always been an important way of connecting people and spreading the enduring messages of love and unity and that spirit was more alive than ever at this gathering. (cntv)