Tari Berasih: The Traditional Dayak Dance Emphasising Recycling

The dancers entered the stage wearing traditional Dayak attire, moving their hands beautifully. The hornbill feathers on their heads completed their look as the symbol of Dayak culture – the natives of Borneo.

The Berasih dance is a combination of various traditional Borneo dances. In the olden days, most of the dances were performed as part of a sacred ceremony, praising the Gods as an appreciation of a good harvest or request for healing. The ancient dance has been preserved to this day, along with the traditional musical instruments. Today, these dances are usually performed to welcome guests at formal events.

Various dance movements are used to deliver the message of cleaning up in a way that both tradition and the message of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) blend together.

The dancers begin in a circle, a common formation in Dayak dance. The peak of the dance is when the dancers pick up different kinds of trash, with two dancers placing them in the recycling bin, while the other dancers watch. Soon enough, the other dancers do the same thing.

After another dance routine, the dancers circle around the big rubbish bin and take out the recycled goods, which have turned into creative and useful things, such as soft toys, flowers made of paper, lampshades and much more.

This dance reminds the audience, and us, that what people can do to help save the environment is to make recycling a part of our daily lives.

What’s your Dua Tangan Cukup action? Send them to letters@indonesiaexpat.biz and we’ll share them here to inspire others to help clean up the environment and make a change!

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