Agus Wiyono is a Rare Campaign Manager running his Pride campaign at R. Soerjo Great Park Forest in East Java, Indonesia in partnership with the Kaliandra Sejati Foundation.
On January 14th, children, young people, senior people, and village government officers, gathered at Kaliandra’s center stage to see their community idol compete in the finale of a conservation singing contest. Dangdut – a popular music genre in Indonesia – has the emotional power to raise spirits and enthusiasm; it is also the popular music style of the community. This phenomenon, inspired us – the Rare Pride team from Kaliandra Sejati – to have a karaoke festival on the Pride conservation songs, which mostly are in the dangdut genre. The event was a collaboration effort of Pasuruan’s Forest Farmers group (Paguyuban Kelompok Tani Tahura Pasuruan), Gumandar community group (Kelompok Swadaya Masyarakat Gumandar), and Suket Teki – a youth group who had composed and performed the Pride conservation songs. Hear these three Suket Teki songs here.
A karoake contestant belts out conservation songs
The committee prepared the contest by giving out announcements to 9 villages within 3 sub-district in Pasuruan District. These villages are located in the surroundings of the great park forest. Each contestant had to register and pay Rp 5,000 (approx. USD 0.50), in which he/she will received a CD containing the conservation songs composed and sung by Suket Teki. As for the registration fees, it goes to the forest rehabilitation fund managed by Pasuruan’s Forest Farmer group. 21 singers from 7 villages registered as contestant for this event. Each contestant had to sing one of the Suket Teki’s songs: Alas Kobong (Our forest’s on fire), Reboisasi (Forest Rehabilitation), or Tahura (Great Park Forest). In addition, they also had to perform their own choice of song that has an environmental message. An audition was conducted in December and resulted in 10 final singers.
Winner trophies featuring the Jaguar mascot from Agus’ Pride campaign
One of Kaliandra’s Advisory Council, had invited target=”_blank”>Irianti Erningpraja – a popular singer in the 90s – to be one of the jurors for the finale. Her participation in this event was really a wonderful surprise for the contestant and the audience! This event was held together with a tree planting event and the launching of Kaliandra’s arboretum. Various local organizations also attended the event: Perhutani KPH Pasuruan, Bapedal Propinsi Jatim, Purwodadi Botanical Garden, Education Office of Pasuruan, Village governments, LMDH, KTT, Pramuka Tegak Desa (the village scout group), students, and all community members also come to enjoy the festival. Irianti, came one day before the festival, and she spent time discussing the winner criteria with the group of jurors for the singing contest.
Irianti dancing and singing on stage at the karoake finale
The 1st winner of the contest is Hadi from Dayurejo village; in 2nd place is Mentari from Pakukerto village, and in 3rd place is Abdul Manan from Cendono village. Irianti, in her speech for the contestants, said “This is an interesting event, not only it is entertaining but it also built awareness towards the important of forest conservation. I would like to encourage you all, being a winner or not, all of you should be a spokesperson in sending messages on the importance of taking care of the Great Park Forest”.
The karaoke winners proudly displaying their trophies
The event ended with 2 songs from Irianti with music played by street children.