Dozens of women dressed in green-colored shirts and kain jarik (traditional Javanese cloth) were lining up inside Balai Sarwono, a building in the Joglo @ Kemang area in South Jakarta on May 28. All members of the Purwakanthi community were waiting their turn to take the stage, performing dances they had practiced for weeks, months even.
Among them was Helena Wirastri Wulandari, a 45-year-old law consultant who joined Purwakanthi around six months ago to learn and preserve Javanese culture, as she herself is of Javanese descent. “I had never learned to dance. I joined [the community] to learn the basics [of Javanese dance],” she told The Jakarta Post.
Joining the community means more activities on her weekends. “We have to be committed. But if we are happy, it doesn’t feel hard. Although we are busy, we will try [to make the time],” she said, citing that she had been able to learn Javanese dance and make more friends since joining Purwakanthi.