Hidung Merah Circus Performance Debut
I have often written about the importance of play and the current lack of opportunities. Through the exploration of one's environment we learn about our place in it and our physical capabilities. Play is important as a social enabler; it teaches us about both competition and co-operation. It also, through the fantasy factor, stretches our imaginations.
The following is a selection of a few of my past (and consistently present) thoughts.24.10.04Strolling back home from the local mini-mart with Our Kid yesterday, we passed the last remaining patch of empty space. He expressed the hope that it wouldn’t be built on; where can kids play, he asked, in the road?
We don’t live on a main road, and our back street isn’t wide enough for double-parking yet few are the motorists who drive gently with regard for residents and pedestrians. We may have to build a polisi tidur (sleeping policeman) to slow things down so our kids can play street football or badminton. As it is, I rarely see games of tag (chase) or similar street games.
(Update: The plot has been built on and we now have a polisi tidur
in front of our house.).14.2.05
..... take a look at the upside-down world of co-operative games
.Almost all children's games - the games we teach children and the games children invent - have a common factor. They are preparations for an adult world. More often than not this adult world is based on competition29.7.07The electorate is treated like a kindergarten class, and this is very strange because children in kindergarten classes are treated like high school students. Here in Indonesia global trends in schooling are being aped with minimal thought for the conditions and consequences. Schooling is becoming standardised and robotised with linear, multi-choice tests. Few, if any, allowances are made for different rates of physical and emotional development among children. Test this, test that, at this age and that. Play is gradually disappearing from kindergartens in order to ensure that children can read, write and do complicated algebraic equations before they 'graduate'. From as young as two, when Indonesian kids can be enrolled in mathematics and English classes, they are taught that competition is better than co-operation. There is minimal incentive for children to be creative in case they 'fall behind'. 7.3.05(UK) News that play consultants are being introduced into British schools fills me with both a sense of sadness and nostalgia.Seven out of 10 parents used to play chase when they were at school, but now fewer than two out of 10 children enjoy the game. Over half of all parents (53%) used to play hopscotch, but only one in 10 of their children manage it now.30.3.08
(Politicians and bureaucrats) Get a life guys. Make a friend and go out and play, assuming you haven't built a shopping mall where a playground ought to be.
All the above is a preamble to an invitation extended by Dan Roberts who has been working with a range of children from homeless shelters and impoverished villages and teaching them circus skills.I described his work
earlier this year as one of the most crucial and beneficial kids' projects in Indonesia. It's fun, creative, imaginative, exciting and .... well, positive in all kinds of ways in the impoverished lives of many Indonesian children.His blog
documents the enthusiasm he has engendered among children most of us ignore.
This is his second visit to Indonesia and you can read about last year's here
Next Saturday, May 9th, sees the debut public performance of Hidung Merah Circus Performance Troupe
in Bekasi (a Jakarta dormitory town).Come watch the amazing circus skills and hilarity of these hard working kids. The troupe is 30 kids, age 11-19 from a poor fishing village in Cilincing and a homeless shelter in Bekasi. The show is free of charge. All you have to do to get into the show is to laugh a lot and give these kids thunderous applause. You don't wanna miss it!
Date: Saturday, May 9, 2009
Time: 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Yayasan KDM
Street: Kp Raden No. 29, RT 01/05
Directions: 400 meters from RSIA Jatisampurna, Bekasi. From Toll JORR towards Jatiasih, exit at Jatiwarna. Turn right for 4km.
If these directions don't make sense.... Just call Dan: 0812 1929 0142. (Dan's email
I hope to be there with Our Kid. How about you?
Dan has written to me:If you don't
/can't make it Saturday, we also have a show (the same group) on Sunday at 10am in Cilincing at the Fishing Village.
This is on the north coast, beyond Tanjung Priok which is accessible by the Busway. From there, take a taxi?