Hosting Student Exchange, FIA UB Invites Malaysian and Chinese Students to Play Gamelan

For the first time in their lives, six students from Malaysia and China played gamelan. This traditional Javanese musical instrument was introduced to them as part of a student exchange program organized by the Faculty of Administrative Science at Universitas Brawijaya (FIA UB) on Thursday (May 23). In addition to playing gamelan, they were also introduced to traditional Javanese dance by the Student Art Studio (SSM) of FIA UB. The six students are in Indonesia for two weeks through a grant from the “Equity Program” by UB’s World Class University (WCU) Unit. Besides gamelan, they also experienced studying at FIA UB and participated in various other cultural and tourism introduction programs in the Greater Malang area.
One of the exchange participants, Yohendraan A/L Chandran, said that this was his first time playing karawitan. In his first attempt, he chose to play the gong and performed a Javanese song that had been prepared and guided by the SSM members. However, the experience of dancing traditional Javanese dance was more personally challenging for him. “I was very interested when invited to learn to dance. I had never danced with such coordinated movements before. This is an interesting experience for me,” said the man, who is commonly called Yohen.
Meanwhile, another participant, Hakila A/P Nadarajan, shared that she was also very happy with the gamelan playing and traditional dance session today. Although she had heard about gamelan before, today was her first time playing the instrument. In addition, she also had the opportunity to teach some movements of traditional Indian ethnic dance to the SSM members. “I enjoyed playing the gamelan. The key is to focus on the tempo and the numerical notation in the song, and you will be able to play it well,” said the student from INTI International University, Malaysia.
The Head of the International Relations Office (IRO) of FIA UB, Cacik Rut Damayanti, DBA, as the chairperson of this program, said that this activity was the result of collaboration between UB and INTI International University, Malaysia. According to her, both parties have agreed to send students to each other’s campuses for exchange programs. Currently, it is the turn of INTI students to come to Indonesia. Meanwhile, UB students, specifically from FIA, are scheduled to go in the upcoming new semester. “During their stay here, they will attend several lectures in our two departments and participate in cultural programs such as batik classes and playing gamelan. At the end of the program, we will take them to enjoy the beauty of Mount Bromo,” said the Australian graduate.