Javanese people has many different culture that make this tribe is so colorful. One of them is puppet show. Usually they held it during the big event in their live such as circumcision of their sons or sometimes in the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan.
The story usually begins with the funny dialogs between 'Punakawan'. They are not the main character but they are part of the story that makes the show attractive.
'Punakawan' consists of two words; ‘puna’ means wise and ‘kawan’ means friends so that the meaning is a wise friend.
Semar is the main character in Punakawan. His name is also Hyang Ismaya. He is the care-giver of Pandawa. Even though his appearance is so ugly, he has a supernatural ability that is greater than the Gods. He is incarnation of half human and half Gods.
|Semar (courtesy of Google)|
His heart is as wide and deep as ocean, his words have the power of 'sabda pendita ratu', which means his words are very powerful because his words is Gods will. Lucky for the knights whom under his hands because their kingdom will be very prosperous, peaceful and always secure from disasters.
Semar symbolized the character of frugal, humble, calm, honest, not a hypocrite, never feel too sad or too happy. He is mentally mature, not easy to get traumatized and never complain with his life.
Semar also represents patient, caring, guardian of good deeds and stay away from doing the bad deeds.
His white pale face symbolized his behavior that is always fateful by not following his bad desire. It emphasizes the sanctity of the contents of the skin. He always sided with the truth and justice and rectifying any misappropriation. Pale white is also represented cool not aggressive, wise, not easy to get flattered, not angry for being humiliated, known as 'Badranaya' literally means moon face.
One thing that makes me even falling with Semar. His powerful weapon is farts. Why he has guns "fart" and not weapons that are physically like an arrow, sword, lance or even machine guns
There are some reasons:
1. Farts come from within Semar himself, so this weapon nature is a strength that comes from personal Semar is not a tool created or made.
2. Semar uses a gun not to kill but rather to disenchant.
3. Semar would use weapons "farts" when the way the conventional use ordinary weapons can not be overcome problems.
As a symbolic meaning "fart" itself has the properties:
1. Always have the feel of sound and smell.
2. Usually it smells rotten or bad.
3. So the "fart" it could also means that smells or sounds nuanced and felt less pleasant.
So Semar symbolized people who brings simplicity to the the nature of wisdom and holiness of the view that could provide insight more pure without bias to a problem that can grasp the truth as it is.
I wish we had the leader like him….