UNIMA Indonesia was established on 16 December 2009 in Jakarta, the Declaration of the Establishment of UNIMA Indonesia was signed by Drs. H. Solichin, Chairman of the National Secretariat of Indonesian Wayang [SENAWANGI], Mr. Ekotjipto, Chairman of Indonesian Puppeteers Union [PEPADI], Mr. Dadi Pudumjee [President of UNIMA International], Mr. Jacques Trudeau [Secretary General of UNIMA International] on 15 December 2009 at SENA WANGI Office-Jakarta. The Declaration of the Establishment of UNIMA Indonesia was read out by Drs. T.A. Samodra Sriwidjaja at the Indonesian Vice Presidential Palace, Jakarta on 16 December 2009 and witnessed by the Indonesian Vice President His Excellency DR. Boediono, Indonesian Minister for Culture and Tourism, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dadi Pudumjee, Mr. Jacques Trudeau, Foreign Ambassadors, puppetry communities and other invitees.

Background

The origin of Indonesian puppet which is now internationally also known as WAYANG, has been in existence more than 1500 years as initially in the form to respect and devote to the spirits of ancestors. Although the influence of ancient Javanese culture is dominant, and the Sundanese, Balinese, Sumatra’s influences etc are also strong, the arrivals of Hindu, Budha, Islam and Christianity in Indonesia have contributed to a certain extent to the format and content of the present Indonesian wayang. Wayang is not only other kinds of entertainment, but it has been a source of noble moral values, moral teachings in addition to its functions as a means for disseminating information.

The stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata that originate from India have become the main branches of wayang stories not only in Indonesia but also in other parts of the world like South East Asian region. Presently, in Indonesia there are around 60 types of wayang and marionnette including the ones with non Ramayana-Mahabharata stories: such as wayang Suluh, Wayang Gebyog, Wayang Beber, Wayang Suket, Wayang Si Gale-Gale, SiI Unyil (that has ever been so popular on Indonesian television just like Muppet Show in USA), Wayang Potehi, etc.

Indonesian different types of wayang particularly Wayang Kulit Purwa (Javanese shadow puppet show), Wayang Bali, Wayang Orang (human puppet) and Wayang Golek Sunda (Sundanese Wooden Puppet) have performed countless numbers abroad. But, the encounter with other countries' puppetries in the terms of establishing organizations dates back in 2006 when ASEAN Puppetry Association was formed in Jakarta consisting of 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; then Asian Puppetry Gathering (China, India and Indonesia) in 2008 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.