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Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 9:21:40 AM
Che Din holding his rebana at his house at Kampung Banggol Petaling in Kota Baru.
KOTA BARU: From being a “must-have” instrument nearly 300 years ago, the rebana is now an instrument that is fighting for survival, even in what is considered the Malay heartland of Kelantan.
This instrument, dating back to the late 18th century, was once an integral part of festivities in royal houses and villagers, but it is now slowly fading away, just like the masters that can play them.
Despite the onslaught of time, Kelantanese Che Din Yaakob, 78, is attempting to keep the tradition alive by involving the younger generation in such activities.
Che Din, from Kampung Banggol Petaling, Pasir Mas, is the owner of a 150-year-old rebana that has played in palaces and at joyous occasions in both public and private ceremonies.
The rebana is a tambourine-like instrument that is used in Islamic devotional music in South-East Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. The sound of the rebana often accompanies Islamic rituals such as the zikir.
According to Che Din, those who had rebanas typically name their instruments Amok Pok Yang, Kuda Perang Raja Dewa or Raja Buring anak Murai.
He said a rebana frame is normally made from merbau (a tropical hardwood), and his rebana was made in Kampung Sego in Thailand’s Narathiwat province.
“We set up our own rebana group in 2009 called Amok Perdana. The group accepts invitations to play at kenduris or public gatherings.
“We want to keep this tradition alive but we find it very hard to convince the younger generation to join us.
“But we are not disheartened, and we will continue to promote it among the people from time to time,” he said when interviewed at his house at Kampung Banggol Petaling.
The group’s manager, Nor Alam Marzuki, 54, said their group was set up under the auspices of the National Department for Culture and Arts with the objective of keeping the art alive as it is the link to Kelantan’s heritage and origins.
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rebana, kelantan, dying off
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