Tok dalang weaves his magic


BEHIND a large white cloth and a halogen light sat the master puppeteer and tok dalang (story-teller), moving his hands skilfully and bringing life to his wayang kulit characters. 

As his troupe of six traditional instrument players started playing the tunes, Kedah-born story-teller Abdul Majid Mohd Noh gracefully waved each of the hand-painted cowhide figurines articulately to create a story sequence. 

The show attracted a large crowd of shoppers who gathered around the stage set up at the Prangin Mall atrium in Penang.  

As Abdul Majid, or Pak Majid as he is fondly called by his troupe, started showcasing his talents by creating the illusion of images moving, the musicians showed their skills at the traditional musical instruments. 

The troupe, Kumpulan Seri Asun Kedah, played the reed instrument called the serunai and traditional percussions such as the gedombak and gendang. 

They kept pace with Pak Majid’s clear voice as he sang and caricatured his characters. 

Inspired by the accompaniments, Pak Majid skilfully manipulated the limbs of the figurines to create more life-like movements.  

The troupe is not like any other ordinary wayang kulit troupes. 

Founded by Majid’s father Mohd Noh Mahmud, the troupe has performed in Australia, Germany, Italy and France.  

The show started with four short five to seven minute performances accompanied by songs called How Are You, Pre De Wana, Loi Loi Krathong and Selamat Tinggal Dunia.  

The atrium vibrated with laughter from the shoppers as they were entertained with multi-lingual jokes.  

The troupe then entertained the shoppers with a longer piece, called Nasib Si Miskin(Poor’s Fate).  

It was about a poor boy, Betara Krisna, and his quest to return to his village after his apprenticeship with Tok Palicang Besi.  

Also on a journey was a princess called Puteri Pelangi. She and two of her servants, Ito and Seniman Nunui, were making their way back to their country called Antah Berantah.  

Halfway through their journey, Betara Krisna met with the princess and her retinue.  

The story then proceeded to unravel the trials and tribulations faced by Betara Krisna and Puteri Pelangi. 

Pak Majid kept the crowd entertained for more than an hour with his talented wayang kulit show.  

The show was organised by PCSP Enterprise Sdn Bhd to celebrate Hari Raya at Prangin Mall.  

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