People with Disabilities in Mesatua Bali Contest


Have you ever come to Bali? If you do, you must have realized how this city clings strongly to their traditional culture. They sometimes hold special events to show the culture of the city. One of them is Mesatua Bali Contest.

This contest is an event where a lot of young participants, mostly elementary students, will show their skill in story telling. This is not an ordinary story telling. The participants narrate their tales while doing a body gesture like they want to dance. It aims to make their act becoming more lively with the story. In addition, they also wear a traditional apparel for a final touch. Meanwhile, the stories usually performed in this event are folk tales originally from Bali. For example, there are Cupak Teken Grantang, Pan Balang Tamak, Naga Basukih, and many more. Since this is Balinese stories, all of the contestants must bring them in their native language. So, if you want to attend this event, you must know their language.

Not a long time ago, Bali just conducted Mesatua Bali Contest in Gianyar District on April 12, 2017. They held it in order to celebrate the 246th birthday of the district. The show was began with a Pendet Dance performed by a number of children. Then it continued with a prayer and opening speeches by the committee and regent. After that, another dancing performance known as Sekar Ibing entertained the audience before the main show was started.

This contest has been going on for a long time. But comparing to previous years, there is something different with the last show. In this year event, the committe allowed children with disabilities to join. In total, there are 21 disabled kids participated in this contest. One of them is Komang Gede Darmawan. He narrated a story about Lutung and I Kakua. In the middle of his performance, he told people that he forgot the story. It is quite understandable since he has intellectual disability. Although he could not perform really well, Darmawan claimed that he is still glad to be able to express his love of art.

About the judging, the juries will do it based on several points. Those are vocal, story telling skill, appreciation, and language. But, specially for the contest in this year, those points are not valid considering the condition of the participants.

There are several purposes of Mesatua Bali Contest. First, they intend to introduce Bali culture and art more widely to people. Second, it aims to maintain the culture so young generation will not forget their root. In this case, they particularly want to preserve their native language. Last but not least, through this event, they want to encourage all disabled children to express themselves. The Regent of Gianyar, Agung Bharata, told to the children not to lose their heart and spirit due to their condition. They must never be afraid of showing their creativity. Moreover, he even said that the people of the district will always support them.
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