Shortly after the start of the fall semester, on a beautiful September weekend, Bapak Waleed and several members of the ISF and ISF of New Haven took class outdoors to the foot of East Rock. After a walk through the park to loosen up, Bapak began class with an emphasis on fluidity in movement. Stressing the importance of balance and depth in rooting one’s movements, Bapak demonstrated some sparring motions from Silat Tuo Harimau, one of the seven oldest systems of Silat, from West Sumatra, Indonesia. Participants practiced the mocements while Bapak worked one-on-one with each of them, correcting and guiding the positioning of hands and feet. Throughout the session Bapak lectured and demonstrated for the group, sharing the beauty and traditional pusako, heritage or heirloom, of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra.
During the course of the afternoon, Bapak shared stories of his recent travels throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia, sending the greetings and thanks of the Elders to all those endeavoring to share the beauty of the myriad traditions of Indonesia. He touched on topics including the history and culture of the region. Indonesia’s national motto “Unity in Diversity,” highlights the wide variety of peoples and lifestyles found throughout the world’s largest archipelago, comprised of more than 17, 508 islands.
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