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SEAC Outreach: View Ridge Elementary School (Part 1)

A group of students create their own shadow performance

February 24, 2017

This week in TWISEA we are featuring our managing director Rebakah Daro Minarchek and Tikka Sears and their Indonesian culture outreach event at View Ridge Elementary School.

One of SEAC’s missions is to do outreach with the Greater Seattle community, in particular K-12 schools. Our most recent project was an Indonesian culture curriculum at View Ridge Elementary School. The first segment focused on learning the Ramayana, its main characters and ways it is performed in Indonesia. After hearing the story, the students made their own shadow puppets (wayang kulit) out of paper, chopsticks and brads.

Rebakah Daro Minarchek making shadow puppets with her son.

Rebakah helping the students with assembling the shadow puppets so they can come to life through moving their limbs.

The kids enjoyed making their own puppets. The favorite character, who was also the focus of the story in class, was Hanuman the Monkey King. They also learned the differences between the characters’ designs and what those differences signify.

One student shows off his beautifully colored shadow puppet to the camera. 

A group of students create their own shadow performance. 

After finishing their shadow puppets and making their own performances, Tikka Sears ended the day with an informational lesson on wayang kulit with real puppets and a dance.

Tikka Sears holds up a gunungan, used for scenery, the beginning of scenes and changes in time. 

Tikka does a traditional Indonesian dance for the students. 

The story continues next week with the second segment of this outreach event featuring our MA student Katia Chaterji and famous puppeteer (dhalang) Midiyanto. If you are interested in doing outreach events with the Southeast Asia Center, let us know! We also have resources for K-12 educators on our SEAC webpage, which you can find here. In this section, we feature curriculum units, book recommendations and country profiles. We are currently working on a section called “Teachable —” that highlights themes and subjects from Southeast Asian countries with lesson ideas and other resources. You can check out our Teachable Indonesia guide here.

If you are interested in helping with our education outreach, we are still looking for any Southeast Asian “artifacts” donations for our cultural kits for students throughout Washington State. These items will not be returned and we would like items that are kid-friendly and small enough to fit in a medium flat-rate box through  UPS. Items can be samples of bills or coins, weavings, CDs of music, children’s books, games, anything. If you have an item, you can bring it to the Southeast Asia Center (Thomson Hall Room 303) or email us at to arrange a pickup.