Theme and Celebration

1. Theme of the story of Balinese Wayang is mainly about the struggle between the truth versus evil. Commonly, the main characters (Pandawa, Rama, etc.) need to face critical challenge to achieve their aims. Because of their full-hearted action (combined with asceticism/meditation), and with the blessing of the gods (in the form of supernatural weapons or force), they can defeat the atrocity.


2. Unlike the Javanese Wayang, in every Balinese Wayang's performance only one of the main values (such as heroism, committment to the duty, or honesty) is confirmed. In one performance, only a fragment of the story is narated. This fragment is the most relevant one to represent the main value to be communicated. For example, in substantiating the value of respect to the teacher, the fragment of the story of Dewaruci --where Bima conducts a dangerous adventure into the ocean in order to follow Durna's order-- would be suitable.

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Tualen Merdah

3. The theme of Balinese Wayang is often closely related with certain ceremonies or celebration being conducted. For example, if a wayang performance is aimed at celebrating a wedding ceremony, the Arjuna Wiwaha (the wedding of Arjuna) or Ramayana stories will be chosen. If the performance is conducted for the purification ceremonies, the story will be closely related, such as Calon Arang. In this story, Priest Bharadah purifies the kingdom by defeating the evil-doer, Walu Nateng Dirah.