Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Inundated by Inul

A lot of fuss have been kicked up in Indonesia recently over the so-called "erotic" dangdut dancing of Inul Daratista. Her style of dangdut with sexy hip gyrations have drawn criticisms from Muslim clerics and self-styled moral guardians of Indonesia, including the veteran dangdut artist Rhoma Irama.

But Inul has her supporters too - including former President Abdurrahman Wahid. There was even a demonstration in Jakarta by a woman's group in support of her. All the controversy has actually helped the career of this young singer who was virtually an unknown before. In fact, she has yet to release her own album. Now she commands a high performance fee and her appearances on TV have been very frequent.

Personally I was surprised by the outroar that this whole thing has generated. Indonesia as a Muslim country is a lot more tolerant and open than Malaysia. Female artistes dress a lot more sexily here compared to Malaysian ones and they are allowed to appear on national TV in their revealing attires. Kissing scenes in Indonesian movies are normal - something you'll never see in a Malaysian Malay movie.

And on the satellite channel Fashion TV, beamed into many households, models parade topless. So what's the fuss about a dangdut singer who sings and dances, and does well on both ends?

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