Wayang Potehi, Worship to God from Tionghoa People in Surabaya

Wayang Potehi is one of puppet performances with Tionghoa culture element. It is usually played at pagoda but because of the current development its existence start to disappear. There are only some pagodas that until right now still play this art. One of those pagodas is Hok Tek Hian. It is located in Surabaya.

It is precisely located at Dukuh Street, Surabaya. In this pagoda, Wayang Potehi is played by Lima Merpati Group three times a day. The first is at 9 am to 11 am, then the second at 1 pm to 3 pm and the last at 6 pm to 9 pm. Even though there are not audiences but that group still playing that show.

Wayang Potehi is describes the legend story that come from Tionghoa culture. For example the story of Sie Dji Kwi or heros story from certain dynasty. According to Sukarmudjiono that the pioneer of the performance of this puppet, there are audience or not this show must be performed.

This matter just because the performance of Wayang Potehi actually is presented for God or worshiping. So, it is just not a usual performance.

The praying Form

The performance of Wayang Potehi is a praying form for God. The group that is the player of Wayang Potehi usually ordered by someone with hope in order his prays can be granted. On the other side, if those pray has been granted, so the performance of Wayang Potehi is hold as the symbol of gratitude for God.

Wayang Potehi is hold in some duration. Those durations are an hour, a full day, even until a full month. This matter depends on the someone who wants to present this show.

Besides, someone can also order special story for this show. Even though he has ordered, it does not mean if he will enjoy the performance until finish. Usually some of people just order to make the show is presented.

The number of people who order is very much even sometimes they have to queue. This matter makes Wayang Potehi always hold. Besides it becomes the tradition of Tionghoa people, Wayang Potehi is also hold in official events to welcome important guest who come to Surabaya.

The existence of Wayang potehi has ever disappeared because it was banned by the Government on Orde Baru era. So, this matter made many group of Wayang Potehi disappear. But it becomes exist again the Abdurrahman Wahid era when he became President of Indonesia.