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Adidas causes indignation in Indonesia for attributing to Malaysia the origin of the ‘wayang’ puppet theater, recognized by UNESCO

Posted: Nov 17, 2021 09:06 GMT

The company has already apologized for “any unintentional offense” its promotional video for sneakers may have caused, which was released as part of a new collection created in collaboration with designers from across Southeast Asia.

Adidas has apologized to Indonesian netizens this week after blaming Malaysia for the origin of Javanese rod puppets, or ‘wayang’ puppet theater. Although this ancient cultural manifestation is a Malaysian tradition, the German multinational did not mention its place of origin.

The company’s Singapore subsidiary shared a promotional video on Instagram for the launch of some shoes by Malaysian artist Jaemy Choong with a design that “pays tribute” to the so-called ‘wayang kulit’, as part of a new collection. in collaboration with creatives from all over Southeast Asia.

However, in a message that initially accompanied the campaign —already published—, it was invited to “celebrate Malaysia’s cultural heritage” and referred to this cultural manifestation as “an important part of Malaysia’s cultural identity and heritage”. This statement caused an immediate reaction from the Indonesian public on the social network, insisting that the puppet theater originated in their country, and demanding an apology from the German manufacturer.

“Since November 7, 2003, Unesco has included ‘wayang kulit’ within the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Indonesia. So why do they claim [Adidas] What is Malaysia’s cultural heritage? Didn’t they do an investigation first? You should be ashamed! “Wrote a Twitter user on Monday.

“Involuntary offense”

On Monday, Adidas Singapore’s Instagram profile thanked everyone who contacted them for their comments, and apologized for “any unintentional offense” they may have caused. The video exceeded 600,000 views and has received more than 38,000 comments as of the publication of this article.

“We were humbly inspired by the rich cultural heritage of all Southeast Asian countries. For the avoidance of doubt, neither the brand nor the artist intended to vindicate the Indonesian cultural art form,” the affiliate responded. Also, the company reported that it had already amended the situation and changed the description of the controversial advertising clip: “Native to Indonesia, ‘wayang kulit’ has inspired other parts of Southeast Asia, “he corrected.

Malaysia and Indonesia share a lot of cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. And while the ‘wayang’ puppet theater originated from the latter, these shadow puppets are popular in other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia itself, with subtle differences in the form of performance or the type of performance. dolls used in each area.

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Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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