JAKARTA (Reuters) – The scene is much like any other Indonesian puppet show: the beat of the gongs is frenetic, the musicians wear intricately-patterned traditional costumes and the puppets sway back and forth in a fast-paced exchange laced with maniacal laughter.
But the puppets have bottle-cap noses and long, pink hair made from shredded plastic bags, and are being manipulated by schoolchildren taking their show on the road to the capital, Jakarta, from their home on the central island of Lombok.
In a year when young people worldwide have followed the example of activist Greta Thunberg in flagging environmental concerns, these Indonesian students are using plastic items to make the puppet characters that bring alive traditional tales.
“Small amounts of waste that we are hoarding in our homes can become a ‘big ghost’,” said Abdul Latief, who set up the first puppet school on Lombok in 2015, to ensure it did not lose its next generation of puppeteers.
“It can fill the…
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