Zapin Melayu Dance of North Kayong Regency, West Kalimantan - Indonesia


Malayan culture has a significant impact on the development of locals’ way of living for sure. No wonder, tourists who come to North Kayong Regency in West Kalimantan may notice an interesting traditional dance called Zapin Melayu. To be exact, it is the crossbreed of an Arabian dance so it shows Islamic values as well. Not only it develops in Kalimantan Island (Indonesia), the dance has spread through other nations including Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. For tourists, it is indeed an interesting entertainment when they are exploring North Kayong. So, what is the dance about?

The Nuance
Zapin Melayu Dance is performed in pairs and there are about 4-5 pairs done by the locals. The dancers wear traditional clothes of Malayan and wore simple ornaments like caps, sheaths, shawl, etc (depending on the gender). The fabric has a great quality and it comes in bright colors. As for information, the dancers do not wear any footwear during the performance. What about the musical accompaniment? Some traditional instruments are used, including tambourine, fiddle, small drums, and maracas. The combination of dance movements and the accompaniment makes a nice harmony, which is quite entertaining and soothing.

Exploring Zapin Melayu Dance
Tourists can get many benefits from watching Zapin Melayu Dance for sure. For instance, the performance entertains them, so they won’t feel bored during the vacation. Aside from that, the dance has an interesting history and value for tourists to learn. The thing is they must hire a local guide to get thorough information regarding the dance. Have no worries. It is a worthy expense, as the history is quite valuable for them to learn.

It is said Zapin Melayu Dance became a prime entertainment dance of the palace back then. It was carried and adapted from Yemen by Arabian traders during the 16th century. At the time, Johor Kingdom introduced the dance to nearby nations including Borneo, Singapore, Brunei, etc. No wonder, people who live in West Kalimantan also perform it over time (especially as an entertainment). For further facts and information, tourists can rely on their local guide actually.

So, what is more? Zapin Melayu Dance has various movements, which are quite attractive to the audience. Dancers move well in unison, so they may astonish those who watch the performance. It is a good thing that tourists are allowed to take pictures during the dance! Later, in fact, they have the chance to learn basic moves of the dance directly from the dancers. Make sure to talk first to them, though.

Nearby Attractions

  • Genta Hill
  • Bali Village
  • Air Paoh Natural Spring
  • Pasir Mayang Beach
  • Pulau Datok Beach
  • Durian Monument
  • Tambak Rawang Beach

How to Get There
In order to watch such unique dance, tourists can simply head to North Kayong Regency from Pontianak City. The trip may take about several hours, though. In this case, they need to choose the right route which is Ahmad Yani Street. As an alternative, taking advantage of a tour agent is quite recommended.

Where to Stay

  • Aulia Inn
  • Kapuas Kayong Inn
  • Anugrah Hotel
  • Mahkota Hotel

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