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Witness: The popular demand for learning Sufi dance in Indonesia


The demand for learning Sufi dance is increasing in Indonesia, where some consider it a hobby, while others take it as a source of livelihood and learning the Qur’an.

Fajr Supriadi teaches those interested in the rules of Sufi dance at a school in north Jakarta.

He says he started a Sufi dance group in 2014 with only four people at the time, before it expanded and became more popular.

“Some young people who live in North Jakarta, especially in Malacca and Rotan districts, have joined and are eager to learn. The group now has 15 to 20 members, both boys and girls,” adds Suprady.

The group regularly organizes Sufi dance classes on Saturdays and Mondays.

According to Sobrady, Sufi dance provides its practitioners with a great spiritual and artistic experience.

He says, “When I studied Sufi dance, it became clear that this is not just a dance, but there is dhikr and there is a certain prayer, and there is communication with God. Then when I dance, I feel a pleasure that I cannot describe.”

In its infancy, the school faced resistance from some local residents who did not understand the Sufi ritual.

“In the beginning, we were rejected in the sense that they did not understand what this dance was,” Sobrady says. “But now the group is welcomed into the community and the combination of dance and local traditions helps.”

Muhammad Anwar Pandwa Lima, one of the students at the school, says learning Sufi dance has helped him perform it at paid events.

He adds that this helps him bear the costs of his university studies, as well as learning the Qur’an.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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