"Conveying the values of Pancasila through shadow puppet shows is an effort to attract people`s attention. They prefer something entertaining to other conventional ways such as dialogue and training," People`s Consultative Assembly (MPR) deputy speaker Hadjriyanto Y. Thohari said here on Thursday.
"People are not interested dialogue, speeches or training sessions. But if we organize a puppet show, hundreds of them come to watch it," he added.
Thohari noted that Indonesian people were no longer aware about the values of Pancasila, which led to rising anxiety and confusion in an increasingly heterogeneous society.
"Therefore, we have been looking for new ways to promote Pancasila and its principles. So far, shadow puppet shows have been the most successful way of doing it across the country," he noted.
Thohari said the shows were being held across most provinces in Java Island and some in Sumatra, such as Lampung and Medan.
"The campaign began in 2009. The shows are not held only in Javanese language. The language changes according to the region where the show is held. We make it in local language in order to reach out to as many people as possible," he explained.
"We also assess the effectiveness of the shadow puppet shows by gathering feedback. This is done in cooperation with some universities, such as Airlangga University and Islamic State University. They conduct the research for us," Thohari pointed out.
He said the government also ran awareness campaigns in the form of quiz contests, seminars, and group discussions on Pancasila values, Indonesian constitution and national integration.
"The campaigns have been broadly done in the eastern part of Indonesia, including Manado, Ambon and Papua. However, we have found that the use of traditional art forms has been the most effective everywhere," Thohari noted.
The campaigns are done by people from different religious backgrounds and age groups. Public figures and women activists have also taken part in them.
"We have even tried to promote Pancasila through rock music," Thohari said.