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Inul Daratista

Inul (her real name is Ainul Rokhimah; Inul Daratista means "the girl with the breasts"). She was born poor in Kejapanan village, Gempol, East Java. She started her performing career as a rock singer at age 12 but soon switched to dangdut, the happy folk-pop blend of Indian, Arab and Malay music that has long been the sound of Indonesian people.  Inul Daratista hasn't released a single recording, but one critic estimates that around 3 million pirated VCDs of her recordings have been sold in Indonesia.

Though she initially earned Rp. 4.000 per show, Inul Daratista attracted millions of fans in East Java, where her dancing (“drilling”) style was unique. A singer like Inul Daratista is quite familiar in Java. You could find so many Inuls in any small town in East or Central Java." In January 2003, Inul Daratista came to Jakarta and performed on Warung Tojedo, a national television program. Virtually overnight, Inul mania swept Indonesia, and within weeks, Inul Daratista was on the cover of major national magazines and appearing on television more often than the country's President. Inul's concert fees rose dramatically, to anywhere from Rp.11million to Rp. 17 million per show.

Indonesians snapped up copies of illegally recorded VCDs of Inul's old East Java performances—making her perhaps the first musician to owe much of her fame to piracy. A music producer Arswendo Atmowiloto said "Inul Daratista's what the people want."

A lot of muslim clerics including Roma Irama (the king of Dangdut pop) object about the dancing style of Inul’s perfomance. “Write this down,” she commands. “The MUI should realize that Indonesia is not a Muslim country, it’s a democratic country.” Inul, who says she prays daily, insists that her art doesn’t clash with her Islamic beliefs. “Why should they care about me when there are pornographic VCDs and prostitutes in the street? They choose me because I am an easy target.

Meanwhile, KH Abdurahman Wahid the former president of Indonesia and one of the most prominent muslim clerics in NU the largest Islamic organization in this country  said that Inul had better not listen to Roma’s criticism and threats, Inul is free to express her art performance.

switch: segera berpindah

blend: campuran     

prostitutes : pelacur               

snap up: membeli

rose: naik                               

piracy: pembajakkan

“drilling”: “ngebor”

owe: berhutang

muslim cleric: ulama


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