The National Family Planning Coordinating Board on Thursday announced plans to capitalize on the rising popularity of stand-up comedy in Indonesia with a show of its own to promote family planning.
Sugiri Syarief, the head of the agency known as the BKKBN, said the organization would stage the “Planning Generation Comedy Show” from June 1 to 3 at Central Park Mall in West Jakarta.
“Our target is the younger generation, so our messages will be ‘say no to drugs,’ ‘say no to HIV/AIDS’ and ‘say no to free sex,’ ” he said, referring to pre-marital sex.
It is not clear how many comics will perform, but Sugiri said they would represent the country’s 33 provinces.
BKKBN secretary Sudibyo Alimoeso said the stand-up format was chosen to capitalize on the current comedy boom.
“Stand-up comedy is gaining popularity on television stations. If we can weave in information [on family planning] into the jokes, it will be better received by the younger generation,” he said.
Sudibyo said sex- and family planning- related jokes were already common among Indonesian youth, but often they contained “false” claims and anecdotes about sex. That meant a comedy event was an appropriate venue to challenge myths and misconceptions about the subject.
Senior journalist and cultural expert Arswendo Atmowiloto, who will be the competition’s judge, said the jokes presented should be within the boundaries of what is acceptable in Indonesia.
“It is impossible to do stand-up about family planning without talking about sex, but there are cultural issues. As long as it is not presented vulgarly, I think it is still acceptable,” Arswendo said.
BKKBN chairman Sugiri that said prior to the event, each comic would be briefed about what messages they must and must not convey.You won't see that on the Globe's website until at least midday, though, for reasons I can't even begin to explain.
Government-approved comedy telling young people not have take drugs or have sex? Telling comics what messages they must and must not convey? Clearly these people have misjudged the entire ethos behind stand-up comedy.