Indonesia: Hijab-Wearing Female Metal Group Defies Stereotypes
Voice of Baceprot (VoB) is a female Indonesian metal group consisting of three young women who choose to wear hijabs, a type of Islamic headscarf. The band formed in 2014 in West Java “and use their music to combat the stereotype of Muslim women as submissive or voiceless” according to Reuters.
According to The Guardian, “VoB, as they are known, have achieved acclaim throughout Java and appeared on national television, a reward for the dedication of the band members who every day after school diligently practised their thrash metal riffs and brainstormed original lyrics.” VoB -- "baceprot" means noise in the band’s native Sundanese language -- perform covers of songs by other metal groups as well as original material.
For their national appearance the band was seen wearing matching hijabs, VoB t-shirts, and black jeans. They have been met with mixed reviews.
According to Reuters, “Not everyone in the town of Garut, where the band was formed, and which is home to several Islamic schools, feels the community is ready for them, or that their music is appropriate for performance by young Muslim women.” Indonesia has a population of approximately 250 million people, of whom 90 percent identify as Muslim.
Knowing they are different, the band’s three members Firdda Kurnia, Eusi Siti Aisyah, and Widi Rahmawati are not afraid to face challenging stereotypes. The band features bass, drums, guitar and vocals.
Erza Satia, the teacher who introduced the musicians to metal, now serves as their manager and told The Guardian that “Many people think metal music is satanic but we are showing that there is a different shade, a different side to the music.” The band is selling merchandise and spreading the tagline “The other side of metallism”.
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