Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Dewi Shinta, the daughter of King Janaka of the Kingdom of Mantili. One day the king held a contest to find a prince for his only daughter. The contest eventually was won by the heir of the kingdom of Ayodhya, Prince Rama Wijaya. Princess Dewi Shinta and Prince Rama Widjaya then got married and lived happily together, but not for too long! King Rahwana of the kingdom of Alengkadiraja also wanted to marry Princess Dewi Shinta, because he believed Dewi Shinta was the incarnation of a Goddess Widowati. And the story goes on …
The story above was a short introduction of an Indonesian epic called “Ramayana”. Ramayana is a Hinduism epic that originated from India. The story then was brought to Indonesia and it was adjusted to local Indonesian beliefs. Since then, Ramayana became an Indonesian epic and was told from generation to generation.
Recently Google Chrome Experience launched their own animated version of Ramayana, where they tell the love story of Rama and Shinta in a very interactive way, using HTML 5 and pop-up windows. To potray the Ramayana story, Google uses its products throughout the whole animation, such as Google Maps, Google Talk, Google Search, Google Products, Gmail, Blogger, Google Weather, Google Chrome Incognito mode, and Omnibox. So Google takes the basic plot of Ramayana story and show the viewers how these characters would act if they live in today’s internet era; such as communicating with friends using Google Talk or finding the location of enemies using Google Maps.
Too bad the story is only available in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language); which also makes me wonder why they created this animation specifically for Indonesian audiences? I assume Google sees Indonesia as a big potential market, so they try to market their products in Indonesia through local stories.
However, there is one feature missing in this storytelling: Google Translate! The story would be much better if Google would kindly make the English version of the story, so that foreigners can also follow the story of Ramayana; though I appreciate Google’s effort to help Indonesia preserving Indonesian local stories and culture!
The Google’s Ramayana Epic is available at ramaya.na.