Sunday, 22 February 2009

Bamboo Music Bridges East and West

Sundanese Corner News
Written by Hawe Setiawan

BANDUNG----A traditional Sundanese music, different songs from all over the world, a collaboration between local musicians and their foreign counterparts and a successful modification of musical instruments will all play their part in bridging East and West.

Such a hopeful impression might have come out of an angklung concert performed last night at Preanger Hotel, Bandung. The ‘Enchanting Night’ –-that’s the title of this charming musical performance---, which was presented by Bandung-based Angklung Web Institute, has apparently made its audience enchanted by some musical pieces, both traditional and modern, pop and classical, Sundanese and Western.

The three hours concert presented the performances of Insperto Orchestra, Arumba Parahiyangan and Temen Awi Angklung Orchestra, before some two hundred audiences, both young and old ---some even came with kids.

Insperto Orchestra, which successfully combined bamboo instruments with traditional percussions, performed ‘Tea for Two’ (Vincent Youmas & Irving Caesar), ‘Donau Wellen’ (Johanes Ivanovici), ‘Cari Pacar Lagi’ (a contemporary Indonesian pop song) and a medley of some Sundanese folk songs.

The second performance by Arumba Parahyangan presented ‘Pachito El Che’ (Benny More), ‘Blue Moon’ (Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart), ‘Tilil’ (a Sundanese folk song), ‘Hungarian Dance’ (Johannes Brahms) and ‘Masquerada’ (Jorge Ben).

And the last but perhaps the most excellent performance by Temen Awi Angklung Orchestra, conducted by Roswita Amelinda, Irma Noerhaty, Edward C. van Ness and Obby A.R. Wiramihardja, presented ‘Lalayaran’ (a Sundanese folk song), ‘Somewhere My Love’ (Richard Straus), ‘O Solemio’ (Eduardo di Capua), ‘New York, New York’ (John Kander & Fred Ebb), ‘Santorini’ (Yanni), ‘Li Biamo Ne Lieti Calici’ from ‘La Traviatta’ (Giuseppe Verdi) and an excerpt of ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra (Johan Strauss). Their performance was also enriched by two sopranos.

Angklung is one of well-known Sundanese musical instruments made from bamboo. Since time immemorial Sundanese people had been playing angklung music as one of their cultural heritages. The late Daeng Soetigna (1908-1984) created a kind of modern and diatonic angklung. And ‘The Enchanting Night’ was presented in commemorating a 100 years of the ‘Father of Angklung’.***

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Rigg’s Dictionary Reissued -- 147 Years late

Sundanese Corner News
Written by Hawe Setiawan

BANDUNG---A Dictionary of the Sunda Language of Java by Mr. Jonathan Rigg is reissued, 147 years after its first publication. This classical Sundanese-English dictionary reappears amid the celebration of the 2009 International Mother Tongue Day in Bandung, the capital of West Java province.

Mr. Rigg was a member of the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences. The English planter had lived among Sundanese people of West Java for several years. His dictionary, which is the first Sundanese-English dictionary that has ever been compiled in history, was first published in 1862 by Lange & Co. publishing house at Batavia (now Jakarta).

‘We reissue Rigg’s dictionary along with four contemporary Sundanese literary works in celebrating this historical moment,’ said Mr. Rachmat Taufiq Hidayat this afternoon. Mr. Hidayat is the CEO of Bandung-based Kiblat Buku Utama publishing house that publishes the dictionary in collaboration with Padjadjaran University (UNPAD).

UNPAD rector Dr. Ganjar Kurnia launched the books at his main campus in Bandung today. In the celebration, he also invited some old Sundanese literary figures to recite their Sundanese poems before younger audiences.

Apart from its new cover and colophon, the ‘new edition’ of Mr. Rigg’s dictionary is completely similar with the original one. There is no revision. Even the typography and old pronunciation have left unchanged. The only new thing in its content is an introduction that is written by Mr. Hidayat himself which is also known as a book collector.

'We just reserve the history. We would like to remind Sundanese people to this monumental work,' said Mr. Hidayat.***

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Gender-Free Pronoun: Everyone is 'Manehna'

Of course, Sundanese people consist of women and men, girls and boys, but they don't think that their words have to be sexist. Unlike English language which separates 'she' from 'he', 'her' from 'his, 'her' from 'him', Sundanese language doesn't separate human being. Everyone is manehna or anjeunna (she/he) in polite manner. The word mantenna, which has the same meaning, usually refers to God or holy figure.

Friday, 13 February 2009

The Context of 'Kuring' and Its Synonyms

There are several words which bear function as the first singular personal pronoun. The words in question are  kuring [koo-ring], dewek [de-wek], aing [a-ing], abdi [ab-di] and simkuring [sim-koo-ring]. 

Which one to be used? Don't be confused. In fact, these first singular personal pronouns have different contexts. What we have to do is considering the contexts, whether the speech act to be conducted is formal or informal, polite or inpolite. 

Kuring is the most common pronoun, especially in informal or friendly speech. Character in short stories usually refers to herself as kuring, e.g. 'kuring indit ka sakola' (I go to school). The word simkuring and abdi are usually used in formal and polite speech, while aing (and also dewek) tends to be inpolite.

The word abdi (which literally means 'servant') is very polite. One can uses it not only to her fellow, but also to God. For example, one can expresses, 'Nun, Gusti, abdi peryogi artos' (O, my Lord, I need some money).

As for the word aing and dewek, one can uses the words when she talks to her best friend, especially in an informal situation. It is also common for one to use the words when she speaks to herself. And don't forget to use the words when you are angry with someone. (Are we angry with ourselves? I have no idea.)

Please note that in Sundanese part of speech there is no difference between subject and object which refer to the first personal pronoun. In English we differentiate 'I' from 'me', for instance. Yet in Sundanese language,  the word kuring could bear function both as subject and object. For example, the expression 'she gives the book to me' may be translated into Sundanese as manehna mikeun eta buku ka kuring.