© Hawe Setiawan
Centre for Sundanenese Studies (PSS) was founded in Bandung by some Sundanese scholars and cultural figures such as Ajip Rosidi, Dr. Edi S. Ekadjati, and Dr. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja in the year 2002. The foundation of this non-governmental and non-profit institution is a realization of one of the recommendations stemmed from The International Conference on Sundanese Culture (KIBS) in Bandung, run by the Rancage Cultural Foundation and supported by the Toyota Foundation, in the year 2001. PSS has a mission to facilitate studies, researches and discussions on any aspect of Sundanese culture as well as their publications.
Since its foundation PSS has been operating a small public library at its secretariat in Bandung. It also issues the Sundalana, a trilingual (Sundanese, Indonesian and English) journal twice a year, and organizes monthly discussion on Sundanese culture. It has also published a book on Sundanese history by the late Dr. Edi S. Ekadjati, a collection of essays on Sundanese culture and literature by Ajip Rosidi, a collection of Sundanese version of some English short stories by Hawe Setiawan and a study on a Sundanese religious figure by Dr. Julian Millie. A few months ago, along with Monash University and Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Gunung Djati, PSS were involved in a one-day seminar on the works of the renowned Sundanese literati Haji Hasan Mustapa.
One of its main interests lies on preserving old Sundanese manuscripts. There are some a hundred old Sundanese manuscripts written in palm leaf and saved in several places, e.g. in the National Library in Jakarta and the Bibliotheek KITLV and Leiden University in Leiden. Yet there are only some fourteen manuscripts that have been read so far by scholars. Most manuscripts are left unread. Since they can be dated to the 16th and 17th century, their recent condition might be alarming. Hence, Sundanese people are on the brink of total ignorance of their ancestors’ voices. PSS would like to cooperate with any other institution in preserving the manuscripts.***