Sunday, 29 March 2009

Promoting PSS

Sundalana, PSS periodical

Sundanese Corner
© 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.***

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Young Teachers Win Hardjapamekas Awards

Sundanese Corner News
©Hawe Setiawan

BANDUNG---Sri Asdianwati, Ai Koraliati and Darpan win the 2009 Hardjapamekas Awards for teaching. Each of the three young Sundanese schoolteachers of West Java gets a trophy and cash of Rp 5,000,000. Chair of judges praise them as creative young schoolteachers who successfully encourage children and teenagers at school to speak in Sundanese as their mother tongue.

Ms. Asdianwati, 30, teaches Sundanese at an elementary school in Garut, about 50 km east of Bandung, as Mr. Darpan, 39, chooses the same profession at a high school in the town, while Ms. Koraliati, 44, teaches the language at a junior high school in Lembang, near Bandung.

The awards presenting ceremony will be held on March 7th at UPI campus in Bandung.

The Jakarta-based Rancage Cultural Foundation runs Hardjapamekas Awards since last year. The awards are presented to encourage Sundanese teacher amid the deterioration of local languages and literatures in contemporary Indonesia. The family of the late R.S. Hardjapamekas (1913-2005), a notable guru from West Java, supports the annual awards.

Long before presenting Hardjapamekas Awards, Rancage has been presenting the annual Rancage Literary Awards for writing since the end of eighties. The awards are presented to Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese and Lampungese writers. It has also been presenting the Samsoedi Literary Award to Sundanese authors who write Children books.***