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Seven Indonesian authors awarded for works in regional languages

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, September 29, 2018  /  08:01 pm
Seven Indonesian authors awarded for works in regional languages

Winning authors of the 2018 Rancagé Literary Awards receive cash and a trophy. (Shutterstock/FotoDuets)

Seven authors of ethnic-language publications have received recognition through the annual Rancagé Literary Awards at an event held at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.

It was the first time for the award ceremony to be held in Jakarta.

The authors clinching awards are Nazarudin Azhar (Miang) in the Sundanese (West Java) literature category, Suharmono K. (Kakang Kawah Adi Ari-ari) for Javanese literature, Nirguna or I Gde A. Darma Putra (Bulan Sisi Kauh) for Balinese literature, M. Harya Ramdhoni (Semilau, Sang Rumpun Sajak) for Lampung literature, Panusunan Simanjuntak (Bangso na Jugul Do Hami) for Batak literature, Hatmiati Masy’ud (Pilanggur) for Banjar (South Kalimantan) literature and Tetti Hodijah (Ulin di Monumen) for Sundanese children’s literature. Each winner received a prize of Rp 5 million (US$335) and a trophy.

Established in 1989 by literary veteran Ajip Rosidi, the Rancagé Literary Awards this year had two main categories, namely one to appreciate regional-language works from six provinces of Indonesia and another awarded for Sundanese children’s literature.

Read also: Respected authors awarded Rancage

Ajip Rosidi talks on stage during the awarding night of the Rancagé Literary Awards at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.Ajip Rosidi talks on stage during the awarding night of the Rancagé Literary Awards at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. (Jakarta Arts Council/File)

Dadan Sutisna, the vice secretary of the Rancagé Literary Awards committee, explained how they had gathered all the material for the event. “We asked each of the provinces to send us literary works written in ethnic languages,” said Dadan prior to the awards night on Wednesday.

Not all provinces of Indonesia were considered for awards, since a requirement for being listed is that a province consistently produce a minimum of three literary works annually. If a province only has one publication, it will be accumulated, and they can join the award the following year if the quota has been fulfilled.

For the assessment, the committee collaborates with local literary experts who understand the regional language and culture. Each province has one judge, except for the Sundanese literature category, which has two judges. “There should ideally be three judges for each province, but the number [of judges] is still limited,” Dadan said. “Hopefully we can add more [judges] next year.”

The seven works were chosen based on the authors’ capability in applying their ethnic language and other aspects of literature.

As for the forthcoming Rancagé Literary Awards, the committee is hopeful that works from Madura, East Java, can join. They plan to include only books that are listed with the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

“We've received many indie books with just 20 to 30 exemplars printed. We’re not against indie books, we just want them to be listed,” Dadan said. (kes)

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