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Jakarta Post

Keeping legacy of Javanese script alive

Mon, February 13, 2017   /   12:00 pm
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    A palace servant walks while slightly bowing as a gesture of respect when passing through the Yogyakarta Kraton. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    Two textbooks on Javanese script, the Hanacaraka 1 and the Hanacaraka 2, are displayed. The textbooks are the main teaching materials of the course. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    A servant opens a textbook on a page containing excepts of a wayang story. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    A student uses a pencil to aid him in reading Javanese script. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    A teacher writes the word dibunteli (wrapped) in Javanese script on a white board. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    A pair of glasses belonging to a student lay on a textbook on Javanese script. Most of the palace servants are old and wear reading glasses. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    Participants of a class listen to the teacher, KRT Rinta Iswara, who explains the technique of writing Javanese script. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    A palace servant bows before going home. The tradition is a form of respect within the confines of the palace. JP/ Aditya Sagita

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    Palace servants leave the kraton's library, which is being used as a classroom. JP/ Aditya Sagita

Javanese is used in spoken communication in the Yogyakarta Kraton every day, but when it comes to Javanese script, only a few palace servants can read and write it.

To keep the legacy alive, several palace servants are attending classes on Javanese script twice a week for four months.

Last year, two courses were organized, with classes held every Tuesday and Thursday for four months. This year, the palace will run a third course.

For the lesson, students were given two textbooks on Javanese script: Hanacaraka 1 and Hanacaraka 2. The books contain complete guidelines, including on punctuation. The students learned one chapter per class and were given homework.

The lesson materials were taken from ancient Javanese texts like Babad Tanah Jawi [History of the Land of Java].
Upon completion of the course, the kraton servants are issued certificates.

One of the teachers, KRT Rinta Iswara, said the classes were an effort to keep the legacy of the written Javanese language alive through palace servants. [evi]