In this digital age, writing or documenting scripts is easily done with the help of technology.
The Hanacaraka Society in Bali, though, is adamant about preserving the art of writing on lontar palm leaves.
Hanacaraka Society founder Sugi Lanus said writing on palm leaves could help people learn about patience, perseverance and the future.
He said patience and perseverance were needed for preparing the leaves, as it could take 1.5 years for the leaves to be ready and durable.
Sugi also noted that modern society could learn about the past from ancient texts, as they covered a variety of topics, from religion, daily life, politics and alternative medicine to the preservation of nature and local customs in the archipelago.
With that in mind, the Hanacaraka Society frequently shares its knowledge of palm-leaf manuscripts through public activities – such as the Workshop Penulisan Lontar dan Pameran Naskah Nusantara (Writing on Lontar Leaves Workshop and The Archipelago’s Scripts Exhibition) at Bandung’s Ajip Rosidi Library in West Java on Thursday.
The tradition of writing on palm leaves is closely associated with the Sundanese people, such as ancient traveler Bujangga Manik, who told of his traveling days to Java and Bali on the leaves in the 15th century.
At the library event in Bandung, participants learned about writing on palm leaves from Sugi, Dewa Ayu Carma Citrawati, a lecturer and writer using the Balinese language, and Siti Noviali, a student at Udayana University in Bali.
West Java Scripts Society head Titin Nurhayati Ma’mun expressed hope that the activity would pique the younger generation’s curiosity about philology.
Titin said the philologist profession was rare nowadays, though it could benefit the community, adding that there was still a large amount of unread script waiting to be deciphered. (jes/wng)