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Jakarta Post

George Quinn: Promoting Javanese with passion

  • Indra Harsaputra

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, December 12 2011   /  10:00 am

The declining enthusiasm for the study of Javanese has never deterred George Quinn from continuing to promote the language in Australia.
George Quinn: JP/Wahyoe BoediwardhanaBorn in New Zealand on July 22, 1943, his love of Javanese culture began when he met Emmy Oey, an Indonesian woman of Chinese descent from Banyumas, Central Java.

“Although Chinese in ethnicity, Emmy’s family was very fond of Javanese gamelan music and preferred Javanese to Chinese in daily speech. I always felt comfortable in my visits to her family in Banyumas,” he told The Jakarta Post during a break at the fifth Javanese Language Congress, held from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30 in Surabaya.

Since those Banyumas visits, Quinn delved deeper into Javanese language and culture while lecturing on the subject at the Australian National University, the only university in Australia that offers Javanese cours...