Bahasa Indonesia championed by Chinese


With a population in the hundreds of millions scattered across thousands of islands, why did the whole of Indonesia decide to adopt a language mainly used by Chinese traders as its national language? Altaf Deviyati explains.

“People can be very intelligent but if they do not write then they will disappear from society and history. Writing is the making of one’s immortality” – an apt quote from Ananta Toer from the book This Earth of Mankind, the first of his famous quartet. The written text itself is not what immortalises a person or a society but the narrative.

Literature is the window into the collective psyche of a society. It is the medium that conveys a society’s identity and aspiration at different points in time and is a snapshot of a particular era.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Nov 2015

Space for Penang’s local artists

Two establishments in George Town provide local artists with a platform to showcase their crafts.

Oct 2017

Between Fact and Fiction

Mei Fong and Zen Cho make reverberating impacts in their respective genres.

Sep 2013

A chat with a Master

Cinematographer Christopher Doyle on colour, making movies and working with Wong Kar Wai.