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

Mar 2016

A Stroll through Fuan’s Wonderland

Nestled away in Teluk Bahang is a garden that borders on the fantastic.

Dec 2010

Gender Parity Still A Distant Dream

In spite of the advances made in equal opportunities, society’s expectations of women remain stubbornly stereotypical.

Oct 2017

Penang in a Glove

It is the story of Penang, told using glove puppets.

Jun 2014

Chowrasta Market undergoes change

As the century-old market gets a much-needed face lift, some traders are torn between the convenience of selling their goods by the roadside and the comfort of an indoor stall.