Author Seno Gumira Ajidarma Emphasizes the Roles of Languages in Nation

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Seno Gumira Ajidarma during seminar with Dr. Ni Wayan Sartini, M.Hum., in Siti Parwati Hall FIB UNAIR. (Photo: UNAIR NEWS)

UNAIR NEWS – The roles of language are various in life. Beside as communication medium, language also functions as identity of the nation. In response to language issues related to nationalism issues, Indonesian Literature department student association (HMD), Universitas Airlangga, held a seminar, “Bahasa dan Sastra Sebagai Media Memanusiakan Bangsa dan Membangsakan Manusia”.

The seminar was held in Siti Parwati Hall FIB UNAIR on Tuesday, November 8. It invited two important figures in language and literature scene. From language, there was Dr. Ni Wayan Sartini, M.Hum., and from the literature the national author Seno Gumira Ajidarma was present. The seminar was a part of Language and Literature Festival.

In his presentation, Wayan who is also a lecturer of Indonesian literature UNAIR, explained that a language is a medium to connect people to the nation and to build a character. In terms of the former, a language is defined as the realization of nationalism and character of the nation.

“Why  language functions to connect the people to the nation? Because language has a great role in defining identity and character. Remember, language used defines identity of an individual,” she said.

Regarding the language which shows feature and characteristics, the doctor from  Universitas Udayana Bali gave an example on language feature in Javanese. The layers of Javanese language show cultural patterns of different communication at every range of age and community.

“Those kind of things illustrate the patterns of Javanese people life,” she added.

Supporting Wayan’s statements, Seno, a doctor from Indonesian Literature of Universitas Indonesia emphasized the importance of language roles. For him, language can be used in any aspects of life. In intellectual community, Seno explained that language is not only for communication but also as a medium which connects various realities.

“Various realities can be connected by languages, either social, cultural or spiritual,” he said.

The man born in Boston also explained that the dispute on language claim can also happen. Seno gave an example on Sapardi’s work in the 80s which did not care of words’ meaning. Therefore, Seno concludes that the power of human to language includes ideology to share.

“In using language, the claim on who’s right is common. All fight for it because underneath the language there is ideology which directs them,” he said. (*)

Author : Nuri Hermawan
Editor    : Binti Q. Masruroh

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