ASIA FORUM: CHAPTER 6-INDONESIA: A Report by Dr. Bishakha Sarma

 “Asia Forum-Chapter 6 Indonesia” which is an offshoot of the Asian Literary Society and Journal of Asian Art, Culture and Literature (JAACL) took place on August 8th, 2021 at 1800 hours IST and 1930 hours WIB on the virtual forum of Asian Literary Society Facebook Page.

 The event involves a presentation of the various genres of Indonesian Literature by the distinguished authors and poets from various parts of Indonesia – Ewith Bahar, Diadjeng Laraswati Hanindyani, Genoveva Dian Uning and Yanita Ismail. 

The session begins with a welcome note by Mr. Manoj Krishnan, the Founder of Asian Literary Society and Editor-in-Chief of JAACL. Thereafter, the session was moderated by Dr. Bishakha Sarma, Linguist and Administrator of Asian Literary Society. 

The discussion started with Author Ewith Bahar’s understanding on the evolution of the literature of Indonesia and highlighted some classical literary work, while Poetess Yanita Ismail provided her views on the evolution of Indonesian poetry, and also how these are shaping in the present. 

Author Ewith Bahar also says “old poems grew in society orally. Mantra and pantun are the oldest ones, besides seloka, karmina and talibun…There are so many kinds of pantun, since Indonesia has 34 provinces. Almost every province has its own version of pantun and mantra. Pantun that was stipulated as Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO on December 2020, regarded as a treasure of Indonesian literature. But Indonesian modern poems nowadays have been transformed and developed into various new styles, not only sticking to the style and rule of pantun”. 

Author Diadjeng Laraswati Hanindyani gave her insights about the Travel literature of Indonesia. She also spoke about her fictional travel stories which are based on facts and her travel articles. She discussed on her book of short stories (Children’s Literature) entitled “I and the Universe” that features manifestations of humanity in managing nature for the sake of continuity of life.

Author Ewith Bahar spoke about her latest book on Essay about the most famous Indonesian poet, the late Chairil Anwar, and his struggle towards life in the colonial era. 

Author Genoveva Dian Uning’s soft thriller novel “Kaliyandra” also occupied a distinct space in the discussion. The program concludes with an appreciation note by Mr. Manoj Krishnan. 

Asian Literary Society and JAACL aims to further continue its pursuits in the promotion and preservation of Asian Art, Culture, and Literature.

The event has been archived on the YouTube channel of the Asian Literary Society and can be viewed through the following link: