via The Star, 15 November 2023: Aksara Jawa, an ancient Javanese script, represents a significant yet fading aspect of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. Its origins, linked to legends involving Java’s first king, Aji Saka, date back to before the 7th century. Though integral to primary education in Indonesia, its relevance diminishes in higher education, leading to a decline in its usage and preservation.
The Aksara Jawa experience at Amanjiwo was created by Radit Mahindro, senior regional director of marketing and communications of Aman resorts in Indonesia, and Patrick Vanhoebrouck, Amanjiwo’s “resident anthropologist”, who has been studying and researching Javanese history and culture for more than 20 years. Mahindro, just like many of the resort’s local staff, can write and read Aksara Jawa.
Pak Dedi himself is an Aksara Jawa scholar, having continued his lessons after primary school, all the way to college. He shares that there is still much for him to learn about the script.
“There is so much to learn, from the history to the syllables, to the pronunciation and writing. There is no one text book that we can refer to for the scripts, there are many. And sometimes, there are conflicting notes between them. When this happens, a discussion between the scholars has to take place to figure out which information is acceptable,” he explains.