Monthly Archives: January 2016

Alphabet: The Javanese Way

According to sixtyvocab.com, there are around 46(?) different alphabets or writing systems in the world today. This is, of course, debatable, since I hardly believe that they counted all the complex writing systems that many tribes or groups of people still use in Indonesia, India, or Africa.

Thanks to Sukarno, our founding father, we don’t have to struggle with studying the Javanese Honocoroko or the Arabic-Malay Jawi scripts and learn Roman characters instead. But it is heartwarming to see that many regional governments in the archipelago are trying to revive the local scripts by putting them on road signs or government offices.

On a recent trip to Yogyakarta, I encountered a few signs written in both Roman and Javanese letters:

Malioboro Street. The Javanese writing beneath exactly spells the name (I think).
Try this one that I saw outside Ullen Sentalu Museum. The writing above is actually in Roman characters but stylized in Javanese script. Can you read it? It’s ‘nDalem Kaswargan’ (House of Paradise).

I guess we learn something new everyday, ey? 😀

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More takes on Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet.

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