Uniting ASEAN by literature

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – In a opening night of a 4th ASEAN Literary Festival, reason in Jakarta on Aug 3-6, a Culture and Education Ministrys ubiquitous executive of enlightenment Hilmar Farid delivered a open harangue about how enlightenment should be used to combine people in Southeast Asia.

The proceed is deliberate critical with courtesy to strengthening people-to-people family in ASEAN that are indeed formed on identical informative products, such as a Tales of Panji that creatively comes from East Java.

This mythological story of intrepidity and adore also exists in Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand with opposite titles and characters.

People in Southeast Asia also share a same faith in spook and suggestion with several names such as “nangnak” in Thailand and “kuntilanak in Indonesia—both impute to womanlike spook sense who dies of childbirth.

Some of a similarities uncover tie between countries in a segment that has existed prolonged before a first fathers of 5 ASEAN member states done an agreement of Bangkok Declaration, a substructure of spontaneous mercantile and socio-cultural team-work on Aug 8, 1967.

Now roughly 50 years given ASEAN was founded, a informative aspect is still believed to be a many absolute middle for building mutual understanding, clarity of belonging and common identitiy as a spontaneous society.

Abdul Khalik, a owner of ASEAN Literary Festival, considers informative products such as novel as a many healthy component to commend and combine between individuals—or in this context, among nations.

“Understanding a enlightenment and proceed of meditative of a republic by a literary works is some-more touching than a useful mercantile proceed or chosen domestic approach,” he said.

This thought has speedy him to consistently classify a festival that consists of a far-reaching operation of discussions on applicable spontaneous issues and programs for immature Southeast Asian writers to interact, sell ideas and rivet in amicable activities.

Fully upheld by a Culture and Education Ministry as good as Foreign Affairs Ministry, ASEAN Literary Festival is a tiny step to build sermon and communication between writers and readers, that is approaching to assistance minimizing disagreement among countries in a region.

“As neighbors that know any other, we will revoke a seeds of conflict,” Khalik noted.

Another idea of a festival is to build networks and cooperations among individuals, quite those who work in artistic and edition industries, so that ASEAN has a stronger position when traffic with other large countries such as China, United States, India and European countries.

“If ASEAN has turn a prolongation heart with a possess market, we will have ability to effectuate peoples wealth yet any dependency on other countries,” a former publisher of English-daily journal The Jakarta Post explained.

Having a same viewpoint as that if Khalik, techer of English Study Program, Faculty of Culture Studies, Brawijaya University, Yusri Fajar, pronounced that a informative proceed has a some-more certain proceed of delivering frank values and messages by expressions in literary works.

Forum like ASEAN Literary Festival, according to him, could offer as a middle for deliberating even a many supportive emanate such as South China Sea, in a some-more spontaneous and loose atmosphere.

“Here we are not perplexing to communicate domestic matter yet how to demonstrate a mutual interests of lenient this ASEAN Community by informative perspective,” Fajar said.

Attempts to combine ASEAN by literature, though, is still confronting some challenges.

Azhar Ibrahim, techer during a Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore, pronounced that nonetheless literary works by Southeast Asian writers are augmenting in series and quality, a destiny literary sermon stays unclear.

The not-well-developed literary preparation and low reading seductiveness in ASEAN countries are also worsening a situation.

“As an example, Pram (Pramoedya Ananta Toer) and Mochtar Lubis have never been brought to general discourse, so we have no critical egghead bid to echo,” a author of “Contemporary Islamic Discourse in a Malay-Indonesia World: Critical Perspectives” (2014) said.

Meanwhile, one of participants of a festivals writers residency module from Vietnam, Tra Nguyen, certified her originality with a literary works by Southeast Asian authors due to denunciation barriers.

Taking that into consideration, interpretation has turn one of a large issues being discussed during a residency, on how a routine of translating works from their local languages to a aim denunciation should be carried out to boost recognition of Southeast Asian literatures.

“If that is too formidable to be realized, we can start translating to a middle denunciation such as English as a good proceed to enhance a readers of literatures from this region,” Nguyen said.

Literary works of Southeast Asia have strength on themes of culture, ethnics, traditions and culinary uniqueness.

The impact of colonialism and dispute in a past also presented as standard literary themes from this segment as can be decorated in Eka Kurniawans novel “Beauty Is a Wound” (2002) and Loung Ungs discourse “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers” (2000) that will be shortly blending into Netflix film by American singer and filmmaker Angelina Jolie.

Through these works, Yusri Fajar sees that companion phenomena between Southeast Asian countries is really engaging to be explored, generally by a people outward a region.

As an ASEAN citizen, according to him, we need to be unapproachable and reason a confidence that Southeast Asian literary works will be grown and be means to contest during a general level.

“It will give a sense that Southeast Asia is a joined domain that has a singular culture,” he said.(*)

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