Indonesian Heritage Language and Literature

Bahasa Indonesia is the national and heritage language of the country. Almost 90 percent of Indonesian understand and speak the language, but actually, Bahasa Indonesia is not the mother language of the majority people. Most of the Indonesian people speak the mother language of their regions such as Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, and much more. Most of the time, Indonesian people speak a colloquial version of Bahasa Indonesia or mixing the mother language with the national language. Here is the discovery about Indonesian Heritage Language and Literature:

History of Bahasa Indonesia

Many people, especially foreigners, often think that Bahasa Indonesia is similar to the Malay language. Tracing back the history of the language, Bahasa Indonesia was rooted in the Malay language. Assessing from a linguistic point of view, Bahasa Indonesia is one of the many kinds of Malay language. The base of Malay language for Bahasa Indonesia is Bahasa Melayu Riau (Malay language from Riau Archipelago) from the 19th century as the heritage language.

In early 20th century, Bahasa Indonesia has gone through changes in its application as the main language in the administration area of colonial. In the era of Dutch colonialism, the Dutch government realizes that the Malay language can be used to help administration process among local people because they have a low understanding of Dutch language.

Throughout the years, the differences of formal form between Malay language and early Bahasa Indonesia has visible. This is because both languages adopted different spelling system in which Bahasa Indonesia adopted Van Opuijsen spelling system while the Malay language adopted the Wilkinson spelling system.

Bahasa Indonesia was declared as the national language as a proposal from Muhammad Yamin, a politician, and history expert. The development of Bahasa Indonesia continues as numbers of a man of letters from Minangkabau gave influence to the language. They added words into the dictionaries complete with the morphology Indonesia language and the syntax.

About Indonesian Literature

Indonesian literature has developed much over the past few years. It is divided into some types of literature according to the ideas. In general, it is divided into fiction and nonfiction literature. Fictional literature includes prose, drama, and poem while the nonfiction includes autobiography, biography, and essay.

  1. Prose – prose is a written document which is not limited to lines and rhymes. It is divided into two kinds which are an old and new form of prose. The old form of prose consists of legends, myth, fable, and sage. While the new version of prose consists of short stories, novel, and such thing.
  2. Folklore – folklore is a story developed in a region orally in which the writer is unknown. Some of the stories included as folklore is Sangkuriang, Lutung Kasarung, and more.
  3. Poem – in Indonesia, the poem is classified into pantun and syair. Pantun is a poem which is limited to lines and rhymes while syair is a free poem without the need to follow the rules.

Bahasa Indonesia is a heritage from the Malay language. That is why Bahasa Indonesia sounds familiar with Malay language but still has slight differences. The development of the language mostly affects the Indonesian literature as well. Also, there are many Benefits of Learning Bahasa Indonesia and we can dive deeper about Indonesian Heritage Language and Literature for our everyday life.