Rancage Literary Prize, Recognition for the Development of Literacy and Nusantara Culture
Medan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta - National Library and Rancage Cultural Foundation held Rancage Literary Prize awarding to authors who produced best literary work in local language. This year, Rancage Cultural Foundation awarded Rancage Literary Prize for two categories, Rancage Prize which includes Sundanese Literature, Javanese Literature and Balinese Literature, as well as Samsudi Prize.
Rancage Literary Prize was given for Eris Risnandar (poem collection titled "Serah” (Surrender)), Javanese Literary for Sunaryata Soemardjo (novel titled "Tembang Raras ing Tepis Ratri") and Balinese Literary for I Ketut Sandiyasa (short story collection titled “Kupu-kupu Kuning Ngindang di Candidasa”), as well as Sundanese-language children story Samsudi Prize for Ai Rohmawati (Pohaci Nawang Wulan).
The prize was awarded by the initiator of Rancage Cultural Foundation Ajip Rosidi, Board of Trustees of Rancage Cultural Foundation Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas, Head of Special Collection Service of National Library Yeri Nurita, and Head of Provincial Library Office and Archives of West Java Riadi at Soekarman Theatre, National Library service facilities building, Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 11, Jakarta, on Thursday (12/9/2019).
Yeri Nurita said this activity was a support from National Library to Ajip Rosidi that focuses on developing archipelago culture and literacy in an effort to improve nation’s intelligence and empowerment. "Because it is natural if National Library awards the ultimate recognition to Mr. Ajip Rosidi and the team of Rancage Cultural Foundation by participating in the implementation of this Literary Prize awarding," he explained when delivering opening remarks.
Currently, there are 650 local languages in Indonesia. There is a concern that local languages will extinct as its speakers are diminishing. Yeri mentioned this award is a response to concerns about the decline in use and the number of its speakers. "Because writers, cultural practitioners, regional cultural activists, and local language teachers are real nationalists who manifest their dedication to their nation and country by continuing to develop their mother tongue and culture. We need to give the ultimate recognition,” told he.
Erry Riyana called the authors who use local language is mother tongue preserver because they successfully document mother tongue. "On this occasion we expect anyone to contribute to local literary life. Let's join us to to care together and appreciate the work of national authors as well as strengthen our beloved Indonesian nation bond, "he said.
Rancage Literary Prize was awarded in 1989 at the initiative and personal fund of cultural practitioner and Sundanese artist, Ajip Rosidi. For 31 years, the award for mother tongue writers has developed. Initially, the award was given only to authors who wrote books of Sundanese literature. But since 1990, the awarding has changed, given to people or institutions who have the merit of developing and maintaining the life of language and literature in mother tongue. Furthermore, each year, Rancage Literary Prize is awarded in two categories, work and merit.
In 1994, Rancage began awarding the prize for Javanese literature, in 1998 for Balinese literature, in 2008 for Lampung literature, in 2015 for Bataknese literature, to 2017 for Banjar literature. In addition, each year it is awarded a prize for Sundanese children's reading book, the Samsudi Prize.