Monday, September 29, 2008
Cerat Centhini - The hidden treasure
I just bought a book; the title is “Centhini – Kekasih Yang Tersembunyi”, a classic masterpiece of Javanese literature. Written in 1814, this literature consists of Javanese tradition and knowledge.
I have searched Cerat Centini since I was a teenager. Every time I found the book, it’s always in Javanese language, a language that I don’t understand. But this time, I found my treasure in my mother tongue language, Bahasa Indonesia language.
I was full of happiness until I read that it was translated from France language, the title is “Les Chants de l’ille a dormir debout – Le Livre de Centhini” and published in 2002.
Suddenly I feel sorry for myself, sorry because Cerat Centhini is our treasure, Indonesia treasures not others. Then why it was written in France before finally translated to Indonesian ?
The answer is because Cerat Centhini to others Javanese expert was too sacred to be translated to Indonesian language while to others was too dirty, like a coin has two sides, religion and desire.
The intention to write in France just because the France Ambassador, Thierry de Beauce, were looking for Javanese flower, then heard a story of Wijaya Kusuma, the only flower which bloom at midnight then lay before dawn. The flower which had written at the last part of Cerat Centhini.
A sad story isn’t it ? A France Ambassador requested to find the literature and translated to French whilst the ideal should be Ours, Indonesian, have to instruct our expert to find and translated in Bahasa Indonesia language instead of translated from Hanacaraka (Javanese alphabetical) to Javanese Latin alphabetical.
The borderline is the tradition, the two sides of a coin. The borderline that prevent us appreciate our history, our treasure.
No wonder Malaysian claimed our batik as theirs, our Angklung as theirs, our song as theirs. We never care; we never appreciate what we have. There are a lot of our treasures still in Dutch museum not in Indonesia museum, and we just keep quite, never ask the Dutch government to return the treasure they had taken from us.
Then suddenly I remembered my friend’s comment on my blog several weeks ago, “the silly thing the westerns learn a lot from easterners !” Here, a lot of Asian center in the university. I believe that you must ever heard “Jongko Joyoboyo” or “Arjuna Wiwaha” and so on ? We, at least me, can’t find it in Indonesia. But here ? Jeez, I can found it in the university’s library ! For both in Bahasa or Javanese !
Another sad, un-patriotic story from me ? Maybe …...