I am just curious. What does JIWA means?
Nyawa, roh / batin /benda atau orang yang memberi kekuatan kepada pertubuhan / penjodoh bilangan bilangan manusia/ maksud sebenar dan tersirat (KaMUS Dewan)
Soul, spirit. Those are the nearest English equivalent I could think of.Literally translataed Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa become Language is the Soul/spirit of the nation/nationhood.
Then there is this jiwa-jiwa thing which as I understand means as emotional, something to describe a love sick, emotive soul.
I have difficulty in agreeing to that notion or philosophy that Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa., that language is a reflection of the state of the soul of a nation. Some truths but not wholly though, not hook, line and sinker.
A case in point is Tagalog which I consider to be a Malay dialect. With the conversion of the Filipinos to Christianity, my guess is that a certain percentage of the vocabulary disappeared, those Arabic/Muslim origin Malay words, leaving perhaps 20% Malay words in the language. Thus Tagalog reflects the new found soul of the Filipinos. But why should it abandon the arabic origin words? Isn’t that a loss to the language?
Then there is the other end of the scale. Hindi and English are the national language of
India. In between the two English seems to be the preferred lingua franca for the subcontinent. Ghandi used English more than Hindi and so is Mohan Singh. Does that mean that the Indians have an English soul? Does that make Sharukh Khan less Indian?
I once questioned an ex Director General of Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, the self acclaimed custodian of the Malay Language, “ Havent you, DBP and the other Malay language nationalists been overzealous in your nationalistic program to deprive generations of Malaysian from English or other languages for that matter? Making them as blinkered as those in DBP and many in Government services”
Unfortunately the language becomes the casualty. We see now DBP lamenting on the state of the language in the state. The Chinese and Indians and a growing number of Malays have lost faith in the language not to mention DBP. The language is being abandoned. A language without the CRITICAL MASS will slowly and surely lose its appeal. Malay is losing its ground.
Malay is losing ground because of the custodians are blinkered, narrow nationalistic purists. The kind of sasterawan being honored are the jiwa jiwa sasterawan. I find it unforgiveable that someone is being honored for the beauty of the language but for writing something bad, for stereotyping the Melayus he is supposed to represent. It reflect the lost souls. These lauretes I mean and I wish to dissociate from this sasterawan jiwa-jiwa and the Melayus they claimed to represent. Not smart at all for not being able to differentiate form and substance. Many are not impressed with the JIWA being displayed.
The way forward to arrest the decline?
Redefine Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa. Jiwa is a state of mind. Bahasa or language is just a media to translate that state of mind. Why can’t we have DBP people who are multilingual who are conversant in translations to and from Malay? The Malay or the Malaysian Jiwa has to be enriched with knowledge and substance by what ever means. If it means that we have to do it in Javanese or Urdu then do it.
How about JIWA Bahasa Bangsa? The priority is the JIWA and Bahasa is the statement that a particular nation is making. Naturally a strong Nation with a strong JIWA will take care of its language.
Then there is the CRITICAL MASS strategy. The Malay language cannot lose its position as the lingua franca for the archipelago. In order for it to develop further it must have the numbers, the CRITICAL MASS.
Go and engage the Indonesian whom DBP seems to look down upon. Go and engage the Javanese because they represent the biggestEthnic group of users of the Malay language in the world. SUKARNO did the most strategic thing to the language by convincing the JAVANESE to adopt the Malay language as Bahasa INDONESIA in return for control of the archipelago. Go, penetrate the massive and starategic Indonesian market. Be the biggest publisher in the region.
I find it embarassing that DBP is now contemplating to sue, bring to books those who “misuse” the language. I find it embarrasing that DBP is projecting its phone in service for THE correct Malay. DBP is showing of its flawed jiwa. It is short of ideas, forget about being strategic.