Three Indonesian Indigenous Scripts Going Digital

Arfi Bambani | Aulia Hafisa
Pandi is working on digitizing the Indonesian Aksara (Antara)
Pandi is working on digitizing the Indonesian Aksara (Antara) - The Indonesian Internet Domain Name Manager (PANDI) and aksara activists have digitized three Indonesian aksara that have completed the Indonesian National Standard (SNI). 

"Aksara" is a type of letter that takes inspiration from indigenous scripts. Each place in Indonesia has its own Aksara, such as Aksara Jawa in Central and East Java, Aksara Sunda in West Java, and Aksara Bali in Bali. 

"Three aksara have completed the SNI. They are Sundanese, Javanese, and Balinese aksara. We will enlist them to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)," said the Chairman of the Drafting Team for SNI Aksara, Heru Nugroho, in a press statement, Wednesday, December 9, 2021.

ICANN is a non-profit organization that manages and procedure Internet namespace and numeric space databases.

Heru said that digitizing aksara in Unicode is a technical standard for international coding of text and symbols to be displayed on computers, laptops, or mobile phones.

The three Indonesian aksara have obtained SNI for keyboards and script fonts from the National Standardization Agency (BSN).

Indonesian aksara has been studied by elementary to high school students traditionally. "Now, we need to transform the aksara into digital form," he said.

"The digital form of aksara in a keyboard on a cellphone makes people easier to send messages using their ancient letters," he added.

On the broader use of digital characters, aksara can be integrated with the banking security system.

"Banking passwords can use the Indonesian aksara. If we code a digital defense system using aksara, I am sure it's going to be hard to be penetrated," he said.

Yogyakarta is one of the provinces enthusiastic to welcome the digital form of aksara. The digitalization of aksara in Indonesia is in the stage of initiation. There is still a long way to go. For example, it took 20 years for China to make its digital lettering.

At the same event, Deputy for Promotion of Culture of Ministry for Human Development and Culture, Didik Suhardi, said not only the three aksara, but many other aksara have been identified and pushed to be digitalized.

They are Batak, Bima, Lontara Bilang-bilang, Buddha, Incung, Jangang-jangang or burung, Kawi or Old Javanese, Lampung, Bugis, Lota, Arabic-Manudara, Serang, Jontal, Gayo, Gorontalo, Dayak, Kanum, Malesung, Minangkabau, Palembang, and Rikahara.

"We with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Library, the Language Agency, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology have responsibility for digitalizing the aksara," he said.

Tag # aksara # digitalizing aksara # indonesian aksara # javanese aksara # sundanese aksara # balinese aksara # unique

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