Monday, November 21, 2011

Modern Library of Indonesia book series launched at Singapore Writers Festival

Jumbo Editorial Team

Modern Library of Indonesia book series was launched by Lontar Foundation in Singapore recently. The event was supported by Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and Singapore’s National Arts Council and held in conjunction of the Singapore Writers Festival 2011.

The event started with an opening speech by Fachry Sulaiman, Counsellor of Information, Social and Cultural affairs, Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and Khor Kok Wah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council of Singapore. The ceremony was attended by over 80 people, concluding with a book-signing and meet-the-author session with the two featured writers from the book series.

“Being in multi-racial Singapore, we want to promote cross-cultural communication through literature,” Khor observed in his opening speech.

John McGlynn, heading the Board of Trustees of Lontar Foundation, disclosed that the organization was a non-profit and dedicated to promote Indonesian literature and culture with one of its projects being the translation of Indonesian classics so as to engage greater audience worldwide.

During the event, excerpts of works from two featured writers who were present at the event, Oka Rusmini and Putu Wijaya, were read. The launch was also marked with an Oleg Tambulilingan performance, a Balinese dance, which gave a visual and aural treat to the audience. The dance aptly described the launch as a celebration of eternal beauty in the vast world.

Putu Wijaya shared with the audience some of the messages that he attempted to pen down in his literature pieces. He also believed that “Freedom does not give you the license to do as you wish”.

“With limited support (from the Indonesian government), I am glad that we are moving Indonesian literature to the international audiences,” Oka Rusmini shared her excitement during the book launch.

Currently, there are 11 titles in this Modern Library of Indonesia book series, including works from Indonesian artists such as Marah Rusli and Abdoel Moeis.

“We are planning to translate more Indonesian classics as well as children books to engage the young readers,” John McGlynn disclosed when enquired about the future plan of the foundation.

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