LANGUAGE as one of the seven elements of culture plays a quite important role in the sustainability of the culture itself. Many cultural activities involve the role of language.
The Balinese language, for example, is very important for the life of the Balinese people. As the mother tongue, Balinese is used within the family in daily communication, ritual ceremonies and customary activities. This includes being taught to children before they enter formal education. After that, they were introduced to Indonesian and other languages.
In the arts, such as traditional performing arts, the dialogue also speaks Balinese. Except in wayang or puppet performances, the puppeteer speaks Balinese and Old Javanese (Kawi) languages. Usually the puppeteer starts the performance with an introduction in Kawi language as well as in the dialogues of the royal characters. After that, the clowns will interpret the dialogues into Balinese.
In formal schools, there is a subject of Balinese language taught from elementary school to high school. It is hoped that the younger generation of Bali will still have a basis in Balinese as supporter of Balinese culture even though in many subsequent activities they will predominantly speak Indonesian as the official language and foreign languages as a means of business communication.
So far, the development of the Bali region has focused on the tourism sector with a cultural perspective. Well, related to this, the government of the Bali Province is well aware of the importance of the Balinese language so that it pays serious attention to it.
One of the efforts made is to hold the Balinese Language Month IV in 2022. This event lasts a full month during February at the Bali Art Center, Denpasar.
This program is in line with the implementation of the vision: “Nangun Sat Kerthi Loka Bali” through the Planned Universal Development Pattern towards a New Era of Bali, which implies maintaining the sanctity and harmony of Bali’s Nature and its contents to realize a prosperous and happy life of Balinese people physically and psychically (Sekala-Niskala).
This proves that the Bali Provincial Government really cares about the efforts to strengthen and advance of Balinese Language, Script, and Literature, explained the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the Balinese Language Month 2022 at the Ksiraarnawa Building, Bali Art Center, Denpasar on Tuesday (Feb 1).
The fourth Balinese Language Month in 2022 carries the theme “Danu Kerthi: Gitaning Toya Ening,” the Water of Knowledge, meaning Balinese Language Month as a representation of knowledge that flows endlessly radiating virtue, prosperity, and the glory of the world.
This Balinese Language Month 2022 is divided into 6 (six) main activities, namely Workshop, Seminar, Competition, Performance, Exhibition and Bali Kerthi Nugraha Mahottama Award.
All competitions are held through offline and online platform. The competitions that are held offline at the Ksiraarnawa Building such as Balinese Writing (elementary school), Balinese Literacy Reading (village youth), Speech (chief of customary village), Balinese Storytelling (association of woman villagers), and Balinese Debate (high and vocational school level). The participants come from all regencies/municipality across Bali.
Meanwhile for the general category, there are competitions for Balinese Poetry Musicalization, Balinese Articles, Balinese Online Comics, Balinese Online Posters and Photography for Balinese Captions. This competition is held offline and online.
Meanwhile, workshops and seminars related to the Balinese language brought together a number of academics from various universities in Bali as well as experts in palm-leaf manuscripts and other related fields.