‘Kidung Interaktif’ keeps Bali tongue alive
by Luh De Suriyani Bali Daily, 2012-11-16
Kidung Interaktif programs broadcast on television and radio stations across the island are persuading more Balinese women to preserve their ancient Balinese language. Makidung, which literally means to sing, is a literary activity in which individuals take turns in singing parts of traditional short or long poems written in Balinese or Old Javanese. Usually, the participants also take turns in translating the works into contemporary Balinese or Indonesian.
In the last two decades, makidung has increasingly been featured on popular Balinese radio and television shows, with the name Ki-dung Interaktif.
Researcher I Nyoman Darma Putra explained that historically, Balinese men dominated activities for the appreciation of Balinese or Jawa Kuna literature, which is referred to by various terms including mabebabasan, makakawin, makidung, magegitaan, or masanti.
“Nowadays, more women are participating in this program. Their number now exceeds the number of men taking part,” said Putra.
Putra said that research carried out between February and July last year showed that 1,000 hours of Kidung Interaktif programming were recorded on radio. Of around 5,400 callers that joined the shows, more than 60 percent were women. Meanwhile, 317 participants took part in 53 hours of Kidung Interaktif programs on television, with around 64 percent of them being women.
Besides the recordings, interviews were held with the female presenters and the active participants for the research. Women’s increasing participation in such programs shows significant effort to preserve and develop the magegitaan in Bali.
“The motivation for these women is not only to appear on TV or radio, but also to preserve Balinese arts and culture,” Putra said.
The Kidung Interaktif program, which is available on a variety of electronic media in Bali, is a topic of research conducted by Putra, I Wayan Suardiana and IDG Windu Sancaya, all of whom are lecturers in the school of letters at Udayana University. The research is a joint-project in collaboration with the University of Queensland in Australia.
There are 15 radio stations in Bali that use Balinese language in their programs.
Among the radio stations being studied are the Indonesian Republic Radio (RRI) in Denpasar, Global Radio and Meganada Radio in Tabanan regency and Genta Radio in Badung regency.
“Radio is an effective medium to resurrect the Balinese language, although many listeners are elderly,” Putra said. Meanwhile, Suardiana pointed out that the four radio stations presented the most interesting model of Kidung Interaktif programming, which explained why their programs continued to attract listeners to actively participate.
“The participants are allowed to sing in a traditional way, known as mageguritan, which is broadcast live,” he said. Suardiana acknowledged that the Balinese language used by the programs’ hosts and participants was a mixture of old (kuna) and modern Balinese.
“Such singing programs could serve as an effective example for the preservation of other traditional languages across our archipelago,” said Suardiana.
by Luh De Suriyani on 2012-11-16
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