WHY IS JAVANESE’UNGGAH-UNGGUH’ DECLINING ?
By hadimirac1e. Friday, August 15, 2008 11:29:43 AM
(The head of the Javanese Department,
Faculty of Letters and Arts Sebelas Maret University Surakarta)
Drs. Sri Marmanto, M.Hum.
Lecturer of the English department,
Faculty of Letters and Arts Sebelas Maret University Surakarta )
Nowadays Javanese ‘unggah-ungguh’ (speech levels) is declining. Most of
Javanese, particularly young generations, are not able to use Javanese krama
appropriately. The young generations are those who are at kindergartens, elementary
schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools. Whereas, they have strategic
positions and roles to maintain their mother tongue (Javanese).
The declining of Javanese speech levels should be wisely and integratedly
handled through a well-planned program. Javanese, krama in particular, is not only a
language of communication, but it is also an expressive language. It reflects glorious
values, respect others. The choice of the variety used in communication mirrors one’s
personality. It is closely related to the Javanese view that one’s personality and attitude
are indicated by his/her ways of speaking and of behavior.
The maintenance of unggah-ungguh is urgently needed because it enables to
motivate the young generations to be proud of, faithful, and love their mother tongue. By
doing so, they have the sense of belonging and responsibility with the Javanese speech
levels. Considering that Javanese is a language of literary works and of culture, it is
necessarily developed and socialized in the society under the Indonesian nationalism.The
maintenance of Javanese speech levels should be supported by family, the government
both the legislatives and executives, private and state institutions those who are
committed to Javanese speech levels.
Are Javanese parents proud of their children speaking good Indonesian, foreign
languages, such as English, German, French, or Mandarin and they still speak Javanese
well ? On the other hand, shall we sacrifice unggah-ungguh as the protective guarantee
for the sake of nationalism and technology ?
This abstract is sent for selection of paper in the International Symposium on the
Languages of Javanese, at Hotel Graha Santika, Semarang , Java, Indonesia 15-17 August