Monday, January 28, 2008

Local language in 9PM

A call came from Deddy Ardiansyah, reporter of 9PM Magazine, couple weeks ago. He found one of my weblog, This is a blog where I collect and put every word and phrase of bahasa Medan or Medan language. I told him that my blog has been dormant for almost a year. Not because I didn’t get any entry, but more because, uh, you know… too lazy to do that. But he said, it is the only weblog that has the most entries he ever found and listed together in alphabetical order.

The 9PM is a new free magazine published in city of Medan, North Sumatra. It’s a city lifestyle magazine which managed by a group of energetic young men. They released the first edition last December, covered the raise of creative industries in some big cities in Indonesia including Medan. And for the second edition, the local language had been picked up as their headline.

The language itself is slightly different from Melayu (Malay) --known as lingua franca in archipelago which eventually evolve become Indonesia language. It seems that the language was the result from mixing use of Melayu with other languages such as Javanese, Chinese, Malay, and Batak. It’s interesting to know that Medan people always keep their language style even they live far way from Medan now. Many say that using Medan language provides them strong identity because it’s a unique style which clearly represents their Sumatra culture. Using categories used by Edward T. Hall (1973), we could place Medan culture (includes its language) as a low context culture: verbal, explicit, to the point. In this culture, people say what they mean and mean what they say.

So, Deddy promises me to send a copy of the newest edition of 9PM. The package hasn’t arrived yet, but at least you can see the cover (see left). Cool….

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