Jawi: sacred and secular
Dr Mulaika Hijjas (SOAS, London)
In 1954, the Malay literary movement ASAS 50 declared itself in favour of Rumi as the script for the Malay language. In 2019, controversy erupted in Malaysia over the (re-)introduction of material featuring Jawi--Malay written in an adapted form of Arabic script--to the national school curriculum. This talk will examine these two moments, at either end of Malaysia's postcolonial history, for what they reveal about the politicisation and Islamisation of the Jawi script. It will present a number of examples of Jawi script usage for both sacred and secular purposes, across its more than 500 year history, to consider to what extent Jawi should be considered intrinsically Islamic, and what implications this may have for its future in contemporary Malaysia.
Read Dr Mulaika's article on New Mandala: https://www.newmandala.org/jawi-identity-and-controversy/
The 2021 ANU Malaysia Institute Seminar Series showcases cutting-edge research by leading and emerging scholars based primarily in Australia and Malaysia. It aims to promote research particularly in the social sciences and humanities, and ultimately further discussions and collaborations among Malaysian Studies scholars in Australia, Malaysia and globally. The series will run once a month for the remainder of the academic year virtually via Zoom, and will subsequently be made available online for public viewing. This series is organised by the Malaysia Institute of the Australian National University, in collaboration with the School of Social Sciences in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang.
Visit https://malaysiainstitute.anu.edu.au/ for more details on the Seminar Series.