a blog for the globe
Saturday April 29th 2017

2012 ‘Rancagé’ Sundanese Literary Awards

Literature | Friday, 3 Friday 2012 | sundanesecorner.org

Ajip Rosidi

Ajip Rosidi (Photograph: Andi Sopiandi)

Praise to Allah, ‘Rancagé’ Literary Awards for Sundanese literature of this year, by Allah blessings, and with the supports from various parties concerned with the efforts to develop the mother tongue will, if it is Allah’s will, be presented for the 24th time. It has been then 24 years ‘Rancagé’ Literary Awards are presented every single year. In addition to the awards for Sundanese literature, ‘Rancagé’ awards are also presented for Javanese literature since 1994, for Balinese literature since 1997, and for Lampungese literature since 2008. Except for the Lampungese, for books in the language are not always published every year, ‘Rancagé’ Literary Awards for Sundanese, Javanese, and Balinese are regularly presented every single year. This year, the award for Lampungese is not presented, despite of the two books published in the language: Radin Intan II by Rudi Suhaimi Kalianda and Warahan Radin Jambat edited by Iwan Nurdaya Djafar, for Mr. Irfan Anshory, who sponsored the awards for Lampungese and played the role as its judge, unexpectedly passed away last year, and we could hardly find a new judge. (Beside, the two books published in 2011 were not new literary works, so that they are not considered to be awarded.).


In 2011 nineteen books were published in Sundanese, including the ones that were republication. Among the nineteen books, three titles came from Ajip Rosidi (Sawér jeung Pupujian, Guguritan, and Wawacan) that, as usual, aren’t assessed to win ‘Rancagé’ Literary Awards. There were also two works (Kumpulan Carita Pondok Rumaja ‘Short Stories Collection for Teen’ by Zahra et al and poetry anthology Carem ‘Sink’ by A. Yogaswara and Ki Lodaya) that, for they were written through collaboration of writers, are not rated. A biography (Béntang Tembang: Fragmén Kahirupan Nénéng Dinar ‘The Tembang Star: Fragments of the Life of Nénéng Dinar’ by H. D. Bastaman) isn’t rated too. Among the rest thirteen works, there were five children’s literatures that are assessed to win Samsudi Award. The works that are judged to win “Rancagé” Literary Awards, then, consisted of eight literary works: a collection of poems (Paguneman ‘Conversation’ by Acep Zamzam Noor), three short story collections (Duriat ‘Love’ by Saini K. M., Haté Awéwé ‘Woman’s Heart’ by Risnawati, and Samping Kebat Haturan Ema ‘A Batik Fabric for My Mother’ by Dudi Santosa), a drama (Mun-Tangan Alif ‘Holding an Alif’ by R. Hidayat Suryalaga), a collection of essays (Ngamumulé Basa Sunda ‘Preserving Sundanese Language’ by Wahyu Wibisana), and two collection of pantuns (= sisindiran, namely Sisindiran: Rorotékan by H. Adang and Sisindiran jeung Wawangsalan Anyar by Dédy Windyagiri).

Mun-Tangan Alif is the last play written by R. Hidayat Suryalaga. It describes the levels that men must take in order to arrive at the true origin. This work may be seen as a concretization of the so-called martabat tujuh ‘seven stages’. The characters in this drama are Ambu and Bapuh, which have a task to help Utun, Inji, Enok, and Otong in ascending their selves from the first to the seventh level by holding on a rope attached to the Alif at the seventh level. This is not an easy task, however, because in addition to Ambu and Bapuh, there are also Samegost and Samegeist that always block and tease anyone who wishes to ascend his or her self. In his work, Hidayat is capable to subdue such a big thought into a concrete dramatic event, though in some of its parts he seems to be failed.

Kumpulan Carita Pondok Rumaja, due to its joint authorship, is excluded from those that are assessed to gain ‘Rancagé’ Awards. Haté Awéwé contains twenty short stories by Risnawati that generally depict the lives of women, both within the household and in society, including in workplaces. They are composed in excellent Sundanese, yet unfortunately their narrative structures are lacking of strong argument. Duriat by Saini K. M. is very unique, for as a collection of short stories it resembles a novel in which every fragment is related one to each other by the matter of love as its central theme. Love is a cement that binds together all of the stories. Unfortunately, as a whole, it is too wordy. Samping Kebat Haturan Ema bt Dudi Santosa’ contains fifteen short stories that generally tell about problems in family life and workplaces, such as the ones concerning the relationship between husband and wife, parents and children, superiors and subordinates, or among fellow colleagues. They all are told in flat manner, except the one entitled ‘Samping Kebat Haturan Ema’ that is wonderful.

Ngamumulé Basa Sunda contains sixty-one essays by Wahyu Wibisana dealing with the problems of standardized Sundanese, tone of speech, morpheme, diction, confix, sentences structures, and the influence of Indonesian in Sundanese, and many more. They all show the breadth of views and knowledge of the author, and his thoroughness in choosing his subject matters as well.

Both Sisindiran: Rorotékan by H. Adang S. and Sisindiran jeung Wawangsalan Anyar by Dédy Windyagiri are collection of sisindiran and wawangsalan. Sisindiran is a kind of pantun poetry that was well known in Old Sundanese society. In 1970s Adang S. was appointed by the Sundanology Project to manage ‘Caraka Sundanologi,’ a training institution for youths who want to learn how to write in Sundanese. At that time he successfully re-popularized sisindiran, so that it was regularly performed on a television program aired by TVRI Bandung. In his book, he describes sisindiran, wawangsalan, etc., and expresses his own sisindiran as well. Dédy Windyagiri’s book, on the other hand, contains only his new creation of sisindiran and wawangsalan.

Carem is a collaborative poetry anthology, containing the works of A. Yogaswara and Ki Lodaya (the pseudonym of Otong Sumarli), and therefore it is not considered to be awarded by ‘Rancagé.’ Paguneman is Acep Zamzam Noor’s second collection of poem in Sundanese. As broadly known, Acep also writes many poems in Indonesian and has published several collections of poems. Acep’s first collection of poems in Sundanese entitled Dayeuh Matapoé ‘City of Sun’ (1993) was nominated for 1994 ‘Rancagé’ Literary Awards. As in his first collection of Sundanese poems, in Paguneman Acep expresses the mix between feelings and thoughts on the way through both a big and a small universe. Yet if in his previous work he describes mainly distant places, including those in overseas, in his new work he visits places of his homeland. In his previous work, “distance” is an important source of meaning, whereas in his new work the source of meaning lies in something deukeut ‘close’, deuheus ‘familiar,’ and dalit ‘friendly.’ That makes Acep’s new poems are more sublime than his previous poems. Nothing new in his way to express feelings, ideas, and atmospheres, but almost in every poem one can see his skills, knowledge, and broad view as a prominent poet.

Therefore, the work that wins 2012 ‘Rancagé’ Sundanese Literary Awards is:


A collection of poems by Acép Zamzam Noor

Published by Bandung-based Nuansa Cendekia

To Acep Zamzam Noor, the 2012 ‘Rancagé’ Sundanese Literary Award will be presented in the form of a certificate and a cash (IDR 5 million).

While the one selected to be awarded by 2012 ‘Rancagé’ Sundanese Contribution Award is:

Étti R. S.

(Born in Ciamis, West Java, on 31 August 1958)

Étti previously won ‘Rancagé’ Literary Awards for her poetry anthology Maung Bayangan ‘The Fugitive’ (1995) and Serat Panineungan ‘Memorable Letter’ (2009). In addition to writing poetry, Étti also writes guguritan ‘verses’ frequently sung as tembang lyrics. She herself often sings tembang songs. Her activities in the field of Sundanese literature have been growingly intensified after she was elected as an organizer and then chairperson of the PP-SS (Association of Sundanese Literary Writers that later became Association of Sundanese Literarary Forums) up to three terms. Many noteworthy accomplishments were raised by the PP-SS during her terms, such as play writing contests, poetry writing contests, literary introduction for high school students through the sabasastra ‘literary visitation’ program, prominent authors’ birthday celebration. Under her supervision, PP-SS also publishes various literary works by young authors through cooperation with professional publishers.

To Étti RS, the 2012 ‘Rancagé’ Sundanese Contribution Awards will be presented in the form of a certificate and a cash (IDR 5 million).

(Ajip Rosidi is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Rancagé Cultural Foundation. Hawé Setiawan translates the excerpt of his article here from Indonesian)

Leave a Reply