Literature | Friday, September 14th, 2012 | sundanesecorner.org
In 1918 the Commissie voor de Volkslectuur ‘Commission for Popular Literature,’ an institution established by colonial government of Dutch East Indies to produce and distribute printed materials for the people, published Volksalmanak ‘Popular Almanac.’ The commission published this periodical annually to convey general knowledge on various aspects of life that need to be known by people. The commission published it in three different languages, i.e. Sundanese, Javanese, and Malay. In its Boeboeka ‘Introduction’ to Soendaneesche Volksalmanak (Volksalmanak Sunda) ‘Sundanese Popular Almanac’ 1919 Series 375 Year 1 ((Batavia-Landsdrukkerij, 1918), which I read at Matheson Library, Australia, the publisher says in Sundanese:
Ijeu almenak dingaranan ‘Volksalmanak’ hartina almenak Priboemi, sabab eusina goena ka sakabéh Priboemi Hindia-Walanda, boh prijaji atawa toekang tani, awéwé atawa lalaki. Sakoer noe matja ijeu almenak tangtoe meunang pangadjaran saeutik-eutikeun.
Ijeu almenak dikaloewarkeun ogé koe basa Djawa djeung Malajoe, eusina sababaraha dongéng djeung gambar noe dipikaresep koe oenggal bangsa.
This almanac is named ‘Volksalmanak’ in the sense of native almanac, for its contents are valuable for all native people of Dutch East Indies, both aristocrats and farmers, women and men. Any one who reads this almanac will certainly obtain modest lessons.
This almanac is also published in Javanese and Malay, for its contents consist of several stories and pictures that are liked by any group of people.