Basabali, One of the organizations in Indonesia which preserves one of the millions of languages in Indonesia, namely the Balinese language, has become a world attraction and received an award from UNESCO. For its dedication in preserving the Balinese language, Basabali is entitled to get an award in the category of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy with Colombia and Italy.
The award was presented by UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Stefania Giannini to the Director of BASAbali, Gde Nala Antara at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, Monday (9/9/2019). Nala was accompanied by the Director-General of PAUD and the Ministry of Education and Culture Harris Iskandar, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, Surya Rosa Putra.
Stefania said that this year UNESCO celebrated International Literacy Day (HAI) with the theme “Literacy and Multilingualism”.
According to him, literacy has a relationship with language. Based on data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there are currently around 7,000 languages spoken in more than 200 countries, but there are 2,680 nearly extinct languages.
Meanwhile, Gde Nala Antara said, the BASAbali program combines efforts to preserve regional languages through language digitalization. Nala said the program developed was an integration of Balinese language development through wiki dictionaries, encyclopedias, and virtual libraries.
“Since its launch in 2011, BASAbali Wiki has been used by more than 500 thousand people,” said the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences at Udayana University.
Nala said, to ensure the quality and accuracy of the language, BASAbali had a team of experts who examined each vocabulary uploaded on their page https://dictionary.basabali.org. They also present Balinese regional vocabularies that were copied into Indonesian and English.
Harris Iskandar, who is also the UNESCO Global Alliance for Literacy Steering Committee, said the key to BASABali’s success was to preserve language through the use of technology and community empowerment.
“This is the result of the collaboration of academics, local governments, artists and various communities to participate in developing the BASAbali application. So that regional languages have a very diverse vocabulary or repertoire. This can enrich Indonesian language, “he said.
He said the government had tried to facilitate the adoption of new Indonesian vocabulary from regional languages. “Preserve local languages, develop Indonesian and master foreign languages. The ability to master the language becomes an entry point for learning various skills so that we have superior human resources towards advanced Indonesia, “he stressed