Weekly Photo Challenge : LETTER / Aksara

For this week’s challenge, I’d like to present some related photos on letters. Yeach, letter…which letter is okay right?



This was taken in a small road in Semarang, Central Java more than a year ago. I was interested in this grafitti, as it showed Javanese characters which used to be official script for Javanese language. It is sometimes used though most Javanese cannot read and write it anymore nowadays. The “Carakan” (another name of Javanese character) is derived of Brahmic script and it is believed to be started during Aji Saka ruled (78 AD) which represents his two soldiers. Ha Na Ca Ra Ka = There was two soldiers who did their duty. Da Ta Sa Wa La = Then they argued (I forget what about), Pa Dha Ja Ya Nya = They fought each other, Ma Ga Ba Tha Nga = All of them died.


ImageI saw this in an antique exhibitions in Semarang. It was written in Ophuysen version (Dutch derived) of Malay script means “Do not let your body parts out”. While the below was written in Javanese Carakan script/letters. I think it was installed on public transportation during Dutch colonization.





Bambang Priantono

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