Bahasa Daerah, Tugas Siapa untuk Melestarikannya?

Written by Zahara Almira Ramadhan, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Anak jaman sekarang nggak bisa bahasa daerah!” Pernahkah kamu mendengar perkataan itu dari keluarga maupun orang sekitar? Aku pernah mendengarnya dari keluarga sendiri, seolah-olah aku disalahkan karena tidak bisa bicara dengan bahasa daerahku. Apa iya itu salahku, mengingat aku tinggal di Ibu Kota sedari bayi, di mana bahasa daerahku tidak digunakan di sini?

Tidak hanya di Indonesia, tapi aku juga pernah melihat tweet seseorang asal Jamaika yang diolok-olok oleh keluarganya sendiri karena salah kata saat berbicara dengan bahasa daerahnya. Padahal, usahanya untuk memahami dan berbicara bahasa daerahnya berasal dari diri sendiri, tanpa ada keluarga yang mengajarkannya. Ia sudah berusaha sebisa mungkin, tetapi respons yang didapatkan malah menyakiti hatinya. Sejak saat itu, ia tidak pernah lagi mencoba berbicara pakai bahasa daerahnya. 

Mungkin ini saatnya para “anak jaman sekarang” untuk balik bertanya: adakah yang mengajarkan ilmu bahasa daerah ke kita? Kalaupun kita punya inisiatif untuk berbahasa daerah, apakah kita dihargai atau malah direndahkan atas ke-awam-an kita? Jadi, salah siapa kalau anak muda tidak bisa berbahasa daerah? Pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini terasa seperti lingkaran setan: berputar-putar mencari siapa yang harus disalahkan. Ini saatnya kita meluruskan pentingnya melestarikan bahasa daerah dan siapa saja yang harus ikut andil.

Pentingnya bahasa daerah

Kita selalu membanggakan keanekaragaman budaya Indonesia dari Sabang sampai Merauke. Tapi, aspek apa yang kita banggakan? Makanan, pakaian, dan adat pernikahan sajakah? Bagaimana dengan bahasa? 

Peran bahasa tidak kalah penting dari aspek lainnya dalam suatu budaya. Dalam suatu budaya tertentu, bahasa daerah bisa mempererat hubungan orang-orang di dalamnya. Sebagai orang yang tidak bisa berbahasa daerah, terkadang aku merasa sebagai orang asing di kampung halaman sendiri. Keluarga besar yang mengumpul sering mengobrol dan bercanda tawa pakai bahasa daerah, dan aku cuma bisa ikut senyum (padahal nggak paham obrolannya). Aku jadi membayangkan, kalau saja aku bisa berbahasa daerah, pasti aku bisa lebih akrab dengan keluargaku saat kumpul-kumpul seperti ini.

Selain itu, bahasa daerah bisa menjadi media pembelajaran sejarah. Tiap budaya pasti memiliki peninggalannya masing-masing, bisa berupa sastra, lagu, atau benda-benda yang ditulis dan dideskripsikan menggunakan bahasa daerah. Keaslian dan kelekatan yang didapat saat kita memahami peninggalan tersebut pasti akan lebih kuat dibandingkan harus memahaminya menggunakan terjemahan bahasa Indonesia. Selain itu, bahasa daerah merupakan bentuk identitas budaya yang bisa dikenali oleh daerah lain. Contohnya, saat orang Jakarta berkumpul dengan teman-teman, mungkin pernah ada seseorang yang keceplosan menggunakan suatu istilah dari daerahnya, misal Bandung. Otomatis, kita akan langsung mengenali, “Oh, dia orang Sunda.” Dengan berbahasa daerah itu, budaya Sunda dikenali oleh daerah lain.

Makanya, sangat disayangkan kalau mendengar bahwa banyak bahasa daerah Indonesia yang terancam punah. Menurut Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan (Kemendikbud), ada sekitar 700 bahasa daerah di Indonesia, yang sebagian besar kondisinya kritis dan terancam punah (Direktorat Sekolah Dasar, 2022). Menurut Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI), sekitar 160 bahasa daerah terancam punah karena jumlah penutur yang sangat sedikit, sudah berusia lanjut, berada di lokasi terpencil, dan tidak memiliki generasi muda untuk melestarikannya (Suadi, 2015). Kalau sampai punah, akan ada 160 budaya yang tidak lagi dikenali oleh generasi mendatang. 

Lalu, tugas siapa untuk melestarikan bahasa daerah?

Tentu dibutuhkan kerja sama dari seluruh generasi dan seluruh aparat masyarakat. Untuk itu, Kemendikbud merencanakan program Revitalisasi Bahasa Daerah di tahun 2022 ini melalui tiga cara yang disesuaikan dengan kondisi daya hidup bahasa. Untuk bahasa yang daya hidupnya masih aman, dengan jumlah penutur yang banyak, dan masih digunakan sebagai bahasa utama dalam kehidupan masyarakatnya, akan dilakukan pelestarian secara terstruktur melalui pembelajaran di sekolah. Beberapa bahasa yang masuk kategori ini adalah bahasa Jawa, Sunda, dan Bali.

Selanjutnya, bahasa yang daya hidupnya cenderung rentan, jumlah penutur relatif banyak, namun bahasanya dipakai secara bersaing dengan bahasa daerah lain akan diwariskan melalui pembelajaran di sekolah serta pembelajaran berbasis komunitas. Contoh bahasa dalam kategori ini adalah bahasa Minahasa (Sulawesi Utara), bahasa Kerinci (Jambi), bahasa Kaleyi (Maluku), bahasa Tobati (Papua), dan masih banyak lagi. Pembelajaran berbasis komunitas yang mungkin bisa lakukan adalah penyelenggaraan kegiatan dari komunitas-komunitas berbasis daerah, seperti pentas teater atau pameran sastra, yang secara langsung maupun tidak langsung mengajarkan bahasa daerah setempat. 

Sementara itu, bahasa yang daya hidupnya bersifat kritis dan terancam punah dengan jumlah penutur yang sedikit akan dilakukan pembelajaran berbasis komunitas dan keluarga. Akan ada dua atau lebih keluarga yang ditunjuk untuk menjadi tempat belajar, atau bisa juga dilakukan di pusat kegiatan masyarakat seperti tempat ibadah, kantor desa, atau taman baca. Bahasa berstatus kritis yang menjadi target pembelajaran ini adalah bahasa Ibo, Letti, dan Meher (Maluku), bahasa Reta (NTT), dan bahasa Saponi (Papua). Sedangkan beberapa yang terancam punah adalah bahasa Suwawa (Gorontalo), bahasa Benggaulun (Sulawesi Barat), dan bahasa Kalabra (Papua Barat).

Program dari Kemendikbud ini memerlukan dukungan Pemerintah Daerah setempat karena pembelajaran akan dilaksanakan oleh daerah masing-masing dengan materi yang berbeda-beda, tergantung bahasa daerahnya. Dengan adanya program ini, kita bisa melihat bahwa pelestarian bahasa daerah memerlukan kerja sama dari berbagai pihak. Mulai dari pemerintah, guru sekolah, komunitas dan penutur asli daerah, sampai generasi muda sebagai pelajar. Harapannya, program ini akan melahirkan generasi penutur aktif yang baru, mempertahankan bahasa daerah, dan memberikan makna dan rumah baru bagi bahasa dan sastra daerah.

Selain melalui program ini, pelestarian bahasa daerah bisa dilakukan dalam rumah tangga sendiri. Para orang tua bisa mengajarkan bahasa daerah ke anak sedari mereka kecil. Dilansir dari The Asian Parent, anak-anak bisa mempelajari bahasa melalui tiga tahap: mempelajari suara, kata, dan kalimat. Mempelajari suara berarti orang tua bisa berbicara menggunakan bahasa daerah dan membiarkan anak terbiasa mendengarnya. Setelah mulai terbiasa, bisa mulai diajarkan kata-kata dalam bahasa daerah. Misal, kata “haus” atau “minum” dalam bahasa daerah. Terakhir adalah mengajarkan cara menggunakan kata-kata itu dalam satu kalimat, misalnya cara mengatakan “aku mau minum karena haus” dalam bahasa daerah.

Melestarikan bahasa daerah mungkin terlihat rumit, maka dari itu butuh kerja sama antara yang mengajarkan dan yang belajar. Kedua pihak harus mempunyai keinginan untuk melestarikan bahasanya. Jadi, kalau berbicara tentang siapa yang harus disalahkan atas ketidakbisaan anak muda dalam berbahasa daerah, mungkin akan ada banyak pihak yang bisa disalahkan. Daripada saling menyalahkan, yuk kita sama-sama melakukan peran dalam melestarikan bahasa daerah!

Referensi

Direktorat Sekolah Dasar. (2022, February 23). Merevitalisasi Bahasa Daerah Agar Tidak Punah. Retrieved from: https://ditpsd.kemdikbud.go.id/artikel/detail/merevitalisasi-bahasa-daerah-agar-tidak-punah 

Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.  (2020). Gambaran Kondisi Vitalitas Bahasa Daerah di Indonesia. Retrieved from: http://publikasi.data.kemdikbud.go.id/uploadDir/isi_4BC3AA5E-D2D8-4652-B03D-B769C7409F79_.pdf 

Suadi. (2015, February 16). Pentingnya Melestarikan Bahasa Daerah. Analisa Daily. Retrieved from: https://analisadaily.com/berita/arsip/2015/2/16/108999/pentingnya-melestarikan-bahasa-daerah/ 

The Asian Parent. (n.d). Pentingnya anak belajar bahasa ibu, ini 4 alasannya!. Retrieved from: https://id.theasianparent.com/mengajari-anak-bahasa-ibu 

Youth in Humanitarian Action: Vulnerable Roles, Significant Influence

Written by Maria Olivia Laurent, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

On 19 August 2003, the world was stunned to silence by the bombing attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq. On that day as well, the humanitarian sector suffered a tragedy unlike ever before, with 22 people dead, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, in a targeted attack on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). To remember the losses that day and the significant effort from all humanitarian workers, the United Nations formalized 19 August as World Humanitarian Day. Today, we celebrate the hard work of all workers who have given their lives and dedication in providing support and protection to people most in need. This year’s World Humanitarian Day’s theme is #RealLifeHeroes, focusing on the inspiring personal stories of humanitarian heroes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Events and campaigns held by various organizations worldwide bring together partners and institutions to advocate for the well-being of aid workers. I believe everyone who reads this article is a humanitarian, whether you work in this sector, or you have a passion as one. Let’s discuss what being a humanitarian really is and our roles as young people in it!

What is humanitarian aid? Is it the same with other types of emergency aid? 

Yep, any aid given during emergencies and disasters is considered humanitarian aid. All programs, procedures, and supports are designed to save lives and alleviate suffering during and in the aftermath of crises. The ‘human’ in humanitarian means that those aids directly benefit the affected people. For example, giving shelter and food to earthquake victims, treating injured civilians in war, connecting displaced families, etc. Have you ever donated to an emergency fundraiser? If yes, you can also be considered giving humanitarian support. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the UN is the main body responsible for coordinating emergency responses. 

During emergencies and conflicts in their countries, young people are forced to shoulder the burden of fighting on the frontlines for their communities and become extremely vulnerable to violence and exploitation. Many are forced to drop out of school to care for their families. Basic necessities like safety, health, and sanitation are also cut off. Children face the dangers of being illegally recruited as child laborers and soldiers. Girls may also face pressure to marry early to secure their families’ survival, effectively killing their dream and future in these uncertain times. 

Getting Involved

If we look at the bigger picture, even aid workers in international organizations are also subjected to discriminative treatment. Either their hard work is overlooked, or their communities don’t receive enough support to do their mission. But if you begin to doubt if your work really matters, please don’t! We may not have much money or resources, but remember, our voice and perspective are invaluable. The development of technology and education have profited the humanitarian sector and modern innovation on how to help people better as well. Young people’s knowledge of social dynamics and disaster prevention like flooding and climate change help countries prepare and recover from crises. More and more young volunteers are going straight to the center of disasters and becoming agents of change. 

As first responders, we must demand to be involved in decision-making and leadership positions. After all, we know our communities better than others. Organizations need to have a balanced power structure and promote youth representation. This way, we are not only helping those in need, but also improving our knowledge of natural and social issues that arise. Women, especially, as the largest victim group in any disaster, must be equally acknowledged. The humanitarian industry is still dominated by men and often fails to listen to women’s opinions. Because of this, potential aids and programs may neglect women’s needs. Maximizing young girls’ roles is essential in designing and implementing the action plan. If we can start having an equal power dynamic in the humanitarian industry—undoubtedly the industry which revolves around people most—then I believe other industries will also follow and reinforce the roles of young men and women. 

Guidelines for Youth Humanitarian Initiatives

This IASC guideline created by UNICEF and several partner organizations focused on the key points related to services, participation, resources, and data that youth communities can use to develop their programs both in emergency aid and peacebuilding initiatives. “These new guidelines call upon us to give away power; to trust young people and to work with them as partners by giving them safe space to meet and discuss their ideas on how they can improve life in their own communities,” said Henrietta Fore, the UNICEF Executive Director (UNICEF, 2021). Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic provides many opportunities for the youth to contribute by raising awareness, countering misinformation on social media (hoaxes), and mobilizing assistance by being medic volunteers or field operational personnel. 

Access the guideline here: https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/events/iasc-guidelines-working-and-young-people-humanitarian-and-protracted-crises

The five key points are: 

  1. Service – Promoting inclusive programs for all young people within humanitarian settings.
  2. Participation – Supporting engagement and partnership with youth, through sharing information and involvement in decision-making processes such as budget allocation, etc.
  3. Capacity – Strengthening young people’s capacities and capabilities as humanitarian actors and empowering local youth-led activities. 
  4. Resources – Increasing resources for the needs and priorities of youth affected by crises.
  5. Data – Ensuring the use of age-and-sex-disaggregated data pertaining to youth in humanitarian settings.

There are so many humanitarian organizations and communities both in Indonesia and worldwide you can join and contribute to. Each of them caters to specific needs, such as education, gender equality, poverty alleviation, and others that you can adjust to your interest. Project Child Indonesia has various programs focusing on children’s development, especially their educational needs and wellbeing. Through our programs Sekolah Sungai, Mindfulness, and Online Learning Assistance, we thrive on helping children from poor communities to reach their full potential. Check out our website and social media to know more. Lastly, happy World Humanitarian Day to all workers and contributors, and we hope to see you as our next humanity warriors!

Reference

Adolescents in humanitarian action. (n.d.). UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/adolescence/humanitarian-action

IASC Guidelines on Working with and for Young People in Humanitarian and Protracted Crises. (2020, November 2). IASC. https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/events/iasc-guidelines-working-and-young-people-humanitarian-and-protracted-crises

Shifting power to young people in humanitarian action. (2019, June 24). Action Aid. https://actionaid.org/publications/2019/shifting-power-young-people-humanitarian-action

World Humanitarian Day. (n.d.). OCHA. https://about.worldhumanitarianday.org/

Protecting Indigenous Communities as Assets to Humanity

Written by Amaranila Nariswari, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

When talking about indigenous people, what do you have in mind? Do you imagine them with their tribal marks and clothes made out of parts of the plants? I, personally, think of how modernity seems to erase the beauty and diversity of indigenous culture. Before we talk more about them, let’s dig into who they really are. According to the World Bank (2022), Indigenous Peoples are those of distinct and specific cultural and social groups with ancestral ties to their land. Their identity and well-being are highly dependent on the lands where they live. They have their own customary law and adhere to their leader, unlike us, who abide by the government. Technically, indigenous people obey their state’s written law, but the customary law holds a special place in their culture and needs to be obeyed, too. As for them, it is considered sacred and became the living law between them. 

Indigenous people are assets to humanity. Their way of living is so kind to the earth that they conserve more than 30% of it, guarding more than 80% of the remaining biodiversity we have (Jones, 2021; World Bank, 2022). Most–if not all–indigenous people live by relying on their land. Where they live has ancestral ties to their culture for them to take care of. They cultivate their land, hunt from the forest, and pray to their ancestors in their land, too. They might seem outdated, but their identity is timeless if you really think about it.

Another thing you need to know about indigenous people is that they’re one of the most fragile communities in the world. Despite living far away from modernity, city pollution, and technology that could be harmful, they still need access to basic human needs like sanitation and health, which in reality don’t reach most of them. Their life expectancy is much lower than non-indigenous people, even up to 20 years (World Bank, 2022). They’re also the last to receive public investment as they seem so tiny and far, even though they’re not. Not only that, their lands are often grabbed by either the government or the capitalist–maybe even both, and being the marginalized communities they are, they tend to be helpless regardless of their right to the land.

Not often Indigenous children face hardships living in society. According to the United Nations (n.d), indigenous youth experience a lot of challenges in participating in social activities. They are also prone to discrimination and have the least access to participate in economic and political decision-making processes. When indigenous children go to school, they are considered different from the rest of the students and sometimes overlooked or even bullied. To this, teachers should help indigenous kids adapt to the school environment and educate their students to respect everyone equally and empower one another in good things. 

Not only in schools, the government, both at the local and international levels, plays a vital role in ensuring indigenous people’s rights are met. The least they could do is to give more opportunities for indigenous representatives to have a say in decision-making. Giving indigenous communities generous funding and ways to empower indigenous people also helps them to create a better living. Paying more attention and building more basic-need facilities like hospitals and schools near indigenous lands will also help them easily access basic human needs. 

Of course, we can do our portions to help, too! The first thing we can do to help ensure their sustainability is to notice what challenges indigenous communities face. Note that not all indigenous communities have the same problems, and they have different ranges and proximities to the government. Those who are the furthest from the government’s reach are usually the most fragile. Learn what they need and share them with your surroundings. The more people know about indigenous communities’ problems, the more people will care about them. You can also help by volunteering in organizations focusing on indigenous community empowerment, or if you could, you can donate to the organization! Lastly, help them if they have difficulties blending in with society. Embrace, appreciate, and support them in sharing their beautiful cultures!

References:

Jones, Benji. (2021). Indigenous people are the world’s biggest conservationists, but they rarely get credit for it. Vox. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/22518592/indigenous-people-conserve-nature-icca 

United Nations. (n.d). The Situation of the World’s Indigenous Children and Youth. Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/mandated-areas1/children-and-youth.html

World Bank. (2022). Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved from: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/indigenouspeoples