CONTEXTUALIZING NUSANTARA STUDIES

  • Od. M. Anwar

Abstract

Jonus stands for Journal of Nusantara Studies, a university journal of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. This journal is not a mere study about Nusantara, instead it encompasses a wide range of academic disciplines in humanities and social sciences, embracing (but not limited to) culture, history, language, education, social, politics, communication, psychology, development, tourism, arts, economy, science and technology (in sociocultural terms) and international relations in the region currently belonged to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Even though clearly stated in ancient native sources―especially in Nāgara-Kěrtāgama (a 14th century Javanese-Majapahit poem dated 1365), Pararaton (a writing of the 14th century Majapahit-Javanese kingdom), and Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals - the historical record of Old Malay Sultanate during their reign in Melaka)―and also bears very significant meaning to the indigenous communities, the word ‘Nusantara’ is yet universally used. In addition, understanding about it is still very vague and misleading. Therefore, it is worthy to give a brief account of what the term ‘Nusantara’ means based on the native primary sources. Nusantara is a unified geographical region of indigenous communities that covers the entire part of Southeast region of Asia. In fact, its geopolitical coverage is almost identical to Southeast Asia. Even though in the 13th and 14th centuries (during Kertanegara and Majapahit kingdoms) it centered at Javanese, in our contemporary times, the term ‘Nusantara’ has become common among the indigenous communities in the region. While ‘Southeast Asia’ is a foreign term, ‘Nusantara’ deeply conveys historical, cultural and sentimental values of the natives of this region. It fertilizes a form of sense of belonging that is often pronounced as ‘a compatriot kin’ (bangsa serumpun) based on their common ancestors, spoken language, beliefs, way of life, and skin colours, besides their domiciles. It is within this spirit that ‘Nusantara’ is chosen as the title of this journal.

Cite as: Anwar, Od. M. (2016). Contextualizing nusantara studies. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 1(1), 1-6.   http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol1iss1pp1-6

Author Biography

Od. M. Anwar
Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
Published
2016-06-26
How to Cite
M. Anwar, O. (2016). CONTEXTUALIZING NUSANTARA STUDIES. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 1(1), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol1iss1pp1-6