Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Surat Batak

A few weeks ago I received an email from Indonesia, from someone named Andre Samosir who said that he was a member of the Batak tribe, and that he had emailed me years ago about writing a paper on the Batak script but hadn't gotten the chance to complete it until recently.

Remarkably I actually remembered that email conversation from 2007. So I opened the attachment and read through the paper on the Batak script, or Surat Batak. I thought that it was pretty well-written, especially about the script's changes through time from the earliest stage to the modern age. And since I haven't gotten a chance to write a page on Batak yet, I figured that I would share it here on the blog.

Here is a quick preview:

The full paper can be downloaded through this link. Also, the bibliography is separately listed below:
  • Sihombing, T.M. (1986). Filsafat Batak: Tentang Kebiasaan-kebiasaan & Adat-istiadat. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka.
And here is a little about Andre as written by himself:

I am Andre Somba Gugun Samosir, a 28-year-old guy from the Batak tribe in Indonesia. Andre means "man". The "Somba Gugun" in my name is a wordplay from Batak words meaning "asked/prayed for fervently". Samosir is just a family name (albeit being also the name of the island in the center of Lake Toba in Indonesia) of hundreds of people in Batak Toba. Batak clans zealously keep track of their family trees, so for that matter, I am the 15th Samosir in my line of genealogy. I graduated from the medical school of Padjadjaran University, Bandung, West Java in early 2007, and now worked as a general practitioner in a small hospital in Palembang (South Sumatra). In my leisure time among the tiring weeks, I am a passionate reader of just about everything except economy and political stuff. Supercars, gems, quantum physics, linguistics, Esperanto studies, world writing systems, philosophy, and Walt Whitman and Michael Crichton to name a few interests.

To contact Andre, you can find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/k273