IKAT : The Indonesian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Vol 2, No 2 (2019): January

Diplomatic Correspondence: A Comparative Study on Malay and Javanese Letters in 1800s

Majid, Gilang Maulana (Unknown)

Article Info

Publish Date
22 Jan 2019


A more established tradition may set an indirect consensus for thecommunication between rulers in any situation. This article identifies howdiplomatic correspondence was conducted and how different perceptions could actually be negotiated to attain certain goals. Two diplomatic letters – one from the Panembahan of Sumenep and one from the Sultanof Yogyakarta dispatched to Thomas Stamford Raffles to address Raffles’retirement during the British interregnum in Java from 1811 to 1816 –were analyzed. These letters were chosen due to the different scripts and languages used in the two letters: Classical Malay Jawi and Old Javanese'aksara Jawa'. By applying content analysis, this study finds that the Malay language was not only influential throughout the Indonesian archipelagoas a medium for verbal communication, but its letter-writing tradition even clearly affected its Javanese counterpart, setting a standard writing style for diplomatic letters.

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Journal Info





Economics, Econometrics & Finance Other


The Journal strives to provide new, rigorous and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Southeast Asia through inter-disciplinary perspectives. Its scopes includes but is not limited to economic welfare, institutional knowledge production, history, political transformations and the social ...