Gretings From the Executive Director: Yuli Ismartono

A recent article in The Jakarta Post caught my eye: “Taking Action to Preserve Javanese Language.” It was about a youth community in Yogyakarta, working with Wikipedia in an effort to revitalize the Javanese vernacular. Such ventures are nothing new in linguistically-diverse Indonesia where, since even before independence in 1945, the credo of “One Language, One Nation,” has served to strengthen national unity—but at the expense of local languages. While Indonesian is taught in schools and other learning institutions, local languages have been relegated to secondary importance. What is new today seems to be a growing awareness, even alarm, that the loss of a home tongue may spell the end of local culture and identity. >> Read more






Ruminations: Where were you? By John McGlynn

Like November 23, 1963 for the United States, May 21, 1998 was indeed a day when the world forever changed for Indonesia.

Where was I that day…? By May of 1998, after having spent 21 years in Indonesia, I was as upset as the general populace with the country’s political malaise and longed for a change in government but, because of the country’s economic collapse, with the value of the rupiah falling from Rp. 2,600 to more than Rp. 14,000 per dollar in just a matter of months, Lontar was in dire financial straits as well. So it was that in early May I embarked on a fund-raising tour to four cities in the United States—Honolulu, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York—where friends had set up fundraising dinners for me. Read more >>






Featured Author of the month: Utuy Tatang Sontani

Utuy Tatang Sontani was born in 1920 in the town of Cianjur, West Java. He moved to the city of Bandung at 16, where he made his own way in the world, through the upheavals of occupation, then war and revolution, followed by the tumultuous Sukarno years. By his early 30s, he had won acclaim as a national playwright, but his life continued to be—as for many others—a struggle against extreme rigors, material and moral.Read more >> 

May Activities

Event 1

On May 8, the Association des Amis Francophone (AAF) hosted the Lontar Foundation at its monthly meeting with the French-speaking community in Jakarta.

Event 2

Lontar at Makassar International Writers Festival 2018

Lontar in the News

No less than 20 Indonesian media organizations covered the two-day Hadhrami (Indonesian of Arab descent) Festival organized by Lontar and the Cultural Faculty of the University of Indonesia in early May. Read more >>

Connect & Donate to Lontar

To contribute to Lontar send a message to Tuti Zairati, Lontar’s Chief Financial Officer at She will provide you with Lontar’s bank details. Contributions from persons and companies in the United States are tax exempt if given through Give2Asia (

Contact us:

The Lontar Foundation

Jl. Danau Laut Tawar Blok A No.53

Pejompongan, Jakarta 10210

Telp. +62-21 574 6880