Writing contest promotes usage, history of Jawi script

A student taking part in the 33rd Jawi Writing Competition for Religious Schools yesterday, organised by the Department of Religious Education at the Islamic Da'wah Centre. Picture: BT/Zareena Amiruddin

Friday, October 22, 2010

TWENTY-SEVEN students and teachers from religious and Arab schools from around the country competed in the 33rd Jawi Writing Competition for Religious Schools yesterday.

The competition, organised by the Department of Religious Education at the Islamic Da'wah Centre, aimed to showcase the students' talent and create interest in the art of Jawi writing in the country.

It was also aimed to strengthen and sustain Jawi as a national heritage and to expose students to take part in contests at the national regional and international level.

The competition was divided into nine categories for the different school levels, one category was for teachers, and had anti-smoking theme whereby the competitors wrote out different slogans which advised against smoking in the nasakh style of Jawi.

The top three winners received trophies, certificates and cash prize. The winners were Nira Anisa Purat @ Hani, Siti Nur Faten Kanak, Muhd Nur Khairil Amin Japaruddin, Nurzafirah Jailani, Mohd Rohaidi Johadi, Nurlina Shazlina Ali, Muhd Adi Adham Ramlan, Mohammad Afif Hj Japar and Hj Rahim Hj Lakat in categories A to I respectively.

Present as guest of honour was Acting Director of the Language and Literature Bureau Hjh Aminah Hj Momin who handed out the prizes.

Jawi is one of the two official scripts in Brunei for the Malay language. It was once the standard script for the Malay language but has since been replaced by a Roman script called Rumi.

The Jawi alphabet has existed since the arrival of Islam to the Malay Archipelago around the 1300s. The Jawi script originated from Arabic literature introduced from Persian contact with the Kingdom of Jambi, north of Palembang, Sumatera, Indonesia.

Jawi is used exclusively in the Religious School curriculum in Brunei and some subjects at Arab schools. Its use is mandatory on signboards, roadsigns, posters and other public displays.The Brunei Times