Luh Ayu Manik is a 14-year-old teenager from Bali, Indonesia, who transforms into Luh Ayu Manik Mas, a superhero who uses her powers to protect the environment. But it means gold in Balinese.
This is the first teenage environmental superheroine in the country. This character was drawn up by a group of artists in the framework of a project to promote environmental awareness and Balinese. According to estimates, this language has two million speakers in Indonesia, which has a population of 261 million inhabitants. The Government imposes a norm that limits the diffusion of television programs in Balinese at half an hour per day and its teaching in schools only two hours a week or less. This standard was implemented to promote Indonesian as a national language but also hinders the use and development of local languages, such as Balinese.
What makes the story of this character even more interesting is the fact that his adventures are spread thanks to the collaboration of users of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These users are mainly students, who can propose themes and stories for the writers and cartoonists of the Luh Ayu Manik Mas project to incorporate into the comic.
The project was launched by BASAbali Wiki, a digital platform that promotes Balinese. Nor Nyoman Clara, communication director of BASAbali Wiki, told more details about the project in an email interview with the author of this article:
The inspiration for the creation of the superhero character of Luh Ayu Manik Mas is the strong, tough and resilient Balinese women who themselves are like superheroes. Luh Ayu Manik is a 14-year-old junior high school student who turns into a superhero when she faces environmental and other issues. The goal of Luh Ayu Manik Mas is to engage the public in using and valuing Balinese and other local languages alongside national and international tongues.
The inspiration to create this superheroine comes from the strength, endurance and resilience of Balinese women, which in themselves can be considered superheroines. Luh Ayu Manik is a 14-year-old student who becomes a superheroine when faced with environmental and other issues. The goal of Luh Ayu Manik Mas is to get people to use and value Balinese and other local languages more, in addition to Indonesian and international languages.
In one of the stories, Luh Ayu Manik Mas and his friends fight against illegal loggers, while in another episode the problem of plastic contamination is addressed. In both cases, Luh Ayu Manik becomes Luh Ayu Manik Mas to fight monsters that represent those who harm the environment. East webtoon It is also available in English or Indonesian.
To collaborate with the dissemination of this digital cartoon, the Asian Language Digital Activism organization made its Twitter account available for a week in October 2019.
Om Swastyastu! 😁
Hi! I’m Luh Ayu Manik Mas, the Heroine of Bali
My friends call me Iluh😁
Let’s follow my wonderful journey by following this twitter account @ LuhAyuManikMas1 😁👇 pic.twitter.com/qvICCrZ1fb
– Asian Language Digital Activism (@AsiaLangsOnline) October 8, 2019
Om Swastyastu! 😁
Hi! I'm Luh Ayu Manik Mas, the superhero of Bali.
My friends tell me Iluh.😁
If you follow this Twitter account you will find out about all my adventures. 😁👇
Luh Ayu Manik Mas published the episode in which she and her friends meet illegal loggers in a forest.
Iluh and her friends were going to plant many trees in the forest. There were chrysolite (cempaka), bunut trees and others. We prepared for the hoe and shovel. Would you join us to plant those trees? 😁🌱 pic.twitter.com/k7JHiMVEfc
– Asian Language Digital Activism (@AsiaLangsOnline) October 9, 2019
Iluh and his friends went to the forest to plant many trees: champas, banyan trees, among others. We were preparing to wield the shovel and hoe. Do you want to come to work with us? 😁🌱
The project was very well received by the Balinese community. In turn, BASAbali reported that some teachers have begun to use Luh Ayu Manik Mas in their classes:
The public was is very enthusiastic about Luh Ayu Manik Mas. Her books have already been used to teach Balinese teachers about creative writing and other skills. We will continue to reach out to the public through on the ground workshops in and in social media to elevate the value of local languages.
The public has received this character with great enthusiasm. His books have already been used to teach creative writing and other skills to Balinese teachers. We will continue to expand our reach through workshops and through social networks so that local languages are valued more.