Arabic Language Coordinator, Hindi Language Coordinator

by m.hafiz on 

April 20, 2018
ألفليلةوليلة (Alfu Lailah wa Lailah) Arabian Nights/1001 Malam (Culture & Language: Arabic) - The Story
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Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!

What runs through your imagination when you hear the phrase ‘Arabian Nights’? Aladdin? Ali Baba? Jasmine? You might have heard or watched some of these characters in mainstream media. So, along the storyline of famous folktales, Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter conducted a meetup titled ألفليلةوليلة (Alfu Lailah wa Lailah) (Arabian Nights/1001 Malam) (Culture & Language: Arabic) last Sunday, 8 April 2018.

In this meetup, which was attended by 60 participants, our Arabic coordinators elaborated several facts regarding Arabic culture and language; from its language history, writing system, countries in which Arabic is spoken as either official or working language, to the variety of dialects used in the Maghrebi and Middle East region. From the cultural side, we touched on the cuisine, such as the famous hummus, falafel, and couscous; dance, e.g. raqs sharqi (belly dance) and dabke; and musical instruments, including qanoon and oud. We also briefly introduced the Arab League, or what is known as the ASEAN of the Arabic world. The aim is to widen the horizon of our language enthusiasts that the Arabic language and culture is rich in variety and not only stuck on several countries.

After the explanation session, the participants were tasked to choose one story from the Arabian Nights and introduce it to other participants. During this meetup, the participants were divided into twelve tables: English Tables (which were further split into three due to the huge number of participants), Arabic Table, Japanese Table, Korean Table, Mandarin Chinese Table, French Table, Italian Table, Spanish Table, Dutch Table, and German Table. The English Table 1 and 2 presented their chosen stories in a dramatic presentation, while the other tables delivered theirs without any performances. The Arabic Table, passionately recounted their chosen story in a sermon/declaration-like fashion. The unique thing was that every table was able to draw a conclusion on the type of message these stories may have wanted to relay and explained their analysis to the audience during their presentations.

The meetup concluded with a short session of Arabic lesson in fusha Arabic comprised of introducing oneself, asking for direction, and describing one's occupation. We chose fusha Arabic, or Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) because this variety of Arabic is the most commonly understood in the Arabic-speaking world and could be used in any Arabic-speaking country.

Special thanks to Hoshino Tea Time for the great venue! Hope to see you again on another Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter's special meetup! (For the photo documentation, please check our Facebook fanpage album)

About the author

Hafiz is a person who prefer sitting or spending time in a very quite place, far from noise and crowd of people. He would rather enjoy more natural food, free of the process of packaging and preservation. His current staple food is sweet potato athough he still sometimes consume rice. The kind of sweet potato he prefers is the purple one. He realize that his daily habit of sweet potato consumption is not common for other people, but with this way he want show others that Indonesia has a diverse staple food in addition to rice.

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