"The propaganda of a "Bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar" ("good and correct Indonesian") hides a peculiar splintered reality. The duplicity stems from Bahasa Indonesia's role as the quintessential symbol of community cohesion and democratic inclusion in Indonesia (Bertrand 282). Although the nation contained more than 700 languages at independence, membership in the post-colonial world entailed knowledge of this one ethnically anonymous and obscure language of commerce (Bertrand 265). Currently over 90 percent of the Indonesian population speaks it and 15 percent acquire it as a first language - a stunning feat, given that it had never been an organic mother tongue (Sneddon 524; Boellstorff 254). Nevertheless, this diffusion has not precluded the bifurcation of Bahasa Indonesia into standard and colloquial varieties that challenge the myth of a pure, single language.

Asian studies scholar Benedict Anderson beautifully captures the essence of Bahasa Indonesia which, in "forming a new and thin topsoil to the cultures of Indonesia, has proven only too subject to erosion once the winds begin to blow" (141). Germinating just beneath the surface, these brands of informal Indonesian speech alter Bahasa Indonesia but do not antagonize it. They redecorate it from within, allowing a democratically oriented generation of Indonesians to reclaim ownership of it and distill national concepts of inclusion into their own immediate communities." 

-- Andrew Huff

Verge is an undergraduate journal that is faculty- and student-nominated, and faculty- and student-advised. It collects the best of academic, research-based writing and more creative nonfiction work. The journal's interdisciplinary approach emphasizes the links between different academic departments, as well as the links between the curiosities, inquiries, and achievements of individuals who might not otherwise know about one another's work.

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Our current issue, Verge 11 (academic year 2014-2015), is now available.

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