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When an indigenous language dies out, so too does a well of knowledge. ~ Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO

Asian Literary Society (ALS), founded by Manoj Krishnan, organised a multilingual, multicultural, and multigenerational ALS SINGAPORE CONFLUENCE 2023 on 10th September at the National Library Board,100 Victoria Street, Singapore. The confluence followed the success of ALS Singapore Caravan 2023 at the Indian Heritage Centre on 12th February. 

Eric Tinsay Valles, Director, Poetry Festival Singapore and Anurita Kher, Regional Head of Asia Pacific, Colors TV Channels, graced the event and addressed the participants and audience, encouraging and supporting the literary community in its endeavours.

Alka Balain, Volunteer Chapter Head, ALS, curated and hosted a panel discussion on the ‘Cultural Integration of South and Southeast Asia through Literature and Revitalising Indigenous Languages’. Kevin Martens Wong, Director of Kodrah Kristang, and Muhammad Hafiz Rashid, docent and advocate of the Malay arts and heritage, spoke about the origin and continuing legacy of the Kristang and Baweanese (Boyanese) language. The panellists emphasised the significance of saving and reviving the indigenous languages in Singapore nation and the world. 

The eminent guests launched Airis Griffins and the Mystery of the Archaic Atbara, written by Avishi Gurnani. Avishi is a 13-year-old budding writer with a Poearty series to her credit. The story is set in Atbara, a colonial house in Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Poetry readings in English and Hindi on different themes by Abhinayya Saravanan, Avishi Gurnani, Aaradhana Sadasivam, Ellen Lavilla, Jennifer Leong aka Soy Avocado, Jyoti Prateek, Sangeetha Kamath, Sandeep Kaur, Alka Balain, Chitra Gupta and Dr Pratibha Garg was another highlight. Eric Tinsay Valles and Anurita Kher felicitated the readers.

 Asian Literary Society will continue to promote art and literature in India, Singapore and globally, a vision that ALS Founder Manoj Krishnan envisioned in 2017. 

Text by Alka Balain

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