Community Created Environmental Digital Superhero

by BASA balinese Language Preservation
Community Created Environmental Digital Superhero
Community Created Environmental Digital Superhero
Community Created Environmental Digital Superhero
Community Created Environmental Digital Superhero

Local Languages aren't as cute as panda bears, but they are also endangered...

As we near the end of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, we reflect on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' warning that "Indigenous languages are disappearing at an alarming rate, each one taking with it a cultural and intellectual heritage.  We must protect languages under threat of extinction."



We began 2019 with the launch of a community-developed multilingual teen superhero and three exciting adventures.  Each adventure was championed by a local author and illustrator in dialogue with the community through the superhero's own social media channels.  We've been humbled by the tremendous support and enthusiasm for this initiative and its impact.  As we prepare to welcome 2020, we are excited to deepen our engagement with the public with the superhero's adventures as part of a movement to strengthen our local languages for a stronger world. 



  • UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy
  • Included in The Economist's The Year in 2019
  • Kerti Bhuwana Sandhi Recognition by Balinese Government
  • Launch of the community-developed teen superhero, Luh Ayu Manik
  • Wiki Milestone:  3/4 million users
  • Participation in the Governor's Balinese Language Month Festivities
  • First Annual Wikithon
  • New bookshelves in the virtual library
  • Launch of BASAbali Wiki Podcast
  • Wiki sponsorship opportunities



The Wiki is designed for the public to shape the platform and add content.  This year, the public added three new bookshelves:  environmental initiatives (for groups to share successes and challenges), children's books (originally written in or translated into Balinese) and ceremonies and holidays. 

Do you have a particular interest or expertise?  Add on.



Sharing knowledge, leveraging resources, and measuring what really matters.... our new locally developed superhero tries to model specific ways in which we can make inroads into improving our physical and cultural environment together.  More about the series here.



The wiki dictionary continues to grow and evolve as the public contributes more contextual examples in text and video.  The dictionary now also pulls examples directly from the virtual library, providing more and varied ways that entry words are used in a real context.   The wiki has been used by over 3/4 million users with over 2.6 million page views, encouraging people to value and use local languages in the digital age.

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Without warning, a fierce wind sprang up in Room 21. The book that Luh Ayu Manik and her friends were reading shook and then flew about the room. And from the pages of the dirty, torn and tattered book, horrid demons appeared. Luh Ayu and her friends wanted to run away but they couldn't move ... they were like statues. I Wayan and I Made wanted to scream ... but their lips were sealed shut and they couldn't speak.


READ, LISTEN TO, or WRITE A BOOK REVIEW for the second exciting adventure of teen Balinese superhero, Luh Ayu Manik Mas.   

Luh Ayu Manik is created by a local team of writers, illustrators, and language advocates in consultation with local children via social media and on-the-ground workshops. You can speak directly to Luh Ayu Manik via Twitter @LuhAyuManikMas1 or Facebook@LuhAyuManikMas2019.

All Luh Ayu Manik Mas adventures are available in Balinese, Indonesian, and English and are available online free of charge.  Books may be downloaded without a charge as well.   

Thank you to all who are supporting Luh Ayu Manik Mas and her adventures!


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With MANY thanks for your incredible support, we wanted to give you the first peek into a video recording of the first environmental superhero book. 

Luh Ayu Manik Mas, the digital environmental superhero from Bali, Indonesia, and her adventures are co-developed with local artists, writers, illustrators, environmentalists, language advocates and local children, using social media and on-the-ground workshops.  The video was created by a local teacher who volunteered to record the book for her students and for children everywhere.

You can hover over words in the Balinese text for an Indonesian or English translation, or click on the words to connect to dictionary pages.

Enter a book review or click on a regulated holiday. Soon, you'll be able to click on related environmental initiatives as well.  

Learn glossary words or follow the link to the whole book.  The book is available online and for downloading in Balinese, Indonesian and English on The Asia Foundation's Let's Read platform.

What should Luh Ayu Manik's next adventure be about?  How can she best use her superpowers to inspire children to repair the world?


We couldn't do this without your guidance, generosity and support.

With MANY thanks from the BASAbali team


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Organization Information

BASA balinese Language Preservation

Location: Bethesda, MD - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BASAbali
BASA balinese Language Preservation
Alissa Stern
Project Leader:
Alissa Stern
Bethesda, MD United States

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