We have lost a prominent volunteer from Wikimedia community Denpasar, I Gede Gita Purnama Arsa Putra, better known as Bli Bayu.
Bli Bayu was one of the founders of Wikimedia Bali community and was admired for his effort to preserve Balinese heritage through Wikimedia platforms. Working side-by-side with his wife, Carma Citrawati, the late Bli Bayu digitized endangered ancient manuscripts owned by individuals in Bali. This project was realized as Wikilontar and inspired the Wikisource Loves Manuscripts initiative, which is implementing the same approach across different regions in Indonesia, with additional institutional and technical support.
Born in 1985, Bli Bayu was serving as a lecturer of Balinese language at the time of his death. He always felt proud to be a part of the Wikimedia movement. According to Citra, he had a great aspiration to preserve Balinese language, saying that “nothing could be cooler than having Balinese language in Wikipedia”. He was one of the most prominent advocates for the preservation of the Balinese language and scripts on Wikimedia platforms. Despite the minimal resources and access that he faced when initiating the Wikilontar project with Citra, he managed to make his dream come true. During the project, he always advised Citra not to feel alone, saying that, “we can use our own hands to work together, little by little.” He said to her, “Just do your best for today first, don’t worry about the result tomorrow.”
Citra, along with the Wikimedia Community in Bali, and PPIM are working together to continue Bli Bayu’s legacy in preserving ancient Balinese lontar in the Wikisource Loves Manuscripts project.
We are proposing an editing activity in Bli Bayu’s memory: Let us all translate his Wikipedia biography into our respective languages.
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