Friday, October 2, 2009

Batik: An Indonesian Cultural Heritage for The World

I have previously posted this picture before with a different story under Patterns and Colors of Batik Cirebon (Cirebonese Batik). I'm posting it again today to celebrate the official recognition by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) today that batik is an Indonesian cultural heritage. Batik is the third indigenous Indonesian cultural heritage to receive such a recognition after keris and wayang.

Although batik can be found in many parts of the world, nowhere else has the art of batik making been developed to such a high level and practiced with such an enthusiasm like in the Indonesian archipelago. "Documents" and batik patterns inscribed on stone temples dated as far back as the 8th century CE and those written and inscribed on lontar palm leaves dated as far back as the 17th century CE provide undeniable evidence that batik is Indonesian. In addition to this, there are more types, patterns, and genres of batik in Indonesia than anywhere else in the world.

Despite the fact that batik is Indonesian, the path to UNESCO recognition was not an easy one. It began in the year 2000 when Malaysia began to lay claim to batik as its own indigenous cultural heritage. Indonesian batik artisants and producers were furious about this, and after a concerted effort of research, documentation, and seminars, they submitted, on September 4, 2008, the data to counter Malaysia's claim to the UNESCO to be reviewed.

In February 2009, the data were reviewed and verified by an international committee under UNESCO.

On September 28, 2009, UNESCO officially recognized batik as an Indonesian intangible cultural heritage to the world.

Today, October 2, 2009, the recognition was officially delivered to the Indonesian delegates at the closing of the UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee Convention in Abu Dhabi, UAE.


Leif Hagen said...

Beautiful batik - I had some batik shirts from a trip to Bali. Wish I still had them!

valeria said...

I love Batik! These patterns are enchanting!

Photo Cache said...

Oh I love batik. I just haven't had any clothing or fabric yet. I thought I'd get some when I finally visit Indonesia. When? I don't know.

Myussop said...

BTW, I've coined a term "Kambatik" to define the concept of the Malaysian Garden,thus "Laman Kambatik"= the Malaysian Garden defined. The rootword derivative are "Kampung" and "Batik". The concept of the Malaysian Garden is an evolution and synthesis of the "Kampung" landscape ecology and the accidental and spontaneous creativity in modern batik design effects and techniques. Please follow this link to have a brief introduction to the Kambatik Garden -

Dina said...

Congratulations! That is a thing to be proud of!
Good for you for fighting for and winning due recognition.
The batiks in your photo are so beautiful.

Hilda said...

Ooooh! Now I want all of them — I love batik!

And I am so happy for Indonesia that UNESCO recognized its cultural importance. Congratulations!

Thank you so much for your concern for us this past week, Eki. Especially since your own country experienced such devastation too.

I hope that you weren't affected much by the earthquake. I know you're kind of far from the epicenter, but it was so strong and I don't know if the aftershocks reached you. Your countrymen are in my prayers too.