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.