Posted in: Styles

Batik And Nasionalism

Every October 2, we are advised to use batik as a tribute to the designation of batik as a Human Heritage for Oral and Non-Cultural Culture by Unesco (02/10/2009). Since its establishment by Unesco, every October 02 we have designated it as National Batik Day. 

The long journey to gain recognition has been carried out since the days of President Suharto’s government. The President always uses batik at every international event and introduces it as a characteristic of Indonesia’s rich culture. 

On September 4, 2008 the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare on behalf of the government and the Indonesian Batik Community registered batik for Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) status through a representative from the Unesco office in Jakarta.

Unesco designated Batik as a Human Heritage for Oral and Non-Physical Culture (Masterpiece Of The Oral And Intangible Heritage Of Humanity in Abu Dhabi (02/10/2009). 

Well at that time Batik was officially registered as a Humanitarian Heritage of the Masterpiece of Oral and Cultural Culture Non Bendawi. Furthermore, the Government of Indonesia issued Presidential Decree No. 33/2009 stipulating the National Batik Day to increase public awareness of the protection and development of Indonesian batik. 

Batik, which was once considered as the clothes of most people, slowly and steadily increased its prestige. The modification of motifs and materials increase the image of batik.

People often wear batik confidently at all occasions. From formal events to casual wearing batik. Batik houses feel the impact of this determination. 

Various efforts have been made by batik craftsmen and local governments. For example in Brebes, the development of Batik Brebesan consists of Batik Salem and Batik Mangrove. Both batik with different characters ranging from patterns, motifs to coloring materials make it unique and complementary as Brebesan batik. 

Salem batik with natural colors such as soil, trees with leaf motifs, rice, coffee, and other crops that are around. Meanwhile, Mangrove batik with natural dyes from leaf, tree, root and tuber extracts. Most of the motifs are coastal and marine products and marine ecosystems. 

The Regional Government of Brebes to protect batik craftsmen and also to preserve Brebesan batik has established Brebesan traditional clothes. The clothes that used to be worn by the previous leaders were modified with Batik Salem or Mangrove. Brebesan traditional clothes are worn every 18th of every month at the same time to commemorate Brebes’ anniversary.