Commemorating Batik Day can this Indonesian cultural heritage survive today? Batik is a Humanitarian Heritage for Oral and Intangible Culture belonging to Indonesia which is designated by UNESCO. The commemoration of National Batik Day every October 2 is also an effort to maintain and preserve Batik as a historic heritage of the great Indonesian culture.
The question that arises is can batik continue to survive in the midst of a very diverse and interesting fashion industry? On the other hand, other countries also produce batik, especially batik printing which is cheap.
The issue was discuss in an online seminar entitle “Sustainability of Batik as Indonesia’s heritage for the world: Opportunities and Challenges” in Canberra. This International Seminar on Batik was organize by the Office of the Education and Culture Attaché (Atdikbud) of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra in order to celebrate the national Batik day and in collaboration with the Indonesian Australian Student Association (PPIA).
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The event, which was open by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Australia and Vanuatu, Kristiarto S. Legowo, presented speakers from researchers, academics and batik practitioners, both from Australia and Indonesia.
In his opening remarks, Kristiarto said that batik is an important and inseparable part of Indonesian culture and diplomacy, because batik is worldwide and widely loved not only by Indonesians, but also by the world community.
According to him, batik has two functions in Indonesian society, namely a cultural function and an economic function. The balance between the two functions will maintain the sustainability of Batik’s existence as an Indonesian heritage for the world. To be sustainable, Batik must carry out two functions in a balanced way.
“As a cultural heritage, of course Batik has a very high historical value that must be maintained and preserved. However, Batik as an economic product has been one of the sources of people’s income; and this continues to increase from year to year,” added Kristiarto in his written statement.
The speaker from James Cook University, Maria Wornska Friend; in her description explained that Javanese Batik has made a huge contribution to the world since centuries ago. According to him, the influence of Javanese Batik is not only in the archipelago; but also includes India, Africa, Europe, and even Australia.
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