If 60 million people – a quarter of the Indonesian population – will wear batik today that will be a special day indeed. Never was our traditional fabric put on the national pedestal in such a way in recent memory.
In September 2009, Indonesia’s batik made its place among the 76 elements inscribed in UNESCO’S Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. After this honor, batik became more often worn by students, hotel employees, government workers and private company employees, especially on Fridays. The government has played a positive role in promoting batik by providing special discounts to the people who wear batik a day before and after Batik day.
Being recognized by UNESCO as an Indonesian cultural contribution to the world is a valid reason to celebrate this beautiful traditional fabric and the garments made from it.
Although it is found in other countries like China, Africa and Egypt, still the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has now acknowledged that the dyeing technique is uniquely Indonesian. This will give this technology some degree of protection under the UNESCO charter.
Many Indonesians think that batik is a typical Javanese product. This is not true although it is understandable because stories about batik in the regions are quite rare. However it is to be found throughout the thousands of islands of the archipelago from Sumatra in the west to Papua in the east.
Batik promotional visits overseas to help make Indonesian batik an international icon in the world of global fashion, is something to be applauded. The beauty of batik is a tribute to the creativity, patience and uniqueness of the Indonesian people.