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Globalizing Indonesian Batik

On October 2, 2017, many Indonesian people wore Batik shirt. This is one way of commemorating the National Batik Day that falls on that date. Since UNESCO declared Batik as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2nd, 2009, many people of Indonesia wear Batik clothes.

The determination of National Batik Day is strengthened by Presidential Decree No. 33/ 2009 based on consideration to improve the positive image and dignity of the Indonesian nation in international forums. Of course, this is to grow the pride and love of the Indonesian people for their culture. Another goal is to improve public awareness of the protection and development of Indonesian Batik.

According to historical records, Batik art has grown in Indonesia since the 17th century. It was written or painted on palm leaves, with patterns or motif that are still dominated by the shape of animals and plants. In its development, Batik motif becomes more diverse. It is known that there are many regions across Indonesia that have a distinctive Batik style. But now, Batik motifs from Java Island still dominate the Batik industry in Indonesia.

The meaning of National Batik Day is not enough just to feel proud because this cultural heritage is recognized internationally. Even Batik clothes are worn on special occasions. More importantly, this is the responsibility of the Indonesian people to maintain and develop Indonesian Batik art.

Indonesian Batik industry must be able to compete in the international market. As quoted from the Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry, Haris Munandar, he said that the export value of Batik and Batik products until the first semester of 2017 reached $39.4 million dollars with the main markets of Japan, the United States and Europe. The world’s trading clothes products that reached $442 billion dollars become a great opportunity for Indonesian Batik industry to increase its market share.

This can be achieved through nonstop promotion of Batik. The introduction of Batik with various motives and philosophy contained in it must continue to be implemented. Collaboration with international parties in fashion needs to be strengthened. Indonesian fashion designers should use more Batik as a design to be promoted to the international world. Wearing Batik for the state guests, such as president, head of state or international leaders who visit Indonesia can be a strategic way to promote the Indonesian Batik.

Another important point to keep in mind is the regeneration of Indonesian Batik crafters. Considering today that most of Indonesian Batik craft-women or makers are old enough, over 40 years, the socialization of Batik and Batik profession should be carried out more frequently. This is necessary to raise the awareness of the young generation of Indonesia that Batik is also a promising profession and the Batik industry has an important role in the national economy. Hopefully, Indonesian Batik persists to be sustainable and growing.


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