A glimpse into famous Indonesian textile ‘Batik’

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Zubair Qureshi

The Indonesian Women Association (IWA) on Friday that brought the guests an opportunity to understand and get exposure of the country’s diverse culture and its philosophical, cultural and historical values through the famous Indonesian textile which is called Batik.
The wonderful hostess at the event, Rita Berlinia Amri, spouse of the Ambassador, welcomed the guests and introduced the theme “Nurturing Friendship by Cross Culture Understanding”. The guests turned up in big numbers were mostly ladies from the diplomatic community based in Islamabad, PFOWA and from the cross sections of the society.
Welcoming the guests Chairperson IWA Rita Berlinia Amri informed that Coffee Morning featuring Batik and Gamelan Workshops was intended to take the participants to a trip through the ancient traditions of Batik and Gamelan to explore and experience Indonesia’s rich and diverse art and cultural heritage.
She said that Indonesia was the land of diverse culture and there existed variety of colorful art forms and Batik is one of the most popular Indonesian arts. She elaborated that the word batik originates from the Javanese “tik” and means to dot. The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practiced for centuries in Indonesia and as a wonderful creative medium increasingly becoming popular across the world, she added. She proudly mentioned that Batik has been added to the Representative List of UNESCO’s World Intangible Cultural Heritage by recognizing Indonesia as the origin and home to this exclusive art form.
To conduct the workshop, the embassy had invited two batik maestros Mrs. Fonna Melania and Mr. Koswara Kusuma from the Sukabumi Region of Java Island to share and teach some basics of this wonderful ancient art form to the participants.
The workshop sparked great interest in the participants who had enjoyable and mesmerizing experience of practically coming across Batik and learnt few basics and hands on practice of this ancient and exquisite creative medium to enrich and express their aesthetics. Many of them amid amusement quickly picked up the technique and with the assistance of the instructors were able to produce their own designs of Batik. They discovered that how history, traditions, religious beliefs and geography has evolved and shaped Indonesian culture and how beautifully and artistically it is expressed in this creative medium of Batik.
Besides Batik Workshop the Coffee Morning also featured a Workshop on Gamelan which is an ancient traditional orchestra of Indonesia. The Workshop was a practical short introduction to the cultural context of gamelan and a chance to have a go at playing the instruments.

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