Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Indonesians asked to wear batik on Oct 2

Source: The Malaysian Insider. Picture: Kabarindo.com

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on Indonesians around the world to don their best batik on Friday to celebrate the United Nations’ announcement that the traditional dyeing technique is an Indonesian cultural treasure.

Yudhoyono’s invitation was aired during a dialogue with members of the Indonesian community in Massachusetts, the United States, last Saturday.

“I invite the Indonesian people, wherever they may be, to wear batik on Oct 2,” the President said to loud applause.

Ownership of batik and other cultural items such as the Balinese pendet dance have cropped up recently as thorny issues in relations between Malaysia and Indonesia.

President Yudhoyono last week vowed to ask the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to recognise the angklung, a musical instrument made of bamboo, as Indonesia’s.

Jakarta says the instrument originated in West Java.

“We will keep fighting for our heritage, one tradition at a time,” declared Jero Wacik, Indonesia’s Culture and Tourism Minister.

Unesco has already recognised the keris (traditional dagger) and wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre) as belonging to Indonesia.

Jakarta residents asked to wear batik on Oct 2 – Antara